David Pisarra

Eve. Allegedly the first woman, and hence the source from which all humanity descends is simultaneously venerated as the first mother, and castigated for causing the fall of man. That pretty much sums up how women are viewed in our society. Whether it is the Madonna (religious not entertainer) / whore dichotomy, or the anthem sung by Helen Reddy “I am Woman”, or anything in between, women are viewed in a multitude of ways. That is their strength, and their weakness.

As a society we ascribe many traits to the roles that women play in our society. As mothers they are supposed to build our children and hence our society. As symbols of beauty they are the icons around which our ideals are formed. As the emotional laborers in the family unit, they keep it all running.

It’s been said that behind every great man is a woman pushing. That may be true, or it may be a nice metaphor for the impact that mothers have on their children. I can recall clearly my mother speaking about some criminal case, and she said, “no matter what, good or ill, it’s always the mother’s fault.” In today’s world, as psychologists are learning more and more about how much the first three year’s impact children, that may hold greater sway, and also be a rallying cry for why the mothers need to demand that the fathers step up in an emotionally contributing way.

History has been mostly written by the men, which is not to say that they actually did most of it, they just took the credit when they could. One need not scratch too deeply to see how much women have contributed to our rise from the muck into what is our current state of civilization.

One can look to a small sample of the big ones like: Betsy Ross, Harriet Tubman, and Heddy Lamarr for examples of women who have contributed not just to the cause of women, but to bettering a society for all. From flags to the underground railroad, to creating a technology that has united the planet, women have been major contributors in ways both large and small.

Our local hometown hero Sally Ride, who is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, was a woman with a different, however just as important, role as a female patriot. While she did not fight in the American Revolutionary War, she fought her own war to be the first s the first American woman to go into space, and, to this day, remains the youngest American that has ever gone into space. After her time above the Earth, Sally served as an advocate and role model, for elementary and middle school girls studying the sciences.

She is soon to be edged out by Hayley Arceneaux for the youngest female (or male) in space. She will also become the first with a prosthesis and as a cancer survivor.

Of course it would be impossible to name all the women who have made life better for the planet. Every mother who raises a child that contributes a new medical treatment or finds a way to improve the building of homes, or simply is a decent human being who does as much good as they can, in all the ways they can, for as long as they can, is a mother who is a hero. Mothers who work long hours, for ungrateful children, with or without a spouse, deserve to be recognized for their tireless efforts.

Women who choose to not be mothers, but instead become leaders in business or society deserve to be honored as well, for the role modeling they are accomplishing. Whether it is as the head of a non-profit that is doing outreach to learning disabled children, or heading up a future Fortune 100 company, they are showing other women that they can lead and make a difference.

There are many untold stories of women’s accomplishments in history. This month is dedicated to acknowledging and sharing those stories. Take a minute, pop over to your favorite web browser and type in “famous women’s accomplishments” and see what is possible. Women have played a tremendous role in history, now we just have to read about it.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra