Somehow, I remained blissfully unaware that misogyny and blatant discrimination against women were routinely and officially practiced long after I assumed “things were changing quickly.” The year I graduated from high school, 1972, was the first year women were permitted, legitimately, to run in the Boston Marathon. It was only five years earlier that Kathy Switzer ran, incognito and against the rules, and finished. Learning that stunned me. I know that women, even today, have to fight hard just to be treated with some semblance of equality. But I did not know that blatant sexual discrimination was practiced while I was still in high school. I did not see it. I am sure it was all around me, but I didn’t see it. Why would I? I wasn’t the object of discrimination.  So it must have been easy to dismiss it or to assume it did not exist. For as long as I can remember, I have believed women are equal to men and deserve the same treatment, the same opportunities, and the same respect as men. I knew my beliefs weren’t necessarily completely mainstream, but neither did I realize how fragile women’s “rights” were and, today, remain.

I thought we lived in a civilized society. I should have known better. All I need to do is to look at the White House and know better.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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