Influenced By An Event by Denise Osborne

On October 11, 2012,my girlfriend and I were at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., attending the 40th anniversary luncheon celebration of Ms magazine.  We both had the opportunity to speak to Gloria Steinem, the magazine’s co-founder and consulting editor, and to Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and the magazine’s publisher.  When we thanked Gloria Steinem for all she’d done for women’s rights, she replied, with a measure of concern, “Oh, we still have a long, long way to go.”  Then she added that too many people believe feminist issues have been settled and there is nothing more to be done.  Eleanor Smeal, a long-time activist who is far from battle weary, often says of the current political climate, “All the advances for women’s rights are on the line.”

After the luncheon plates were cleared away, these two dynamic women spoke of concerns facing women today, and of course, so many of them are the same issues women have been fighting for for decades, like reproductive rights.  Steinem offered her solution to the economic crisis–equal pay for women.  Hey, what a concept!   Smeal concluded the event by saying, “Leave no sister behind.”

Once back home in Missouri, I brought out an unfinished manuscript that has come out of the drawer and been put back in so many times the manuscript itself has its own evolutionary tale.  But when Eleanor Smeal said, “Leave no sister behind,” I heard those words as a call to finish this particular piece.  And why?  Well, it’s about women.  It’s about original sin being the suppression of  the Goddess beginning around 4,000 years ago and how that changed  human communities and the natural world and not for the better.  This old manuscript, in need of one more rewrite, takes the reader to ancient Greece and present day Africa, Ireland at the time of St. Patrick,  small town Kansas and a sheep station outside Melbourne, Australia.  It’s the story of sisters and love and hate, loss and gain and above all, female empowerment.  It is about women who kept the spirit of women’s theology and mysteries  alive and died for it and it’s about a few of our contemporaries who, in their different ways, light the path to a future in which equality is the norm.

Beginning in November, I will commit to a weekly blog you can access from my website.  In it I’ll cite the books I’m using to research whichever area of the manuscript I’m working on that week.  Most likely the first blog will feature  an island in the Aegean at around 1628 B.C.   Additionally, I’ll Tweet quotations from research materials.

So, bringing this manuscript to life is my way of  serving the sisterhood.  AHO!


One Response

  1. Sounds fascinating, Denise. Thanks for your post.

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