At the time I was very active in a now defunct club in Denver that worked on women’s pocket book issues. The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Downtown Denver was one of many groups in Colorado that grew out of a national movement started in 1919, as women stepped up to support the nations efforts in World War I. As men went off to war, women went to work to keep the economy humming. The vision of BPW nationally has always been equality for women, especially when it comes to things like equal pay for equal work.
There was a national BPW convention in Nashville, TN the year that Geraldine Ferraro was placed on the Democratic Party ticket by Walter Mondale. There was palpable excitement in the air when convention attendees learned that Ferraro would address the convention. She wasn’t there in person, but appeared on a jumbo TV monitor. She gave us hope that the glass ceiling could be shattered, and that women could do anything in America. We hung on every word, and cheered when the presentation was over. It was a very heady moment in time.
She opened the door for other women to run for high office. Without Geraldine Ferraro there wouldn’t have been a Carol Mosley Braun or Cynthia McKinney—two black women who ran for president, one as a Democrat and one on the Green Party ticket. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are standing on the shoulders of Geraldine Ferraro as they flirt with seeking the Republican nomination. Of course the woman who came closest to becoming president is Hillary Clinton. Hillary is a force of nature--I suspect that if Ferraro hadn’t already kicked the door open for women, Hillary would have done so.
Thank you, Geraldine Ferraro, for all that you did for women. Good Bye, and rest in peace.
History of BPW