July 5, 2012 — It’s Independence Week: Canada Day was on July first, and the United States celebrated its Independence Day on the fourth. Last year at this time I asked the question, “Can you be truly independent if you don’t have equal rights under the law?”
One year later, the answer remains “no.” Passage of crucial legislation like the Equal Rights Amendment and Paycheck Fairness Act are stalled. And across the country, women still earn less than men. Until women achieve parity in pay and business leadership, they will be marginalized in every other arena.
For the principles enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence to really ring true we need to keep fighting for equality. Our Founding Fathers were clearly men of action—and today we need to be women of action too. This advice, delivered to Wellesley’s graduating class of 1996 by the late Nora Ephron, fired me up and reaffirmed my resolve in the face of the battles ahead. I hope it does the same for you in the afterglow of Independence Day.
“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”