It didn’t happen overnight. Perception is everything, not only by others, but also the perception that one has of oneself. Women themselves, over the years have been guilty of perceiving themselves as someone who mainly has been responsible for running a household and being the counterpart for their spouses. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that isn’t the whole story. Men have been perceived as the breadwinner, and women, to be home and take care of the distribution of that “bread” (in some cases the men were responsible for that as well). While over the last one hundred years, women, having been more and more able to come into their own as supplemental bread winners as well as homemakers, old images die hard. No wonder since much of the image is centered on sex appeal. That sex appeal is a double edged sword. While it can be a useful tool, it can also condemn one as an airhead. Who ever knew of an attractive or beautiful woman as also having a brain? Hence the “dumb blond” description. Does this mean that you have to look dowdy or unattractive to make your case? That is the challenge, and that remains the challenge.
I’m happy to say that many a woman has been able to let themselves be themselves and prove their worth in the workplace. No one, man or woman should have to apologize for asserting their individuality and becoming whatever they feel they can achieve as a person of notice in any chosen field. While we (women) have come far, there is still some distance to go. But on the brighter side, the trip is worth it. It’s an exciting and challenging time, and the pages that are displayed in my book describe just how far we have come.
MRS. ELSE HINKEL DEL VECCHIO
My mother, the woman who was my mentor and model of what women can be.