You can vote. You can work. You can own property. You aren't considered property.
And as of today, if you are lucky enough to be the firstborn to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you can become the Queen of England. Even if you have brothers who come along later. Even if you end up wanting to marry a Catholic boy someday too (I hear they're the greatest).
Read the full story here.
Add this latest development to the 12,323,546 reasons I love Kate Middleton. It's not like she proposed this legislation, but her addition to the royal family has really shaken things up. She's a commoner. She's educated. She lived with Prince William before they got married. She told a college friend that he was lucky to be going out with her. Basically, she is a modern woman. I have difficulty believing she'd be happy with such a sexist law in place once these two start having babies.
Plus, her style is totally bringing classy back, but that's beside the point of this post.
The fact of the matter is, the ladies of the the British monarchy have really kept the institution afloat over the past century or so.
The men have been up to all kinds of shenanigans over the years -- Google it, it's too exhausting to discuss -- but the ladies hold down the fort (or the empire, if you will).
Queen Elizabeth II is the second-longest reigning monarch in British history, trailing only Queen Victoria. She has seen the country through multiple crises and wars, and she never seems to bat an eyelash. She is, quite simply, the most awesome old lady in the world (if Ann Sailor or Nancy Byham were old ladies, they might give her a run for her money -- but they're not).
And when you think of the eras of English history, which come to mind the most readily? Oh, that's right -- the Tudor, Elizabethan, and Victorian eras. The Tudor era is mostly famous because King Henry VIII couldn't make up his mind and kept divorcing and murdering his wives. The other two, led by women? Oh, you know, they just include Shakespeare and the Spanish Armada and the Pax Brittanica and some of the greatest times of peace and prosperity and culture in the United Kingdom.
Just those few things.
Now, let's not misunderstand. Men are great, and there are literally thousands of examples of their fantastic leadership (heyyy Founding Fathers). But in the rare historic cases where women have been thrust into positions of power, the plain and simple truth is that they just know how to get things done and keep the peace. Oh, and they are undeniably better-behaved. That is not even up for debate.
Prince William has been a notable exception to the man-scandals of the royal family (in sharp contrast to my beloved Prince Harry, who really needs a good woman), so I'm certain if they have a firstborn son, that little guy would grow up to be a great King.
But if they have a girl, that little Princess of Wales will now get the same chance to lead.
And back to the Founding Fathers -- they didn't do it alone, you know. Their wives exerted considerable influence over them. And they wanted more of it. Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John:
"In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors... Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."
And carry on looking fabulous too.