Saturday, November 7, 2009

This summer, after Senator Kennedy passed away, I noticed all the flags were being flown at half-mast to honor his legacy. Since childhood, this tradition has captivated me because I think it is a really cool way to remember those who have served America. As an incredibly patriotic person, I like how it creates this sense of unity no matter where you live. I mean, every flag in the country has to be flown at the lowered level, even McDonald's! (which definitely caught my attention as a kid)

This time however, I began to think more about who gets this honor. What do you have to achieve to be remembered nationally? Not that Kennedy didn't deserve the half-mast status, it just got me thinking about who we remember. It's fair to say that most of the honor reserved for those in our country has gone to male accomplishments throughout history. Some would say that this is because they are the ones doing what it takes to leave their mark. While I feel they are deserving of the honor, I cannot for a second believe that there aren't as many women throughout history who have served us in great and inspiring ways. Maybe female gains have been off the battlefield or outside of government (seeing as for a very, very long time we were legally restricted from these "honor heavy" fields) but does that mean they don't matter as much?

I know some women, Rosa Parks, Jackie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, are remembered; it just doesn't seem to be at the same level as their male counterparts. If you ask men to list who inspires them to reach greatness, they can and will choose from a list of any number of politicians, generals, businessmen, doctors, astronauts, explorers, etc.  But women? Most of us will respond with our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts. Usually they are personal relationships, which should not be discounted, but have to be considered when we question the disparity between the genders in roles of leadership.

How can this be remedied? By recording the women out there who are inspiring us and making their accomplishments so appealing that they start to reach beyond gender. When women have as many streets, schools, airports, holidays, and half-mast honors bestowed on their memory as men, equality can be claimed.

This is where my inspiration has come for this blog. I want to create a record of women who have or are achieving greatness . I want to find women that history has left behind and start the process of uncovering their accomplishments with the hopes of inspiring future generations to not allow barriers to get in their way of living the fullest lives available to them.

Sure this will be a very personal list since it's coming from my experience and perception, however, I think it is time to start somewhere and develop this idea as I go along.

With that, my inaugural posting will feature my blog namesake, Calista Jones.

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