On Saturday, September 23, 1995 a headline from the Associated Press read:
Wal-Mart Says Shirt Against ‘Family Values’ T-Shirt Proclaimed, ‘Someday A Woman Will Be President.’
I’m not sure how we have forgotten the fact that the oppression of women isn’t something just documented in history books, but has transpired (and continues) during our lifetime. Out of the 44 presidents we have had, not a single one wasn’t a man. Yes, it is 2016.
Here is a shocking reminder that in the not so distant history, it was even offensive to some that a woman could even be considered a choice for President of the United States.
Jane Bocholt, a spokesperson for the Wal-Mart store said, “It was determined the T-shirt was offensive to some people and so the decision was made to pull it from the sales floor.”
The shirt was created by Ann Moliver Ruben, a psychologist who designed the shirts and sold them to women’s groups prior to getting them placed in her local Wal-Mart store in Miramar, Florida. It depicted the cartoon character Margaret from Dennis the Menace saying, “Someday a woman will be PRESIDENT!”
Apparently, that made some people clutch their pearls.
While the shirt was only for sale, and consequently pulled, from this single location, the store’s decision to ban the shirt at the time was echoed by the corporation.
Ruben said Sharon Higginbotham, a buyer for women’s clothes at WalMart’s national office in Bentonville, Ark., told her the store would not carry the shirt nationwide because the message ‘goes against Wal-Mart’s family values.’
After protests, the stores retracted their stance on the shirt several months later and ordered 30,000 to be sold nationwide to make amends.
Hillary Clinton was nominated as the presidential candidate for one of the two major political parties last night. Yes, it is a HUGE deal considering we’ve been electing presidents for 240 years!
Certainly, my generation and those younger than me may not realize the significance. Because it seems like such a “duh” moment – of course, a woman can be president – we forget that there is still a fight to be won.
My grandmother was born in 1913. She was a child when women finally had their right to vote recognized. That’s only two generations back. She passed away while Bill Clinton was still president, but I know she would be in awe that we are this close to seeing a woman as the leader of the free world.
While this election is tumultuous at best, I hope we can still celebrate the fact that it’s been a long, hard fight for women in the U.S.A. and last night’s victory is still one to be celebrated.
This blast from the past only reinforces that.
Featured image via Etsy