Monday, March 3, 2008

TOUR NOTES: Saturday with Alice Paul

It's always an immense pleasure to be invited by an organization to speak about Sisterhood, Interrupted, but when it's the Alice Paul Institute--located at Paulsdale, birthplace and farm home of 1st wave icon Alice Paul--the pleasure is double. (Thank you Kris, Dana, Rhonda, and Becky!)

The crowd was intergenerational to the nth degree, spanning at least six decades--14 to 74, I'd say. My host Kris Myers and I brushed up together on ERA history during the car ride to Paulsdale, as Alice was its original author back in 1923. The talk was held in the Double Parlor of the historic home, in front of the fireplace. Being there put the whole conversation in a context that went back to early 20th century. Kris talked about generational differences between Alice Paul's generation and Carrie Chapman Catt's. I talked about the recent ones. We talked A LOT about the election.

The audience included founders of the Institute, South Jersey NOW members, mothers and daughters--and the group discussion afterward just rocked my world. I think I managed to get the whole exchange on video (hope my fussing with my MacBook wasn't too distracting, to those of you who were there?!). I'm really interested in recording these intergen. convos this month whenever I can. I want them to have "legs," as we say, beyond my little talks. Stay tuned.

And hey, speaking of, if you know of any interesting additional footage of women across gens talking about feminism out there, I'd love to hear!


Renee Jones said...

What a wonderful afternoon we had with you at the Alice Paul Institute this last Saturday. We should be proud of our younger sisters in that they expect equality, a seat at the table and access as an entitlement. That's what we older feminists wanted. We shouldn't be envious, we should be proud that they feel empowered to do anything they want to do.

The younger generation, especially the Millenials are a lot more involved in giving back to the community that we ever were. And that lends to a more balanced life.

And let's not forget the young boys. I brought my son up to respect and treat women equally.
As a member of the Millenial generation, he and his women friends are going forward and tackling the final frontiers of women's equality.

Renee Jones

Deborah Siegel said...

Oh, Renee, you've entirely made my week! Thank you for your wonderful words. And your reminder about the boys -- so very key.

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