June's theme is "Choices and Risks" What is a choice you made or risk you took that you feel proud about? Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to email@example.com Deadline: May10, 2017
July's theme is A Day in a Life " What was a pivotal, turning-point day in your life? What difference did it make?" Tell us about it. Send up to 150 words to firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline: June 10, 2017
Each month we ask our readers to respond to a question. For May we asked: How would you like your generation of women to be remembered?
Open minded and evolving It is my hope that my generation of women who call themselves feminists will be remembered as those who learned from mistakes made by earlier waves of feminism that failed to be inclusive and open-minded about race, sexuality and gender. My hope is that my generation of women will be remembered for demanding justice not only for ourselves, but also for our sisters and brothers who also struggle for liberation, fairness and equality. To be remembered as those who showed up, listened, were willing to learn and change ourselves to evolve our ideas, beliefs and social justice actions. To be remembered as grateful to political activists of the past who paved paths that would not otherwise have been available to us, but also were able to see other routes worth exploring, and stayed curious about our roles, our own cultures and that of others.
Molly Stern, Minneapolis
Feminist impact My generation should be remembered for creating a new wave of the women's movement, concentrating on equality for women. A recent women's discussion group here in Minneapolis marveled not only at how their daughters and granddaughters had very different expectations and outlooks on life because of the women's movement of our generation, but also that they were more realistic and mature than their male peers. I also believe that without the activism of our generation we would not have had our current focus on sexual and other forms of violence against women.
Obviously discrimination against women is still a problem, but Title IX has made women students a majority in many law and medical schools, and given women's sports a place in schools and in the sports pages. Women's pay equity is still an issue, but our recent president made it a national issue and the backlash against feminism showed we made an impact. Onward and upward!
Arvonne Fraser, Minneapolis
Unapologetic I would like my generation of women remembered as women to be reckoned with (and who aren't afraid of ending a sentence with a preposition). We are unapologetic for expecting equal pay for equal work. We are women whose adolescence was fashioned by Neil Young and "Catch-22" and denim, and whose language as adult women is a weaving of words like "cardio workout," "anti-depressant," "jump drive," "Roth IRA," "I can do it myself" - and "I can't do it by myself."
Our voices and touch can be softer than pima cotton. We are our mothers; we are not our mothers. We've swapped girdles for Spanx, Swanson's TV dinners for Lean Cuisine, hair spray for "hair product," car seat covers for car seats. To some historians we're Baby Boomers or Old Hippies. We're neither. We are the women who will live to see the first woman POTUS.
Janet Johnson, Minneapolis
What I want to pass on to another generation People will disappoint you, but that doesn't mean they weren't doing their best. People will sometimes die in the wrong order. Trivializing someone's pain doesn't help them or you. If you wait long enough, someone else will do the thing that you thought of first.
Truly awful things occur. Injustice is real. Wishing things were different doesn't make them stop. People suffer. None of this has to stop us from being arrested by the scent of violets or the innocence of rain. Nature, humor, music, affection can be a refuge.
The more fully we grasp that we each are seeing from a specific vantage point, the more we can acknowledge our own blind spots, and engage others with less naiveté. Cultivating a genuine tolerance for mystery makes you realistic in ways that serve the whole.
Rebecca Frost, Minneapolis