Daniel Suddeath

Daniel Suddeath

Where would we be without women?

It's a trite question, but one we should regularly ponder. Since it's Women's History Month, what better time than now to consider the contributions women make to our society.

My father was a hard-working, loyal and honorable man, but many of my personal traits (at least the good ones) are the result of the examples my mother provided.

She was a high school teacher for decades before ending her career in full-time education as a principal. She was the primary breadwinner of our household, and a woman who showed it is possible to follow your career dreams while also being a dedicated and exceptional mother.

Mom is a very independent and strong-willed person. Her father, at least in name only, was rarely around in her life, yet she didn't let that stop her from becoming a distinguished professional, a loving wife and an excellent mother. Those accomplishments were inspired in many ways by other strong women — my grandmother and great-grandmother.

The Glasgow Daily Times has some of the most talented and reliable employees I've worked with, and the majority of them are women. Four of the seven members of our editorial staff are women. Ten of the 16 full-time employees here are women. The president of our company, CNHI, is a woman.

I'm sure most of you also have ample reason to brag about your mother and/or your wife, sister, girlfriend ... etc. In many ways, we are drifting towards a society that frowns upon distinguishing differences between the sexes, but there should always be a recognition of what separates us as men and women. God didn't create one sex, or one race, or one culture, for a reason, and we shouldn't pretend that we're all the same.

But in terms of equal treatment under the law, respect for common decency and fair pay, we should all absolutely be on a level playing field. Yet in 2019, there are many men out there who just have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that women aren't always treated fairly.

According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women's median weekly pay was $171 less than men's in 2017. Men earned a median income per week of $941 compared to $770 for women. While the gap has narrowed over the years, there's still work to be done to ensure men and women are treated and paid equally by employers.

In Glasgow, more than 54 percent of our population is female according to the last U.S. Census Bureau study. Yet we have just three women on our city council and no women on the Barren County Fiscal Court.

The Oval Office has yet to be occupied by a woman, though certainly many with better qualifications than their male counterparts have sought the position.

Kentucky's first governor took office in 1792. Well over 200 years later, we've had just one woman serve as governor — Martha Layne Collins (1983-1987).

You get the point. We have two sexes, but one has been treated much differently than the other since the beginning of time.

While this is a great time to reflect on the contributions women have made in our past, what's most important is what happens in the future. It goes without saying, but none of us would be here without a woman carrying us inside of her for months and raising us when we couldn't even eat on our own.

No one sex should be viewed as better than the other, but we can celebrate what makes men and women unique while also striving for equitable treatment, pay and opportunity for everyone. This shouldn't be a complicated or controversial goal in 2019.

Suddeath is the editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. His column appears in the Thursday edition and at various times throughout the week. Reach him at 270-678-5171, or by email at dsuddeath@glasgowdailytimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @DsuddeathGDT.