“Because my mother was a manual laborer, she’d flex her biceps I’d feel her muscles, hard as wood. Because my mother is the strongest, fiercest person I’ve ever known.”…
“Because every day after working overtime painting houses, my mother would cook my brother and me a meal and help us do our homework. Because when I visited my father’s empty mansion I was expected to cook for myself and babysit.”
“Because as an undergrad, I worked for $3.35 per hour and every day as I walked down College Ave. wearing my work uniform, men would pull their cars over and ask me how much. Because if I had a dollar for every would-be rapist I’ve ever met.”
“Because the first time I fell in love was with a boy with a cocked eyebrow and a Hitler youth haircut who earned himself a thousand dollars by sending a picture of naked me to a men’s magazine.”
“Because when my daughter was eleven, a boy at school put his hand on her shoulder and said, “Did you know that 99% of all rapes begin with some kind of casual contact?” Because he said it was a joke.”
“Because every woman I’ve ever known, no matter how smart and strong and capable, has had to consider exactly how she could live without a man. Because some women could never find an answer.
Because it’s time to try something different.”
Some facts that you might not know about. Well now you do.
Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.
Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.
Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.
Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.
Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…
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