Last night I took a trip in time travel with Stephanie Rule who narrated a documentary called On the Basis of Sex which looked at the people, places and events that shaped the American woman’s odyssey to become an equal citizen in her own country. The documentary beamed me up, Scottie and I looked down and back to see images no longer fresh but just as real as my participation in the women’s movement during the late 1960s through the failure of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982.
March is Women’s History Month, and we rightly honor the sacrifices of those women who refused to remain second class citizens and stood together to work for the common good so that all women might have freedoms to choose what happens with their own bodies, to choose who they love and marry, to choose where they work, to choose where they govern. I am Woman, hear me write.
Women today also look back to remind ourselves of our courage and strength in the midst of adversity. Luanne Castle’s award-winning book Kin Types is an example of a contemporary writer who is not afraid of looking back.
“Kin Types exhumes the women who have died long ago to give life to them, if only for a few moments. Through genealogical and historical research, Luanne Castle has re-discovered the women who came before her. Using an imaginative lens, she allows them to tell their stories through lyric poems, prose poems, and flash nonfiction.” (https://www.writersite.org)
Storytellers and storytelling – that’s what made On the Basis of Sex compelling for me last night and then another woman merrildsmith had this quote in her Monday Morning Musings titled “Art through Time and Space”: (https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com)
“I think the life of my community and most communities depends on the storytellers. We only know anything about the Roman Empire or about the lives of the people within the Greek polis from the plays that exist. We can find out from historical archives what laws were in place, but who they affected and how they affected those folks and those people – we only know from the stories and from the storytellers of that culture.”
–Tarell Alvin McCraney, playwright, from an interview on All Things Considered, March 2, 2019
I celebrate the storytellers today including Stephanie Rule who beamed me up with memories of game changing days gone by. Check her out on MSNBC.
Stay tuned here for a post on the first woman elected to Congress, Jeanette Rankin, coming soon. I leave you with a profound thought I read from yet another woman writer, Canadian Susan Nairn, on her blog “Polysyllabic Profundities” this morning:
“But time has a way of taking moments and turning them into memories in the blink of an eye.”