2010 Cindy Morris - Boulder, Colorado
Words of Women 2010 Essay of the Year
A Place at the Table
Last year as the most important presidential campaign of our time was reaching its climax, Gloria Steinem came to Colorado to campaign for Barrack Obama. Gloria, as the preeminent leader of the feminist movement, creator of Ms. Magazine and tireless speaker on women’s equality, had been a Hillary supporter until all hope was lost for that possibility, at lest for now. Gloria, in her infinite wisdom, not abandoning her passionate desire to see a woman as leader of the western world, and possibly the planet, did what any sane person would do - get behind the next best person, the man who was to become America’s first president of color than pinkish-white.
Gloria was in town for four days and because I volunteered to help with set-up and such through my affiliation with Boulder Business and Professional Women, I got to see her and hear her speak at to different intimate events, up close and personal. Hearing Gloria speak (and everyone called her Gloria as if she as their best friend and next door gossip neighbor) was life transforming for me as the Bruce Springsteen concert of years before which prompted me to sell my business and make all kind of important life –altering changes with life-long implications.
Gloria was so lovely. Unlike her co-feminists now long gone, Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, also brilliant women in their own right and leaders in women’s fight for equality, who could be pretty rough around the edges, pumped with rightful anger, frustration and rage, Gloria was as gentle as a summer breeze, quiet as a deer. She filled the rooms with her own brand of passion, hr intelligence, her calm fearlessness, her complete comfort in knowing she was right, all done with the grace and elegance of Aphrodite herself.
Dressed down in a brown, ribbed, long sleeved T-shirt and brown corduroy pants, her hair loose and relaxed, she was there for one thing and one thing alone: to remind each and every one of us that we have a voice and we have the right and obligation to speak our voice. That we were to get out and vote and get everyone we knew to get out and vote. She answered each question wither characteristic upbeat, affirming answers that we must never give up insisting on claiming our equality in all things, great and small, that we deserve a place at the power table of political and social rights, where decisions are made that affect each and every being on Earth. And that it is up to each of us to claim our place.
Women cried. Women applauded. Women were hushed in a single breath by her wisdom, her contained passion, and her complete room-filling love. And then she ended her talk saying that se looked forward to the day that a single, female, Pagan became president of the U.S. Then she would know she had really done her work.
Gloria has made a place for each of us at the table, I, for one, am taking my place
Cindy Morris, Wise Woman - Boulder, Colorado