Thursday, April 14, 2005

Empowerment of Women

I was thinking about the first stanza to Gwen Stefani's new song, "Rich Girl". I like the song and I'll tell you why in a second. First, here are the lyrics:

"If I was a rich girl (na, na....)
See, I'd have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
No man could test me, impress me, my cash flow would never ever end
Cause I'd have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl

I was thinking about feminism and the liberation of women in our country. It's so amazing to me that we're free to choose our lifestyles, now. Even in the days of the Roman Empire, who were considered very progressive at the time, because they allowed women to hold jobs, (if the husband permitted, or they were single), and women could divorce their husbands. But, even then, they couldn't inherit. A woman's husband inherited her money when her parent's died. And, if a husband divorced his wife, she was completely on her own without any financial power whatsoever. Typically, her family would reject her, unless she had a kind father or there were some kind of extenuating circumstance, or the marriage was never consummated. But, then she couldn't remarry, or shouldn't. He could divorce her for any reason he wanted (nothing's changed that way; at least, not in California), and she'd just be thrown out of the house without a penny to her name.

Now, we can have jobs, our own bank accounts and if we divorce we can, sometimes, get alimony. But, the most important thing that feminism has given us is the power to marry or not. If we don't want to marry, no one can force us into an arranged marriage, and we don't have to marry in order to be financially secure. We don't need men. We may want them, but we don't NEED them. It's a fantastic gift, like being released from slavery. And if we don't like the guy we're with, we can kick his butt to the curb. I think that we take our emancipation for granted in our everyday lives. But, really, we should stop and be grateful every once in awhile for it. Maybe when we're cashing our paychecks. :D


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