Hearts Through History Romance Writers

You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby. . .

by | March 16, 2012 | 24 comments

I’m jealous of my twenty year old daughter. Makes me sound mean and nasty, doesn’t it? Oh, I’m not jealous of her youth, or glowing skin. I invoke no envy at her lack of adult responsibilities, or good health, or pretty face.  No, none of these things squeeze my green streak.

What makes that said green streak glow with energy is thoughts of all the opportunities available to her and her generation.

Does she appreciate that I stood on the Court House steps back in the late 70’s and waved my burning bra at the TV cameras?  How much awe does she hold me in for being thrown into a paddy wagon with other ERA fanatics?  Sorry—did I say fanatics? I misspoke.

Those were the days. Women had not been so stirred up since the Suffragettes painted signs, left their disapproving husbands to get their own dinner, and marched to the beat of a different drummer. Women have rights, they should be allowed to vote, to hold public office, to smoke cigars, if they wish. (Note: The resulting bad breath is not worth it.)

Those women were my grandmother and great-grandmother. If the trait to rebel runs in the family, it ran past my mother, an ultra conservative—don’t rattle the cage woman. Although, from what her younger sister once let slip, Mother did have a somewhat racy youth.  By the time I met her though, she was all motherhood, apple pie, and church on Sundays.

I joined the ERA movement to push for equal rights for women. We wanted to be able to do what men were allowed to do by birth right. We wanted to fight in the military, wrestle the bad guys to the ground, and fill our own gas tanks. Except for the time I stopped to fill my tank, and met up with two other women who juggled laundry, babies, and adding oil to their car, and air to their tires. When we said we wanted to do it all, we didn’t mean all at the same time.

I tend to write strong women in my Historical novels. Tori Henderson, from A Run For Love is only twenty-two when she jumps on a train in the Oklahoma Land Run to secure a plot of land to make a home for the four nieces and nephews she’s inherited. Her youngest niece, Ellie Henderson, in A Wife By Christmas, is all grown up and fighting for equal rights, which is why she’s at odds with her very straight laced supervisor, Max.

So here’s to my daughter’s generation. When you slip on those combat boots, climb the ladder into the burning house, stare down your opposing attorney in court, or finish up that heart operation, remember to thank your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Ya couldn’t have done it without them.

Now you understand why I envy my daughter. She has all these opportunities. Thankfully, she’s making use of it, as a Law Enforcement major at Oklahoma State University. She’s a kick ass kind of gal—no surprise there, after all she comes from a long line of kick ass women.

You can catch Callie hanging out on FB (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Callie-Hutton/206166449404454), Twitter, @CallieHutton, and her website: www.calliehutton.com


  1. Joy Dent

    Great post Callie,

    The gals in your family a quite impressive, even your conservative mom! You have reason to be proud! Best to your Law Enforcement major daughter!


    • Callie Hutton

      Thanks for stopping by, Joy.

  2. Neecy Kelly

    They might have a ton of opportunities we didn’t have, but I don’t think I would like to face what our children have to face in this day and age.
    From one kick butt gal to another,

    • Callie Hutton

      Hey Denice, thanks for stopping in. I don’t know, I spend all lot of time at the high school, and I have a great deal of faith in the next generation. And don’t forget for them, this will be the good old days.

  3. BJ Scott

    Great post Callie and so true about the opportunities, but the world has changed so much, not sure I want to be twenty again. ummm mabe 35 😉

    • Callie Hutton

      I don’t know, B. J., to me there’s never been a more exciting time to be a young person. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Meggan Connors

    Great post, Callie! It’s true there are a lot more opportunities for me than there were for my grandmother. And trust me, I’m grateful for it!

    Have a great day!

    • Callie Hutton

      Hey Meggan. Glad you’re taking advantage of all your opportunities. Thanks for stopping in.

  5. Angelyn

    great post and so very true.

    • Callie Hutton

      Hey Angelyn. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ella Quinn

    When I was in high school and college (the first time) my choices were teacher, secretary and nurse. None of them appealed to me, I wanted to be a lawyer. The list of what I couldn’t do, even getting a job pumping gas, is so long I’m not going to mention it. I finally got to law school at the age of 35. Women today have many more opportunities than they did before, but their rights are still under attack. Not only my generation, but all generations of women cannot afford to rest on laurels of previous generations.

    • Callie Hutton

      I hear ya, Ella. That’s all that was available for young ladies then. Oh, there were a few who went against the tide, but they were few and far between.

      Thanks for stopping in.

  7. Jody

    Nice post. i remember sitting at my daughters high school fastpitch baseball game thinking how when I was in high school back int he 60’s that there was no sports like this for girls. Sure we had intermural but it was only if there was room in the gym after the boys. I remember sitting at the movie A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN with my daughter trying to get her to understand how important this was in for women and becasue they did what they did, was why she could be playing ball as the norm today.

    Not to get political but it seems like all we did in the 60’s for Women’s Rights with the ERA is being attack with bills on the state levels to attack women’s rights and our daughters today need to speak up and out so we don’t have a return to all we have fought against.

    • Callie Hutton

      So true, Jody. We can never become complacent, because there are those who would like to see us all in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.

  8. Calisa Rhose

    I’m right there with ya, Callie. I have three daughters and though I never did any of those things you did, I support each and every one of you who stood up for us all. 🙂

    • Callie Hutton

      Good to hear, Calisa. But we have to remain vigilant, or everything could be chiseled away, little by little. Thanks for coming by.

  9. Ally Broadfield

    Love it! I remember my mom telling me that the only sport at her high school for girls was cheerleading. She was envious of all the options we had and really pushed us to try different sports. I’m thankful I did. Who wants to stand around and cheer for boys when you can go out and win your own games!

  10. Callie Hutton

    Same for my high school years. Cheerleading was it. And in gym class, we had to wear skirts with bloomers under them (Catholic High School). And no, it wasn’t the 1920s. This was the late 1960s.

  11. ChristineWarner

    Enjoyed this post! Hope your daughter and all our daughters realize how far we’ve come and appreciate all the ladies of the past!

    • Callie Hutton

      I know my daughter appreciates it because I’ve been telling her for years, lol.

  12. Susan Macatee

    What a great post, Callie! I love to write my historical heroines to be more than they can be, too. They’re always working in supposed ‘mens’ professions in the 19th century. And they never let a man tell them what to do. Even the hero! lol

    • Callie Hutton

      Hey Susan. I agree. The few historicals (and one contemporary) where the heroine didn’t start out strong, she was sure that way by the end.

  13. Susan Muller

    Great post. In 1963, with a husband in law school and a new baby, all I wanted was the promotion I was entitled to. But nope,I might have to walk through the warehouse and the men there would whistle and they had pictures of nude women hanging on the walls. Also, I would have to travel and the bosses wife wouldn’t like that.

    Times have changed, not all for the better, but I wouldn’t want to go back.

    • Callie Hutton

      I know things were much harder for us in the 60s-80s, but how much worse for our grandmothers who had very few options. My grandmother was one of the first women to train at Julliard School of Music, and sang in Carnegie Hall. Then she married and left her career for motherhood. Such a shame.



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