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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breakfast with the Queen

Queen Latifa, that is.  Oh, and two thousand other women.  And a few odd men.  Including our mayor.  And governor.

Now breakfast for me usually involves a bottomless cup of coffee and a couch and two chirping children, so this was quite the treat.  I got gussied up and headed to midtown with Mom to attend The New York Women's Foundation Celebrating Women 2009 breakfast. Despite the recession, it was a packed house as always.  And the program and performances and speakers didn't disappoint. Women arrived in clusters to the bold and rhythmic beats of Grupo Ginga Capoeira USA.  Award-winners included Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Angelique Kidjo, Lilly Ledbetter, and the Queen herself.  Each of these women spoke with her own voice and vigor about living life as a woman, and about living life as a champion of women.  Each told a different story, but a singular message threaded through: it is as important as ever to help women (and children and families).  And to help women is to help society as a whole.

And as the casts of thousands whipped out checkbooks, I looked around me.  At the many faces from many places.  At the power suits and dreadlocks and ponytails.  At the youth and the experience.  At the grandmothers and mothers and daughters and sisters - literal and figurative.  All gathered in one vast room in the morass of midtown.  

And though I still proudly think of myself as a girl, and I'm used to my magical mornings at home with my girls, for one split second, on this fungible rainy Thursday morning in Manhattan, I felt like a woman.  And in that moment I felt a sense of pride, and power, and pull.  To do something good.  To be something good.  To raise my little girls into women who do good things.  Into women who might come with me to a bold breakfast in midtown a few years down the pike.

Thanks for breakfast, Mom!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an amazing event. Lilly Ledbetter has inspired me since I first read of her plight when her case was before the SCOTUS. The day her case was decided was one of the more shameful days in the so called apolitical SCOTUS' history. Thank goodness her perservance resulted in the Fair Pay Act this past January rendering that decision a useless but instructive relic. As a mother of female, I feel one of the greatest things I can do is instill in her the confidence to do good even when it isn't the easy choice. Too often, we act out of self preservation or do things that are good for ourselves at the expense of other women. I hope our daughters will follow Ledbetter's example to make change for those who come after her. It is her inclusiveness of helping other women, even when it was too late for her personally, that we all should embrace. Until we stop the cattiness, the jealousy and all the other useless all-consuming negative tactics we use against each other, we will never erase gender inequities. Here's hoping our milennium girls will grow up united in the advancement of their fellow women. We should all be a bit more like Lilly.
    Thanks again for posting,


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