From the desk of Crystal Andrus:
It was less than a hundred years ago that women world-wide were just beginning to persuade men, (and perhaps even themselves), that they were more than merely a domestic commodity, a piece of property, and a birthing machine. But rather that they should have rights over their own bodies, that they should be able to vote, hold office, and own property.
Seriously . . . No woman anywhere in the world had any rights.
In fact, did you know that it was only in 1917 that women in Canada (where I am from) were first even considered “a person”?
Prior to that The British North America Act of 1867, which created the Dominion of Canada and provided many of its governing principles, used the word “person” to refer to both “more than one man” and “he” . . . but not “she”. It emphasized that “women are not persons in matters of rights and privileges.”
That’s right! Until 1917, women had no rights or privileges. Paradoxically, Canada was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.
Canada led the way for many other countries around the world, including the United States in 1920, to grant suffrage to women—the opportunity to vote and run for office.
Many countries did not follow suit until the 1940’s and 50’s, with many still keeping women in oppression today.
During the early history of North America, a man owned his wife and children. She couldn’t keep her name or possess any assets—even an inherited family home became the property of her husband. If a man chose to send his children to an orphanage, the mother had no defense. She also had no rights over her own body, although he had full rights over his wife’s body.
Crimes against women weren’t considered serious. A woman’s “purity” was expected, but rape was almost impossible to prove, and unless it was a black man who faced charges against raping a white woman, the punishment was negligible. Women simply weren’t deemed valuable—at least not in the eyes of the law.
You can imagine the rage women must have felt.
For the last 6,000 years (since organized religion was created—Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam), women were either a drudge or a doll, and were in fierce yet veiled competition with each other, as their lives and those of their off-spring were literally on the line.
The better catch could mean the difference between poverty and illness with that of prosperity and health. Rosy cheeks signaled vitality, an hour-glass figure and full lips exuded fertility, and a woman’s hair was her crowning glory. How she looked really mattered!
And then throughout the initial half of this century, we experienced two world wars. For the first time in history, women went to work in factories and realized they could “nail it!” . . . both figuratively and literally. They could bring home the bacon.
By the second wave of feminism which spanned the 1960’s – 80’s and focused on sexual, cultural, and political inequalities, the full fight was on. Betty Friedan’s 1963 book The Feminine Mystique became a surprising blockbuster success.
Women and men had engaged in a cold war and the repercussion left love, relationships, and family as dying soldiers. Many marriages were destroyed and many children, left wandering the streets, wondered who was going to take care of them.
Society as we had known it was changed forever.
But as sad as this may have appeared to many (especially men) . . . it had to happen.
Women had to fight for their rights and freedom.
(And there are still many countries where women still have absolutely no rights.
Not even to show their ankles!)
Men have always had the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Men are born a Mr. and die a Mr.
Women today are still born a Miss and then become identified by their marital status: Mrs. or Ms.
We woman simply haven’t been empowered. Many of us are still trying to find our voice, our purpose, and our passion. We still aren’t exactly sure what to do and how to do it. (In fact, we still aren’t paid the same amount for the same job that a man does!)
We—you and me—are literally the first or second generation, in the entire legacy of women who came before us, who’ve had real rights!
The SWAT Institute is the next era in the movement for women’s equality and liberation. We are not anti-man!
We are women empowering women; teaching others how to step into their greatness and to catch up with men.
We aren’t looking to run the show, be the boss, or force anyone’s hand. We merely want to find our own place, use our own talents, and make the world a better place, one special valuable worthy woman at a time.
Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey (1875-1927), one of this century’s greatest educators said that “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.”
And “that” is why The SWAT Institute is for Women ONLY!