Frida & Phyllis…

June 6th, 1907 is Frida Kahlo’s birthday. She truly was a women so extraordinarily ahead of her time. Her example of individuality, boundless creativity, courage, and resilience is needed now more than ever. Frida’s influence throughout the world is a marvel.

Frida, please help me understand, why it’s taking so damn long to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? Phyllis, I’m well aware of why after doing some research.

https://www.equalrightsamendment.org/the-equal-rights-amendment

EQUALITY OF RIGHTS under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

I needed to learn more about the history of the opposition to the ERA. Feminism, Gloria Steinem, ERA—these were almost dirty words when I was growing up in South Dakota in the 70s and 80s. I was told that it was Phyllis Schlafly who had womanhood and traditional gender roles all figured out.

I’m a feminist and I was a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes I dreamed of working, while my working friends dreamed of being home. Many Dads worked part-time or at home. The kids were fine. Marriages survived. We didn’t have a culture war. And yet…100 years later, the same crap is still being debated and the Equal Rights Amendment has not been ratified. EQUALITY WILL RUIN FAMILIES, REALLY?

The Equal Rights Amendment to me seems like a matter of simple legislative “housekeeping” just as Phyllis Schlafly thought women should be delighted to do at all times. Only one more state is required to ratify the ERA…come on Virginia…Arizona?

A few details about Phyllis Schlafly’s life were conveniently left out of her anti-ERA messaging. Perhaps a classic case of, “do as I say, not as I do”. I doubt it would have changed anything though? She certainly was a brilliant grass roots organizer and marketer. I have to give her credit where credit is due.

Phyllis Schlafly had her law degree and according to her LA Times September 5, 2016 obituary: “Critics said that though Schlafly presented herself as a traditional homemaker, she often traveled, had a full-time housekeeper and a personal assistant, and a resume that most feminists would envy.”

LEARN MORE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Schlafly

So, while thinking about womanhood and the examples of Frida & Phyllis, i realized that they have both been inspiration to me—in very different ways.

Sometimes, we’re inspired by someone and their life just ignites our imagination. Other times we need someone/something to push against, so our own views and voice can emerge with more clarity and depth.

Thank you Frida & Phyllis.

LEARN MORE: https://www.frida-kahlo-foundation.org/

“At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can.” ―Frida Kahlo

Is there a right amount of navel gazing?

I heard an interview with Jessica Lamb-Shapiro who wrote: “PROMISE LAND My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture” on NPR that re-aired recently and it really struck me that we spend so much time trying to figure ourselves out…is it working?  I don’t want to sound preachy.  I am very much all in with the personal discovery stuff.  ALL IN.  I have just decided to read fewer books of the self-help ilk and dive into more fiction and storytelling this year. Erica Jong’s “Fear of Flying” in on my bedside table right now. A great start to a year of fiction.

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Here’s the link to Jessica Lamb-Shapiro’s interview:

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/22/264878772/skeptic-takes-a-tour-of-self-helps-promise-land

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In Jessica’s interview she quotes the philosopher Marcus Aurelius Roman Emperor and Philosopher as having as good of information as anyone about life.  I found this quote that really resonated me.

“You have power over your mind—not outside events.

Realize this, and you will find strength.”

—Marcus Aurelius

Trying to directly quote anyone based on 4th Century scholars has some challenges—these words are attributed to him anyway. Thank you Mr. Aurelius.

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