Woman I Admire: My Grandmother

I am currently taking Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies: Sex, Culture and Power here at Conn, and I highly recommend the course to anyone who wants to become more informed on these issues. As we’ve learned in this course, the rights of many Americans are currently being chipped away right now – especially the rights of women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQIA community. I find this very frustrating, although at least we haven’t gone back to the way it was in the 50’s!

In this class, I learned that the glamorous 50’s housewife I’d learned about in AP US History was not exactly as content as she may have seemed. My grandmother got married and started having kids during the 50’s, so I decided to ask her about her experiences during this period when I saw her over Thanksgiving.

Talking to my grandmother about this time in her life really opened my eyes, and I am amazed at all she was able to accomplish, despite the difficult circumstances. Although she gave birth to four children during the Baby Boom years, she continued to teach at local colleges while also caring for her kids. She says that it was a struggle to balance both work and family commitments and many did not approve of her decision to continue working. Although she was exhausted most days, she explained that the fulfillment of working outside the home was too valuable for her to give up.

The independence that my grandmother developed through her work was passed on to her three daughters, who are all involved in feminism in various ways. I, too, have inherited a passion for women’s rights from my grandmother, and I am incredibly grateful that I was introduced to these ideas at such a young age.