Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"When Everything Changed" by Gail Collins

There is no doubt that the Womens Rights Movement of the late 1960's changed the world in which we live. When I was a boy there were no women letter carriers, truck drivers, etc. I could go on and on listing all of the occupations that todays women take for granted. I have often discussed this with my daughter, and though she knows I'm telling the truth, there is that look that says she can't really comprehend it. And looking back, neither can I.

Ms. Collins, noted columnist for the NY Times, has given us a real treasure with this book. It is a book that all young women today should read. Organized carefully and in a logical way, Ms. Collins takes us back to 1960,drawing a picture of what life was like for the average American woman. More accuratley it is a picture of what was "expected" of young women in 1960. And it was a narrow world,indeed.

By utilizing some of the widely accepted quotes of the day; "It Was Not a Matter of Choice" is one example, the author goes on to trace the changes that ensued due to the expectations, and the dissatisfactions of, the average woman in 1960's America.

It is hard for me to even consider life today without women in all of the roles they now occupy. Although I may not agree with all of the changes that have taken place, women in military combat would be the rare example, this is a very worthwhile read, especially if you have a daughter you can share it with.

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