Are You Surprised To Learn I Was An Early Feminist?

When I left the bucolic countryside of my high school years behind, I enrolled at Russell Sage College in urban Troy, New York which was, and until this year, a women’s college.

During the late 70’s, I learned about and embraced “Feminism” which shaped my state of mind and body.

I became an ardent defender of women’s rights, pro-choice and equal pay for equal work. I roared to the world, especially to my 1950’s parents, about my new ideals and thoughts about a woman’s place in the world and my very bright and enlightened future.

My mother, in particular, found humor in my feminist musings and laughed about how every generation think’s it’s the first to have a profound idea and intentions to change the course of history.

One day, when I really got on her nerves, after taking a breath to calm down, this is what she told me:

“When I wanted to go to work, I went to work.” (1952)

“When I wanted to get married, I got married.” (1954)

“When I wanted kids, I had kids.” (1958)

“When I wanted to go to college, I went to college.” (1969)

You, Joanne, come from a long line of independent women. Welcome to the club.”

That was the first time it started to dawn on me that I had control over my life and my future.
Some periods and struggles were pretty tough, but I kept going and achieved. I also know my Mom was always right beside me.

Updated: June 16, 2019

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