Four great women in herstory
In the beginning: A being, possibly a man, more possibly a collection of carbon atoms so egalitarian that it didn’t care which sex it was, or which sex it would have sex with — given the chance — decided to change things up a bit.
As the being created crucial stuff to sustain life on Earth, lightning split the sky, rain pounded and winds blew; really, really, hard.
I confess, I wasn’t there, but that’s what I hear. Right now, I’ll just gloss over that and skip right to four women, not so different from me and my friends, who came to be important in hestory such as:
Mary Magdalene showed up at a banquet given by Emperor Tiberius with a white egg, probably anticipating a potluck.Embarrassed by tables of food proving her wrong, she tried to cover by telling Ti, “Christ is risen!” and waving the egg. When he laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red, the egg turned red. Thus Easter egg dying came into being.
Mary Magdalene (first Century AC/CE)
She helped to spread Christian doctrine in the early days of the Catholic Church. The Church, unsure how to handle good publicity, called her a prostitute for a few hundred years, then took it back. Still, Mary is dogged by controversy; some think she was Jesus’ wife. Heretics are what the church calls them.
Were they married? Broom jumping used to be a popular ritual practiced by those who wanted to get married. Some think the two saw a broom, had an innocent little jump and, just like that the name calling started all over again.
Harriet Tubman (1819 to 1913)
Called Moses of the people, rode the underground railroad to freedom. Saved the lives of at least 300 slaves by helping them find sanctuary in the Northern states. Once had a price on her head.
I too, have saved lives. Nicked named, “The Sleezebag,” I once snuck out of my house because this one guy and I needed needed to have sex as soon as humanly possible or we would both die. At 18, I went to college, turning my back on a lucrative career as a Mrs. to that one guy, but saying “yes” to the next guy, thereby putting all players in place needed for a divorce five years later. My ex might have put a price on my head. I don’t know. I’ve been in hiding every since.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 to 1962)
The first woman elected to the senate in 1911, she was the eyes and ears of her disabled husband president. She talked her husband into pushing child welfare and house reform. She made an impromptu speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1940 that helped him win an unprecedented third term in office.
The number of women in government has never been close to the number of men. Why is that? What are they doing in congress that women won’t or can’t do? Men make more money than women (in 2010 women earned 23 percent less than men), are the men just sitting around making 77 percent more money?
Men typically have greater arm strength. Are they lifting things? Are they opening jars without any problem at all?
If they are opening jars, what are they doing with them after they are opened? Are they taking them out with the trash?
Or are they just peeing standing up?
And if that is all they are doing, it’s no wonder the country is in the place it’s in today.
Eleanor Roosevelt wasn’t just doing great. She was doing everything, and, no doubt, being paid less than her husband while she did it.
Marie Curie (1867 to 1934)
Was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and then she did it twice. She began as a tutor in Poland, which was occupied by Russians and others who didn’t think women needed that much education, while pursuing her dream of being a scientist. Marie Curie died of aplastic anemia, a blood disease that often results from getting too much radiation.
People take all kinds of approaches to their dreams. Some, like Marie Curie, work really hard against all odds making great discoveries that ultimately kill them. Others, like Comedian Mich Hedberg who once famously said, “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re going and hook up later,” take a great deal of drugs, which ultimately kills them.
Still others, like this friend of mine, go to Burning Man. An artistic event that takes place in an empty lake in Navada’s Black Rock Desert, people who like it describe it as a time of “radical self expression” and “self-reliance.’’ People who are disappointed that it has changed after only 25 years use phrases like “wasting $1000 to spend time in the desert with bitter hippies.”
This was my friend’s third time at Burning Man, but it was still really special because their love nest, an RV, overheated before it left Colorado and she and her boyfriend had to walk the rest of the way with only packs full of food, booze and drugs to sustain them. They somehow made it, and it was still totally worth it, according to her facebook posts. I don’t think her journey would win any Nobel prizes, but her fire-dancing outfit, with the larger-than-life eyes fabric crafted onto her bra, and skirt fabric-crated with an enormous vagina, should win some kind of award.
The point is, Burning Man began with a dream, the dream of Larry Harvey and Jerry Jones to burn a wooden man and have everybody watch them do it. Today, only 50,000 are allowed to attend. I like men, but with the wage differential and war and all, it’s fun for me to think about a giant one being burned. Clearly Harvey and Jones have tapped into something.