In the halcyon days pre-tonsillectomy, pre-New Year detox, pre-holidaze, I spent some time perusing the blog of the great Gloria Feldt, bestselling author and former CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 2010, Seal Press released her latest book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. The book challenges women to rethink their part in perpetuating inequality. As our feminist foremother Sojourner Truth once said, in a quote that Feldt attaches to the book's prologue: "if women want any more rights than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it." Ouch. These are tough words for a shy activist who prefers blogging to marching.
Anyway, one of Feldt's 9 Ways is to Wear the Shirt. She writes:
Declare publicly your gut-level commitment to whatever you decide to do with your one "wild and precious life." What's happening and why? What's your vision of what you think should happen? How can you make it happen? Go stand in your power and walk with intention to make it so.
With that in mind, Feldt launched a contest in which fans sent in photos of themselves in message t-shirts. Her own shirt boasted Laurel Thacher Ulrich's motto "well-behaved women seldom make history." How could I resist the chance to share the photo that in the masthead for my website--that of my daughter in her great shirt from Sticker Sisters? I couldn't. I didn't. AND I WON!
Well, Miriam won. Cute feminist five-year-olds are pretty tough to beat. The prize was an autographed collection of Feldt's books, including the the spankin' new No Excuses, which is EXACTLY the kick in the butt I need during this dreadful time of year.
Even without tonsillectomy patients to care for, January is a tough month. The darkness! The cold! The eggnog bloat! The (hopefully) detoxifying salads! The last thing I want to think about is what's on my shirt--namely, The Radical Manuscript and my gut-level commitment to find it a publishing home. With Feldt's help I plan to stand in my power and quit making excuses for why I'm not yet the published author of my dreams.... that is, if I can wrestle the book out of a certain feminist five-year-old's grubby little hands.