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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Meyer

The Battlefield

Interpretation by Dr. Cynthia Lane

I happened to be watching a movie last night that highlights the struggle of women to be seen as equal humans and equal contributors in a culture dominated by the will and law of men. It focused on that gorgeous revolutionary period known as Feminism when women took to the streets, to the arts, to the working world, and to the courts to say, Hey people, our place is in the world not in the kitchen!

Recently the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by a white guy who disparaged Dr. Jill Biden for using the earned professional title of “Dr.” He diminished her years of rigorous study by referring to her as “kiddo.” Said she should drop the “Dr.” thing and just be happy to be “First Lady.”

Why thank you Mr. White Guy for waking us up from our female fog. Shall I go put on my control top pantyhose, my heels, and my lipstick so I look pleasing as I kick your teeth in?

Over the past four years I’ve reawakened to the grim reality that as a woman I must still slog, struggle, and fight bloody battles to be given due credit, to be seen and respected as equal versus less than, that I must push back when I get pushback, and that I need to recognize and resist the learned insecurity, passivity, and self-deprecation that is so easy to fall back on because I don’t want to be seen as “making a big deal” out of “nothing.”

It’s hard.

Thanks to Dr. Cynthia Lane (who has the audacity to call herself a “doctor” because, well, she’s a doctor) for being a beacon, and for speaking to our personal and collective battles with this week’s poetic interpretation. Her pose, on the ground, looking utterly exhausted, says it all. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but we’re so, so, so not finished yet.

The Movie: Feminists: What Were They Thinking? Directed by Johanna Demetrakas. 

“The documentary perfectly balances the old and the new, the ways feminism has grown and the way forward it must continue to march. It fearlessly shows us beauty and ugliness, women who painstakingly created something in a world of men, not to be accepted by them but in defiance of them.” —Paige Munshell

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