Take action to meet your feminist icon

July 1972 issue of Ms.

July 1972 issue of Ms.

When I was a newly-minted college graduate, I filled a suitcase and a backpack, rolled up my sleeping bag and moved to New York City.

It was June of 1972, the year Ms. magazine began publishing, and I daydreamed about walking into the Ms. offices, meeting the iconic Gloria Steinem, and volunteering my services. But I was too chicken to do that.

Instead, I moved into a tiny Manhattan apartment, got an office job at Rockefeller Center, read a lot of depressing Existentialist writing, prowled around the city, and watched on the sidelines as New York women marched down Fifth Avenue one day that summer.

I thought of joining them, but I didn’t. I knew their causes were my causes. But instead of stepping into the street, I stood on the sidewalk and watched as the women swarmed past St. Patrick’s and Saks and the Channel Gardens.

I remember watching the marchers with curiosity and interest. I remember wondering who they were and where they hung out and where they were headed that day. 

I was too afraid to discover the answers to my questions — although I never identified my feeling as fear at the time. 

I have few regrets in life, but not joining that march is one of them. Feeling too timid to volunteer at Ms. magazine is another.

The moral of my story is this: Don’t let fear keep you still or silent.  Take action. Speak out. You might get to meet an icon of your own.


6 Responses

  1. Oh Paula… If only Virginia Woolf had been alive, I’m sure nothing would have stopped you 🙂

  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Interesting that you would mention Woolf today. Here’s a link to a story on inspirational feminists, and Woolf, of course, is among them: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/24/inspirational-feminists-readers-nominations

  3. […] you’re saying Paula Maggio on Take action to meet your feminist iconCaroline Drotar on Take action to meet your feminist iconBrigid Keely on Some feminist thought […]

  4. I love your blogs. I just finished teaching Introduction to Women’s Studies for the summer. I discussed with my students what do you care enough about to do something. By the end of the session many had an issue. One group made birthing kits for women in Africa, another woman was really excited about ending sex slavery in the United States. Think about what excites you, find out about and try to join a group that is working on it.

  5. […] Maggio I have feminist icons on my mind. That’s why after mentioning them in a recent post on another blog, I keep bumping into examples of who these icons actually are and what they are […]

  6. interesting talk
    Where here against authority
    Good luck

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