• Virginia Tolles

Understanding the Women’s Movement: Why was it Necessary in the First Place?

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I’ve been watching railroading videos for quite a long time. Most participants seem to be men, and I have to wonder why. After all, I’m a woman, and I love trains. I surely can’t be alone in this. One thought led to another, and I began to wonder if this wasn’t one of the primary reasons why the women’s movement has proven to be far more than just a flash in the pan.

Under this thesis, women were tired of being left at home, at best, to sit and visit and, at worst, to continue performing the household chores while their husbands were riding the rails, swinging golf clubs, and climbing mountains. We women rose up and to arms and said,

Hold on, hot shot! If you can drive, if you can vote, if you can

earn a college degree, if you can hold a responsible career

position, if you can join the armed forces, if you can fly for a

major airline, if you can build a house, then so can I!

We can, and we do.

I don't think the women's movement ever intended to drive men out of their jobs or to deprive them of their interests and hobbies. Rather, I think they wanted to share them. I am given pause to remember watching airmen jog around a parade field. One woman was running with them. The men ran the course three times for each one time the woman did. She clearly was no threat to them. She simply wanted to serve in the Air Force.

I’m still waiting for the day when men don’t get upset when we enjoy the same things they do, when we subscribe to their channels on YouTube, and when we ask questions as we seek to learn more about these interests. Something tells me these things won’t happen while I’m alive. No. I didn’t see the beginning of the women’s movement, and I won’t see the end of it, but I can wonder why it is met with so much resistance – and I do!

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