I have a secret passion. I love to read the journals that have been published hundreds of years ago. Especially, before women’s rights and our obtaining the vote with the passage of the nineteenth amendment. This is where you hear the truth in women’s stories, uncensored and unfiltered. In these journals and diaries are the words the tears couldn’t express. Women’s lives so often are filled with silent screams. Feminism means to be able to articulate a self-consciousness about women’s identity. An Identity not defined by the man, husband or father in her life. Not identified by how clean her house is or how quiet and well-scrubbed her children are.
In these journals I have found women’s stories to be presented only as they relate to the events of men’s lives. In truth, these stories are tales of courage and strength we can only imagine since things have changed since the 1890’s.
Deborah Cameron has written, “What does it mean to be unambiguously a woman?” It means to put a man at the center of one’s story and to allow only what honors his prime position. At this present time, many men are looking to put women back into this role. It is a role we must not accept, as we have our own stories to write as much as they do.
Autobiographies of women too often show images of denying both accomplishment and suffering. Yet these are the meat of women’s stories. Now that there is a growing wish to silence women once again, and put us in our place, I believe we need to speak up without hesitation. Our words will be the light shining forth to future generations of women and men.
” The Moon is always female.”—Marge Piercy