March 7 - Today's post provided by Tanya Lee Stone
So Many Women, So Little Time
Now those roots nurture the directions my own branches stretch. Sometimes it’s deep into our past with women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Jane Addams in the picture books I write. And sometimes it’s the not-so-distant-past with women like the “Mercury 13” who helped break down the gender boundaries in our space program and pave the way for women astronauts. Spending time with many of these women, whose story I told in Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, illustrated the fact that women shape our world in a broad variety of ways. There is no one “type” of feminist and all who strive for change are to be celebrated.
That idea was further cemented as I sat in a room last year filled with hundreds of women, all in attendance to hear Gloria Steinem speak. At the end of her moving lecture—delivered with the ease of a confident soul—she invited anyone to come to the microphone and state her own ideas for change. As the line began to grow and weave around the back of the room, and the ideas began to flow, the realization that women make history in every community, every day, moved me to tears.
The icing on the cake? I met Ms. Steinem afterwards and handed her a copy of Almost Astronauts. She looked at it and said, “Oh! I am so excited that you wrote this story!” I then showed her my source note citing the 1973 article about these women in her Ms. magazine. She smiled and handed me a signed copy of her book, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. It wasn’t the torch being handed from one woman to another—it was the acknowledgement that we are all in this feminism and women’s history work together.
I know I am not alone in the fact that many, many women helped shape my own ideals—just as many, many women helped shape theirs. It is this far-reaching, intimate, and intricate sisterhood of the world that I am both fascinated by and grateful for—and so I say to all of you, Happy Women’s History Month!