Monday, September 1, 2008

Strong Women

In Women of Granite: 25 New Hampshire Women You Should Know andWomen of the Bay State: 25 Massachusetts Women You Should Know, all of our subjects fit the term, "strong women." By strong, I mean they worked to succeed in a field where only men had been allowed to succeed before. By strong, I mean they endured--through poverty, through illness, through social disapproval. By strong, I mean they spoke their minds in times when women were expected to keep silent. There are so many ways in which the women profiled were strong.

This weekend I was torn. Should I celebrate the selection of Sarah Palin for vice-president, simply because she would be making headway for women in the field of politics? She'd be a model for our children to emulate. She certainly speaks her mind. She's a STRONG WOMEN. But on the other hand, we are polar opposites in values and opinions. So, I'll simply say congratulations to her for a meteoric rise in the political scene.

My point in writing this is to say that in researching the women for my profiles, there were some I may not have picked as friends, but all of them garnered my respect for their accomplishments, and for their strength.

Let's celebrate women and do all we can not to reinforce stereotypes in our writing. Let's agree to disagree on issues. Most of all, let's keep an open mind.

Happy Labor Day! Here's a quote from one of the strong women I profiled, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn:
What is a labor victory? I maintain that it is a twofold thing. Workers must gain economic advantage, but they must also gain revolutionary spirit, in order to achieve a complete victory. For workers to gain a few cents more a day, a few minutes less a day, and go back to work with the same psychology, the same attitude toward society is to achieve a temporary gain and not a lasting victory.


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