here in my mother's office, whiling away a slow afternoon, i've read about one excellently shrewd man and one popsicle.
when i met my delightful mother downtown she took me to lunch and peppered me with questions about the discussion group yesterday. she asked the same thing elke did: why is MTV worse than any other money-making corporate sleazebag TV station? when she wasn't picking up on details like that, she got positively starry eyed just listening. didn't you have consciousness-raising groups like that back in the day, i asked. cuz that's what we're told -- isn't that how the movement started? women everywhere suddenly drawn together, as though by the iron in their blood, and inspired to say in unison, "hey, what's with that only being able to be a secretary thing? why is my place necessarily in the home? why am i chattel?"
but apparently some women entirely missed the movement. my mother claims she did. she floundered after college -- no one thought to give her career advice in 1967 -- through jobs where the glass ceiling was hip-high, and, disgusted, enrolled in VISTA (which is now AmeriCorps.) the next few years she spent in the company of nuns and native americans, none of whom were on the cutting-edge of revolutionary thinking. it wasn't til she ended up in san francisco on a waterbed that it occurred to her to be a lawyer, cuz an all-male group of lawyer friends were serving draft dodger and conscientious objectors.
it astonishes me that, despite everything subtly feminist about her life those eight years between graduating college and marrying my father -- whom she met when she, representing the federal government, sued him, representing NM State -- she never draped over her business suit the purple big-F sash. talking to her now i feel like it's only in retrospect, and more ironically in dealings with her "third-wave" daughter, that she's beginning to consider it part of her identity. how many other women, you gotta wonder, are in a similar position?
maybe that's my calling: outreach to "second wavers" who missed the boat. or maybe just writing about them.
The Last City I Loved: Omaha, Nebraska
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