Thursday, March 29, 2012


I read a news story today about the death of Adrienne Rich and was overwhelmed by a memory of two friends, older than I, discussing feminism.  I was twenty-four, and they were younger than they are now, probably younger than I am now, though they seemed impossibly older and wiser. They bantered about "Betty Friedan" and "Gloria Steinem" and "Adrienne Rich," and I strained to remember what I had learned of these women in college, which I had just left.  And I strained to keep up with the conversation, as they argued about the various strengths and weaknesses of "second wave" and "third wave" feminism, thinking, this is what it means to be an adult, and wanting, so badly, to be there.  And I went with them to the bar after work.  And my vodka soda came out next to their bourbon, which I had not yet learned to love.  And I piped up periodically with my thoughts on the politics of the day, my questions about feminist theory, my laughter at jokes I was only beginning to understand.  But mostly, I watched, wide-eyed.

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