"She became a feminist!" whispered in disgust. That was the rumor about me when I, an adult in my 20s, left the strict religious cult in which I was raised. Friends with contacts still in the group told me I was quite the topic of conversation for a while.
I had not, in fact, "become" a feminist. I simply was one. My mom was a closet feminist. She wouldn't admit it, of course, but she was far from the submissive little "woman girl" her religion dictated. I never understood that about her - how such an intelligent and strong woman got caught up in a cult where women were subservient. But, that's a story for another time.
My sister, Megan, and I made our first feminist stand when we were kids. The girls in the family were tasked with washing dishes every night. Every night. For seven people. And, the boys? Their job was to take the garbage out to the can and then once a week haul the can to the road for pickup. Really?
Megan and I went on strike. And, guess what? It worked. After that, every other week the boys had to take their turn with dishes and Meg and I took care of the garbage. We never looked back.
Two Women, Two Icons
We recently lost two women who impacted the lives of women around the world in different ways - Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Helen Reddy.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) dedicated herself to fighting for justice and promoting gender equality. After all - that's what feminism is. Feminism is fair and equal treatment regardless of gender.
RBG worked as long as she could in her fight for justice. I'll never forget her.
Helen Reddy's death hit me in a personal way. I was coming of age when her anthem "I am Woman" came out. The words were mine.
I remember my mom making fun of the song. She said, "No one is invincible." God is the only invincible, of course. Gotcha, Mom. I have no doubt she purposely missed the point. Her religion forced that.
I feel a great sense of loss when I think about these women who did so much for us. And, I am frightened about the strong possibility that we will soon lose much they, and we fought for.
We'll have to "Come back even stronger" and hope our younger sisters join the fight.