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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Published with permission from AlterNet

Fear of a female president is still going strong in 2016.

It has been 100 years since the voters of Montana elected Jeannette Rankin as the first woman in Congress and Margaret Sanger opened the nation’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn (1916);

96 years since women won the right to vote at the federal level (1920);

95 years since Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. (1921);

88 years since Amelia Earhart became the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean (1928);

85 years since Jane Addams became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1931);

83 years since President Franklin Roosevelt named Frances Perkins as Secretary of Labor, the first woman appointed to the Cabinet (1933);

81 years since Mary McLeod Bethune organized the National Council of Negro Women (1935);

79 years since the Supreme Court upheld Washington state’s minimum wage law for women (1937);

73 years since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was founded (1943);.

71 years since President Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as a U.S delegate to the newly established United Nations (1945);

68 years since high jumper Alice Coachman became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal (1948);

67 years since Mildred “Babe” Didrikson and other women created the Ladies Professional Golf Tour (1949);

61 years since a majority (52%) of Americans first told Gallup pollsters that they would be willing to vote for a “qualified” women for president and Rosa Parks triggered the Montgomery bus boycott by refusing to comply with the city’s segregation laws (1955);

56 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth control pill as safe for women to use (1960);

55 years since President Kennedy established the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (1961);

53 years since Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique (1963);

52 years since Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job, and passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex (1964);

51 years since the Supreme Court’s Griswold v. Connecticut ruling struck down the one remaining state law prohibiting the use of contraceptives by married couples (1965);

50 years since feminists founded the National Organization for Women (1966);

48 years since the EEOC ruled that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal (1968);

47 years since California became the first state to adopt a “no fault” divorce law (1969);

46 years since 50,000 people marched in New York City for the first Women’s Strike for Equality and feminists published Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings From The Women’s Liberation Movement (1970);

45 years since Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisholm, and others formed the National Women’s Political Caucus to encourage more women to participate in politics and run for office and a group of Boston feminists published Our Bodies, Ourselves, which put women’s health in a radically new political and social context (1971);

44 years since Ms magazine published its first issue, Congress passed Title IX of the Education Amendments banning sex discrimination in schools, and Sally Priesand became the first woman ordained as a rabbi in the United States (1972);

43 years since the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to safe and legal abortion and Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the “battle of the sexes” tennis match in Houston (1973);

42 years since women trade unionists founded the Coalition of Labor Union Women (1974);

38 years since Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act banning employment discrimination against pregnant women (1978);

37 years since women constituted the majority of all college students for the first time (1979);

35 years since Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman Supreme Court Justice (1981);

33 years since astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space (1983);

32 years since feminists founded EMILY’s List to help elect pro-choice women and Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman to be chosen by a major political party to serve as its vice presidential nominee (1984);

31 years since every state had adopted a “no fault” divorce law (1985);

30 years since the Supreme Court ruled in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson that sexual harassment is a form of illegal job discrimination (1986);

29 years since Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987);

22 years since Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act that tightened federal penalties for sex offenders, funded services for victims of rape and domestic violence, and provided special training of police officers (1994);

19 years since Madeleine Albright was appointed the first female secretary of state (1997);

10 years since Katharine Jefferts Schori became the first woman to become presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States (2006);

9 years since Nancy Pelosi became the first female speaker of the House (2007);

7 years since President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck (2009);

6 years since Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director (2010);

3 years since Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the ban on women serving in combat roles would be lifted and the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Windsor that states cannot ban same-sex marriage (2013);

2 years since Michelle Janine Howard became the first female four-star admiral (2014); and

Less than a year since the Treasury Department announced that Harriet Tubman’s portrait will be featured on the new $20 bill, the first woman so honored.

Despite this progress, Hillary Clinton still faces outrageous sexism by the media, Donald Trump, and many voters, as Peter Beinart discusses in “Fear of a Female President,” in the new issue of The Atlantic magazine.

Clinton will be our next president, adding another milestone to the ongoing battle for women’s equality. But the sexist backlash won’t end once she’s inaugurated. The struggle must continue.

Photo: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives at the airport following a campaign Voter Registration Rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States, September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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