This month we celebrate National Women’s Month. The list of famous, brilliant and brave women who shaped history is long and should be honored.
In grade school, I remember being in awe of Marie Currie, a two-time Nobel Prize winner for her 1898 discovery and research into radium and the use of radiation to cure illness. Looking at old photos of her working in her lab seemed unreal as I sat in my little desk. I didn’t know then what I was feeling was inspiration.
In 1973, as a freshman in high school, I joined the 90 million people worldwide to watch Billie Jean King defeat Bobby Riggs in the now infamous “Battle of the Sexes.” As a budding feminist getting ready to meet the world with gusto, this was heady stuff. Doors opened for women athletes that had never before been cracked open.
In 1977 I started my education at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York which was a vibrant
“all girls” school. I took all the heckling I got from family and girlfriends that I was at “one of those schools” in stride. Thirty years ago, it was still out of the ordinary for a woman to be the president of her class or student government but not at Sage.
Once when I was shooting my mouth off about being a modern women and feminist, my mother gave me a long look and said, “You really think you’re the first? When I wanted to get married, I got married. When I wanted to have children, I had children. When I wanted to go to college, I went to college. And when I wanted to go out to work, I got a job.”
It was a solid reminder that we all have the opportunities to live our lives the way we want and make the choices we make, because of all the women pioneers and role models who have come before us.