Feminism and a Treasured Macramé


TODAY WOMEN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, and indeed the world, are marching in protest of the presidency and values of Donald Trump. I'm very proud of friends and relatives, both women and men, who are among them-- and especially sorry that I did not manage to join them.

I am looking at a beautiful macramé that was given to me by a student many years ago, around the time of the struggle for an Equal Rights Amendment that we couldn't believe would not be approved by all the states. If we had managed to get the ERA in place, perhaps it would make us feel more secure today, in fending off the values of this horrifying new presidency. The struggle continues! I have often wished that I could remember the name of the student who, décades ago, gave me this lovely piece of macramé; I would love to be able to thank her, and show her how much I have treasured it. For decades, until I retired in 2006, it hung in my office at SUNY Oneonta, adorned with pins and emblems from our many "Women's Weeks" and Women's Studies events --and since then it has hung in my home, next to these childhood photos of Sam and Zoe Mendez, two of my five wonderful grandchildren--all five of whom have grown up to be people with shining character and values that make me feel grateful to know them. Though I am sorry not to be marching today, this is my small gesture of solidarity: to wrap up this treasured macramé with its feminist symbols from past campaigns (feminist ecologist was my favorite!), and send it to my amazingly wise and talented granddaughter, Zoe Jane Mendez. I hope she will enjoy having this reminder of how far back the struggle for gender equality goes, and that it will encourage her to keep on fighting for social justice and equal rights for all, and for the fulfillment of all her wonderful gifts.

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