Daniel Patrick Moynihan's vision of women's equality, higher education and America's need to provide greater leadership opportunities to women resonates to this second.
A new book - "Daniel Patrick Moynahan - A Portrait Of An American Visionary In Letters" - propels his insight to the here and now.
Moynahan was Counselor To The President in 1969 when he observed : "The essential fact is that we have educated women for equality in America, but have not really given it to them. Not at all. Inequality is so great that the dominant group either doesn't notice it, or assumes the dominated group likes it that way.
Thus higher education subtly perpetuates the notion that women have equal rights, but not really equal potentialities, etc.
I am no great fancier of India or Ceylon. But consider the apparent ease with which those countries have accepted female heads of state. Consider how odd the idea of a lady president would be to us. I repeat : Male dominance is so deeply a part of American life that males don't even notice it."
America still trails a global roster of nations who have elected women to the highest levels of government, including Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, Argentina, Bolivia, The Philippines, Nicaragua, Israel, Finland, Indonesia, Liberia and Chile.
Hillary Clinton - whose 2 terms as a United States Senator from New York (succeeding Senator Moynihan) and 8 years in the White House as First Lady set the stage of her run for President in 2008 - received some very prejudiced treatment in mainstream, cable and web media, which contributed mightily to her heartbreaking loss of the Democratic Presidential Nomination to Obama, who went on to win the election. America proved - nearly 40 years after Moynihan's description - that it is still not ready to elect a woman with overwhelming qualifications and merit to be President.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was named to replace Mrs. Clinton in the Senate following Hillary's run for the White House and stunning appointment by Obama as Secretary Of State, is the vibrant, shimmering epitome of the modern progressive woman. Her generation of women is totally committed to advancing the cause of Women's Rights and equality around the world.
While women have made considerable strides in business and the law, there is still pervasive discrimination at the top. The higher the level of power and responsibility, the fewer women there are to be found. Average pay for women in America is 77 cents to the dollar earned by men. Canada is even lower, at 69 cents. In most of the world, social and economic standards for women remain a tremendous cause for concern and the need for permanent, widespread change.
Moynihan was Assistant Secretary of Labour under President Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to The United Nations, U.S. Ambassador to India and 4 term United States Senator from New York, along with his time in the White House. His academic background includes Harvard, The London School of Economics, MIT, Wesleyan and Tufts University. His worldliness, vision and compassion made him a signal intellectual beacon - from the post WW II era to the dawn of the 21st century.
The volume of Moynahan's visionary views serves as another wake up call to American society - and far too much of the world - that Women's Rights, from the most prestigious positions to the most simple walks of life, are still in very great need of recognition and reaslisation.