I must confess I had a completely different article in mind when I asked for a slot on the Crimson blog. But when I was told it would appear sometime around November, I immediately thought of Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. My siblings all enjoy it, as well, and we sometimes will have the entire Turkey Day spread several times a year—whenever the majority of us can get together. I’m thankful we’re of like minds when it comes to our favorite holiday.
But in thinking more big picture than my immediate family, I began to ponder the themes that resonate with me in my books. A biggie, probably the biggest, is equality. Whether it’s for women’s rights, treatment of the American Indian, the African-American, the Irish immigrant, or equality in the workforce, equal footing for everyone runs rampant throughout the four books currently in my Cotillion Ball Series. I’m pleased to say Crimson will be publishing the remaining five books in the series and the tentative outlines continue the theme of equality.
All of which made me wonder why that particular theme is my go-to with almost every book I write. Perhaps it has something to do with my own life. When I graduated college, I began working in an advertising agency. I deliberately chose an ad agency over a newspaper because they had a more liberal bent, and I was, well, very liberally bent. My bubble was burst my first day on the job, however, when I realized that the male college graduate who was hired the same day as me walked into a junior executive position and I, a mere female, was made the proofreader. It took me a year of hard work to prove myself capable of doing the job he had been given from the start.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will To Lead was written to showcase the dearth of female leaders in corporate America. She discusses the still-present perception that a woman cannot have both a successful career and a family. Inequality in the workplace still exists, and it’s up to the women of today to “lean in,” take hold of their professional ambitions and not apologize for wanting it all.
Because that’s what life is all about. Women in the 1850s struggled against oppression, for the right to vote, to have control of their own money, to wear breeches if they so chose. One hundred years later, those struggles were replaced by new ones for women—the right to hold an equal job as a man and be paid an equal salary, to wear whatever we wanted, to partner with whomever we chose. The women of the 1850s paved the way, the struggles of the 1950s and 1960s cemented women in the workforce. Today’s women have much to be thankful for. And to fight for their own struggles.
So, what are you most thankful for?