GENE ROBERTSON: Women should be celebrated year-round

Monday, March 28, 2011 | 4:44 p.m. CDT

I recently encountered one of my daughter’s dear friends. She is a teacher who proudly told me of her coming deployment to Afghanistan. I wanted to tell her I wish I could replace her so that she could stay home with her little girl. Instead, I responded to her enthusiasm to serve her country by wishing her well while trying to hold back my tears.

In this Woman’s History Month, we celebrate the service, contributions and presence of women of the world from the beginning of time until now. We should recommit ourselves to erase the lines of difference that prevent everyone from reaching her maximum potential and to compensate everyone fairly. We must remind ourselves that there would be no need for special months if we had not made distinctions in how we regarded and treated people. Women’s History Month ought to remind us of that.

The greatness of women does not lie in just how close women approximate men in their thoughts and actions but in the integrity of the unique qualities they bring to the world as women.

There are many women whom I could list as notables who enhance our lives, but I would leave out some deserving names. Let me say that every mother, daughter, wife, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, friend, co-worker and acquaintance ought to be encouraged, celebrated and supported.

Until we complete our mission to equalize the world's bounty and responsibility, let's join in celebrating Women’s History Month with smiles, flowers, pleasant greetings, hugs and kisses that may help to say we value and respect women. Not just in March, but always, because they were and are special.

“I'm just trying like everyone else.” — Oprah Winfrey

William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and MU professor emeritus.

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