I'm so excited to go for dinner with the women of NOW before my reading at Border's in Jersey on Monday! Judith Glick Buckman, one of the founders of the Alice Paul Chapter - which is one of the oldest and largest chapters, I believe - wrote a very moving letter about intergenerational issues, and her experiences. Here's Judy:
When I was 7 months pregnant I attended a National NOW conference. My daughter, who is now 31, literally got feminism with her mother’s milk and attended many demonstrations in her stroller holding a picket sign.
My greatest fear is that she, like so many women of her generation, assume the battles have been won and due to this complacence, their tenuous right to choose will be pulled out from under them before they know what hit them, much less have the skills or the willingness to counter attack.
I’ve been an activist with South Jersey NOW—Alice Paul chapter for more than 30 years. The good news AND the bad news, is that we are a multi-generational group of women and men from the teen-aged years to the 80s. While we do our best to work together to ensure equal rights, sometimes that goal seems more difficult to achieve than our ongoing battles against the conservative forces in this country.
Based on Deborah Siegel’s insight into this situation and her determination to serve as an interpreter between the second and third waves of feminism, I am excited and confident that her book will be an invaluable guide enabling us to bridge that divide.
When I was the age my daughter is now, I had no idea what gifts awaited me through my women’s right activism--nothing else in my life has given me the same sense of power, accomplishment, sisterhood and satisfaction, which I quite literally could not have imagined in my 20’s. Apart from the great changes to society that the second wave has accomplished, the act of fighting the battles has been one of the most positive and enriching forces in my life.
Deborah Siegel’s message is one that all who care about women’s rights, regardless of age, needs to hear. As well as alerting my daughter’s generation that we need to fight the rest of the battles together, my most fervent wish is that Ms. Siegel’s book will teach those of us in the second wave, how to pass the torch in a way that will not extinguish the flame.
Thank you, Judy! How I loves me that metaphor - passing the torch without extinguishing the flame....Much food for thought. Readers, your thoughts?