Celebrating local women for Women’s History Month
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I would like to give you my two cents. I am sure you all have been waiting for this column for the past 30 days.
This month we lost two remarkable women. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Kessler Memorial Hospital Chairwoman Dorothy Berenato.
They were forthright women who led with a quiet force that brooked no argument.
As a young girl, my father always called me “young Maggie Thatcher.”
Pretty much every teacher called me “bossy” and said I “talked too much.” Shocking, right?
While there is a biological difference between males and females, I don’t believe we should use gender-biased descriptions for young people.
A girl who organizes her classmates for a group project may be called “bossy,” but a boy who does may be called “ a natural leader.”
I would like to see to it that every man who watches his children while his partner is not with him, stop saying he is “babysitting” his kids. They are your kids. You are parenting. Although to be honest, I have heard women say they have to “babysit” their kids. And I felt it each time that the comment was pretty ridiculous.
But I digress.
Hammonton has been home to some pretty remarkable women living here. And Hammonton women have a certain way of being. If you know, you know. Don’t believe me? Ask their spouses, children or relatives.
I can easily name 30 women who have shaped the town and were instrumental in positive change in the community.
Here are just a few remarkable women (all of whom have passed): Irma Adams, Anna Bertino, Irma Tilton, Dorothy Berenato, Juliet Falciani, Annetta Crowley, Ida Rider, Lillian Jackson, Christine Massarelli and Charlotte Cushman.
That is why I am asking in 2023, that the town and maybe the schools, showcase some of the phenomenal women who left an indelible mark on the town.
I would start with Anna Bertino and Irma Adams.
We need to celebrate the accomplishments of women in Hammonton and show their mark on Hammonton’s history.
The next generation needs to learn Hammonton’s history. We are products of the people who walked before us.
So many of the stories of the women who came before us have been lost to time due to the patriarchal nature of previous generations and centuries.
We owe it to these local women to share their accomplishments with the next generation. There is a lot that can be learned from their experiences in Hammonton and beyond it that could guide us in the future.
Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette and in 2021 won two awards for investigative journalism.