Hello world! I have always been passionate about women’s rights issues. My parents raised me to live in an “equal” world and always told me I could do anything I wanted to do. It absolutely outraged me in high school when my orchestra director would ask “the boys” to move the chairs and stands. And while an undergraduate my mentor was a female band director who often spoke of her struggles as a woman in both academia and the band world. Although I feel somewhat more accepted as a woman in the orchestra world, it is frustrating to me that the band world remains such a boys’ club (and the orchestra world can be too…). And most recently I have started reading blogs/books about starting a family while in grad school or as a young professor (no I’m not announcing anything – just reading! :-) ). It continues to surprise me how even in 2012 women are blatantly discriminated against for wanting to have a family (denied a job because they’re pregnant, denied a leadership position because they ‘can’t spend enough time at school,’ etc).
So all of this is swirling in my mind and then I read the article “A historical view of women in music education careers” by Sondra W. Howe (2009). Although this was primarily a history, it opened my eyes to even more issues women have faced through the ages. It showed me just how far back these issues go and how some of them originated. In a profession that combines two professions historically dominated by women (music and education) it is amazing that we do not have more women in leadership positions (in NAfME and other national organizations). This led me to my next paper topic – or so I hope. I would like to investigate the history of female leadership and membership in ASTA. Based on cursory review of ASTA’s website and lists of past presidents it appears that women are far under-represented in the leadership realm. I am anxious to read and talk with recent female ASTA leaders to learn more about what one of my favorite professional organizations thinks/does regarding female representation and equality.