"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  --William Shakespeare

Entries in Americans (6)


A Few Things I've Learned from Living in France, In No Particular Order





  1. To wear skirts again.

  2. Fifteen ways to wear a scarf.
  3. To embrace cold weather.
  4. To pay attention to seasons for various foods.

  5. To commiserate with French women on the terrible spatial organization of most large markets in Paris, and the remodel hasn’t changed a thing.
  6. To weigh vegetables and put little stickers on them before going to the cash register.

  7. To walk and walk and walk.
  8. And to sit in cafes, enjoying the theater all around you.

  9. To live (quite easily) without a car.
  10. That when your melancholic man says there is only one thing that prevents his happiness and it is having to drive everywhere, and that if he lived in Paris and could ditch the car, all would be well, you should believe him.

  11. That when you tell him you cannot live without your entire library, and that giving away 2/3rds of it will simply mean that you’ll have to replace it all after you move, he should believe you.

  12. To say goodbye to Marley, and accept that no other cat will do.
  13. That your greatest fear about living in another country, losing touch with family and friends, is easily solved by airplanes, phone calls, e-mail and Facebook.
  14. That having international friends is a good idea.

  15. That the street art scene is the most alive visual art in France now, and perhaps in most of the western world.
  16. That it is possible to understand a French washing machine by living with it for three years, consulting a plumber twice, and having a Darty technician come to your home and explain that two soap tablets in the tray are appropriate for a regular wash, but only one can be used for a delicate cycle, and must be placed, not in the tray, but in the machine, and then the water will not leak all over the floor.
  17. There is no cure for the French dryer sounding like a jet airplane taking off.

  18. There is no cure for the French love of bureaucracy.
  19. It takes a year to stop sampling all 365 French cheeses before you can respect your arteries and get a grip.
  20. You can laugh at your doctor when she laughs at you for suggesting that sugar might be bad for your health. After all, she is French.

  21. You can finally listen to your L.A. healer, Dr. Mao, and substitute green tea for coffee and still write.
  22. You can write through grief, you can keep working in spite of losing the woman with whom you are closest on earth, your sister, Jane.

  23. Socialism is fantastic for mothers and families and anyone who is vulnerable (let’s just say, most of us), but it’s not good for entrepreneurs.
  24. But the French are right, you need to take weekends off and you need to, regularly, get out of town.
  25. There are cultures where literature is so important that you can hear it discussed by writers and critics every night on TV if you want.

  26. Ancient is beautiful, and living in a modern city in harmony with the beauty of the distant past increases the power of a place.
  27. Paris is our city, but the U.S. is our country. We can see our own country more clearly from afar, its craziness (guns, greed, hubris and politics), but also its beauty (energy, resourcefulness, freedom of expression, warmth).





Here's Looking at You, USA!

Street art by Speedy Graphito

While April in Paris is the customary month for visitors, October is also huge. We like to say that we've had more visitors from L.A. (and elsewhere in the U.S.) in those two months than in the last five years we spent in Los Angeles itself. 

Top question we get asked, after "How can *I* move here?" is, "Do you miss the States?"

How? It's impossible to walk more than a few blocks in Paris and not see some American iconography, or a reminder of that cultural tsunami.



Back in 1982, the incumbent French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, gave an incendiary speech in which he blasted the United States's "cultural imperialism," and advised that other cultures enact protectionist measures against the way the American cultural/consumer juggernaut "grabs consciousness, ways of thinking, ways of living." 

In those days, to cite but one example, the Hollywood machine was squeezing smaller French films out of the marketplace in both countries, a cultural trend that required state intervention, Lang thought.



Interesting concept, but there was no way American culture wasn't going to overwhelm the world like a tsunami. The French Academy tried to ban English words like "weekend," and "hot dog," but what do the French now celebrate on Saturday and Sunday?--"le weekend," when they eat "le hot dog." McDonalds, Starbucks, and KFCs are ubiquitous, and American apparel stores dot the Champs Elysses like chocolate sprinkles on a cappuccino.



The list of American words is endless now, as are the American images, for better or worse, that form a great deal of the street art, and advertising, that we see daily.



So, a portfolio of Americana, as filtered through the French consciousness and reflected back. Then just for fun down below, another Paris Play Pop Quiz.








Street art by GZUP






Street art by Shadee.K











Street art by Jef Aerosol, legs by Jerome Mesnager



















Paris Play Street Art Pop Quiz


Below you will find twenty more American-inspired images from Paris street art.

Look at each of the twenty images, then post a single comment listing the names of the person, character, or American cultural icon you see; i.e., #1 is ____________________, #2 is _______________________, and so on through twenty.

We suggest you enter your answers in your own word processing program, then cut and paste them into the comments section below, which sometimes eats or loses comments entered directly.  

The first five people who get every one right will each get their choice of photograph from any 2012 Paris Play post, e-mailed to them in high-resolution, from which they will be free to make a single print for their own enjoyment.

Leave your e-mail when you leave your guesses, so we can contact you with your prize. We will favor longer than shorter answers (i.e. Michael Keaton as Batman), but these aren't essay questions.

If no one gets them all right, we'll take the answers with the best nineteen of twenty, or eighteen of twenty, etc. You have until midnight, Paris time, October 26 to get your answers in.

Good luck, and thanks for playing.












#8. Street art by Jef Aerosol


#9. Street art by Jef Aerosol 



















#19. Street art by Jef Aerosol


#20. Street art by Gilbert Shelton




Companions in Flight


Paris to Chicago

A mother and her young daughter sit in the seats in front of me. The mother sends clear signals to the girl: Don’t bother me. Leave me alone.



The carpet of green and gold covering la belle France.

The sheen on the sheet of sea below.

The girl migrates to an unoccupied center seat to my right to watch the in-flight movie. She is blonde with deep brown eyes, solemn and anxious, perhaps eight years old. When the film is over, the girl turns to her journal, writes a few words, then draws for a few pages. She keeps glancing up to see if her mother might be looking back at her. Throughout the flight, she moves back and forth between her mother’s side and her solitary seat. The mother seems to be awake, but unwilling to give her daughter any sign of warmth or reassurance.



Street Art by Fred le Chevalier

Each time the girl returns to the seat across the aisle from me, she looks dejected. I lean over and say, “I think you’re going to be a writer when you grow up.”

She looks startled. Am I talking to her? Someone has noticed her? She’s really visible? I see by the swift changes of expression on her face that she is shy, is not sure what to say—have I observed her secret, that she fears that she is unloved and unlovable? After a full minute, she says, “An artist. I want to be an artist.”

She shows me photos of her dog, Athena.

Strange synchronicity. I had just been thinking about Athena, the goddess of temperate measure. In the flurry of getting ready to fly out of town, I was reminded once again that my tendency towards expansiveness needs tempering with Athena measure.



Zeus is loose, but Athena is meanuh.

Keeping a home in order? Easy. But keeping papers organized? That’s my challenge. I decide that on returning to Paris, I’ll spend one day a week putting files, papers, writing in order.

Right after this, I walked to the back of the plane where a flight attendant was reading “Stealing Athena.” Now, within the space of fifteen minutes, here is a third reference to Athena. What do you call that? It seems to me more than coincidence, like some sort of indication that something’s trying to get through to you from the realm of the invisible.

The young girl and I talk about her dog and her two cats and her mouse and her chicken.

Before we disembark, I say to her mother, “Your daughter is enchanting.”

She looks surprised. This little pest? her expression seems to say.



Denver to Phoenix

Beside me, two young sisters discuss the play they’ve just seen, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The 15-year-old: “Shakespeare was a playwright who lived in the 1600s.”

The 8-year-old: “I may not know who Shakespeare is, but I’m not dumb!”

The 15-year-old: “I know, you liked Puck best.”

I confirm that the two are sisters, and their ages. I’ve guessed the older’s, but the younger is actually nine years old. They both seem French somehow, the understated style of their clothes. And yes, their family lived in Bordeaux for four years, and now they live in Phoenix.



Phoenix to Denver

The man coming up the aisle is young and muscular, with an open face, and a T-shirt featuring a skull. He sees me lifting my suitcase overhead, and offers to help—gladly accepted—then indicates the middle seat beside me.

We talk about the Colorado fires. He’s hoping to get home in time to get a few hours sleep before a job that begins at dawn.

I ask him about the skull tattoos up and down his arms.

“Oh,” he says, looking embarrassed. “I got those when I was 14. Ran wild for a while. Not much supervision from my family. But I guess I turned out all right. Wife and kids and a house, and I just turned 30.”

As we land in Denver, he turns on his cell phone. His phone plays a recording of demented children’s laughter, echo of his earlier days as a wild child.



Denver to Chicago

He is big-bellied, stocky, with the ruddy face of someone who works outdoors. He looks like a shorter Ernest Hemingway.

I write two letters, to my mother and brother, before asking him what the current U.S. postage is.

44 cents, he says.

I’m glad that I finished the letters first, because this man needs to talk.

“I been cowboyin’ all my life,” he says, and tells me a story about the widow on whose ranch he works. “She’s rich and mean. She pays everyone who works for her minimum wage.”

She questioned his wages once. He told her, “‘I charge you what I charge everyone. Go ahead and hire someone else.’ That shut her up.”

He tells me today has been the worst day of his life. His flight was cancelled and changed four times. “I got up at 6 to get ready for the flight and found my favorite mule, Miss Cassie, dead. We got animals buried all over the property, but I didn’t have time to dig her a grave. By the time I get back, the coyotes and vultures will have picked her clean.”

His eyes brim. “Guy I know said she was the best mule he ever met. She was.”

He doesn’t try to hide his tears. I say, “I think the spirits of everything we’ve ever loved remain.”

He tells me that when they moved into their house, his daughter saw a cowboy sitting on her bed, chewing a wad of tobacco. “We found out he’d died in the house. She’s seen him a bunch of times. Talks with him. He doesn’t cause no trouble, but he used to live there. My daughter’s the only one who can see him.”

I tell him about the ghost of Ronald Colman in our former Playa del Rey house. We felt him on the stairs. He was a benevolent spirit. He and his wife loved each other, and they entertained a lot in the house.

But once when my niece and her boyfriend, Eric, were housesitting, he felt Ronald sit down on the bed in our bedroom. “He was cold, so cold,” he said, “and he tried to drag me West into the sea.”



Chicago to Paris

She has thick brown hair past her waist, large blue eyes, a beautiful face. She’s a wholesome American girl about 16.

She tells me she’s on her way to Kenya on a mission.

“You’re Christian?”

“Baptist,” she says. She’s with a group of young people from her church in Kentucky. They are returning to Nairobi, where they’ll travel to Kenyan villages, bringing wheelchairs and medical and food supplies, as well as the word of Christ.

“When I go into someone’s hut, the families are so full of joy, grateful for what they have. They show us their chairs. They love what they have, they’re proud of their huts and chairs.

“You come back to the U.S., and you feel like a spoiled brat. The only reason I think I need an iPhone is because I see them advertised, and I see my friends with them. If I never saw ads, I would be perfectly happy with what I have.

“We travel with a backpack and six blouses and one skirt for three weeks. My mom had to help me pack. At home, I have closets full of clothes. In Kenya, we have to dress modestly, and wear long skirts.”

We talk about my high school, the uniforms we wore.

“I wish I went to a school where you wear uniforms. Then I wouldn’t spend so much time every morning trying to decide what to wear.

“Do you believe in Christ?” she asks, eyes huge, pupils dilated.



“I believe Christ lived. And so did the Buddha. And many other prophets and sages and divinities.”

She looks uneasy with this response.

“I think Christ had a transformative effect on Western culture,” I add.

She nods. “Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?”

“I believe—no, I’ve experienced—that life doesn’t end with death, that something in the spirits of people we’ve loved survives.”

“And everyone is saved. People confuse the Baptists with the Southern Baptists. We believe that everyone is saved.”

She tells me that she’s trying to get on Kenya time, and that she’ll sleep with her head on a pillow on her food tray.

Minutes after our take off, she is asleep. I decide that I, too, will try to get in synch with Paris time. And for the first time ever, I fall asleep on a plane.

But my flight companion is as jumpy as water on a hot skillet. She flails in her sleep, with elbows, knees and feet knocking me in the knees and arms, until I finally give up on getting any sleep myself.

I watch the soundless drama overhead. It's an American film about the search for a mysterious island, and features a teenager who clearly knows more about everything on earth than his clueless parents.

I open my French novel, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog.” In the same building in Paris live a lonely concierge named Renée who devours literature and chocolate, and a young girl named Paloma who is trying to save her own life by keeping a journal of words and images. And then a Japanese man named Kakuro moves into their building...





A great green dragon lies to the West, watching over the town. I look up at her ruffled spine, the green and gold of her flanks, and see her dragon breath drifting down from above. It looks like the mist above Chinese mountain peaks.

But no, it’s smoke from the Colorado fires, beyond the Rocky Mountains at the edge of town.

I’m standing outside the Whole Foods Market on Pearl Street in Boulder. What has brought me here, so far from Richard and our Paris home?

Love and health. Health and love.

On July 4, 2012, great news came from physicists at CERN in Geneva about the Higgs boson particle: the only manifestation of an invisible force field, a cosmic molasses that permeates space and imbues elementary particles with mass. It is responsible for life on earth, human beings, the stars—everything in the universe, and the forces that work between them. Without this miracle, we would have no weight, would be ricocheting around at the speed of light.



This energy field that physicists have been predicting since 1964 can be seen from other perspectives, too. The perspective of love, for instance. The power of love to transform someone’s health, for instance, my sister, Jane’s.


Here are a few of the elements in Jane’s energy field:

Her daughter, Rachel, helping her to get to medical appointments and being vigilantly protective of her health.

Her daughter, Bayu, flying in from Wellington, New Zealand for a month and planning to return this fall when she has completed her art and design studies.

Her mother and four siblings ready to help in whatever ways we can.



A caring, expert Western medical team.

A brilliant acupuncturist and sage, Dr. Maoshing Ni, prescribing Chinese herbal teas and Eastern healing.

A gifted local acupuncturist.

A friend, Liza, flying in for several days.

Friends in Boulder and beyond.


Friend, Susan, connecting Jane to a healing group who are meditating on her health.

Jane’s own excellent health habits: yoga, walking and eating well.

A town where, for an entire month, I didn’t encounter a single surly or obstructive attitude (although the motorcyclist who honked at me as I fumbled for my ringing phone while driving was entirely justified).


A town that’s so wholesome—5,430 feet high (great for the lungs and heart), with clean air, open protected space, cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, free yoga classes, healthy food, people drunk on endorphins—that it might be the healthiest town in the U. S.

A town where the restaurant food is astonishingly good: the scallops and truffles at Riffs, the paella at the Mediterranean, the chicken salad at Brasserie Ten Ten, the vegetable omelette at Tangerine, the Coquilles St.-Jacques at Arugula, the vegetable tempura and beer at Hapa Sushi Grill, the guacamole and enchiladas Veracruz at Cantina Laredo. I haven’t had a bad meal yet. Even the gourmet cheeseburger at Salt the Bistro I ate with Rachel and Brandon (the first such meal I’ve had in some twenty years, making me feel like a real American again) was delicious.



Jane seems healthier by the day, surrounded as she is by an energy field of healing and love.

All this in a larger context that’s frightening: the fires in Colorado were so extreme this year that half the fire fighters in the nation were brought in to fight them. They have resulted in the loss of 346 homes, 32,000 people evacuated from their homes, and are the most destructive in Colorado history. When I last checked on July 13, they were still not contained.

A map of weather conditions across the U. S. showed an alarming degree of heat, dryness, high winds and out-of-control fires in western states.



We know there is an energy field all around us which affects us and which we affect.

Can we extend this force of love and healing beyond our families and friends, and offer it to the whole planet?


How can we do this?





Femininity and Feminism

Paris is rubbing off on me. I’m wearing skirts again. Not all the time, but more in the past month than I have in the previous twenty years.

What was it Simone de Beauvoir said about being a woman?  “One is not born a woman, but rather becomes, a woman.”

I disagree. Nothing could be easier for most of us than being the sex we are born.



Maybe de Beauvoir meant 1940s women. I do know she wasn’t referring to becoming more feminine in style. 

While men's and women's differences are to some extent culturally determined, many of our differences are innate.

Women are more attuned to nuances of relationship than men.

Women are more radial in their sensibility.

Men tend to find it easier to stay focused on getting to their goals.



Men tend to be more linear in sensibility.

Generalizations, I know. But for the most part, I’ve found them to be true.

I know a gifted psychotherapist, one of whose specialties is couples counseling. She once told me that with most couples, when you ask the man what he wants in a relationship, she usually hears, “I just want her to be happy.”



Women have more complicated recipes for happiness.

In the realm of relationships, men are simpler, she says. They want to be appreciated. They want to be admired. They want their women to be happy.

The great psychiatrist and mythographer, C. G. Jung, had another angle on the subject: he came up with the notion of the anima and the animus, the contra-sexual being inside both women and men. Men have within them an image of the feminine, or a female soul. Women have within them, the image of the masculine, or male spirit.



Virginia Woolf emphasizes how we are all, especially artists, androgynous.


In A Room of One’s Own Woolf describes her concept of the androgynous mind:

I went on amateurishly to sketch a plan of the soul so that in each of us two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man’s brain the man predominates over the woman, and in the woman’s brain the woman predominates over the man. The normal and comfortable state of being is that when the two live in harmony together, spiritually co-operating.


To be successful the mind must possess an ignorance of sex, Woolf writes in A Room of One’s Own:

the mind of an artist, in order to achieve the prodigious effort of freeing whole and entire the work that is in him, must be incandescent, like Shakespeare’s mind.

I seem to be circling around what I want to say. And I can’t really approach it through generalizations. (If I were a man, I’d have gotten to the point by now.) I can only approach it by recalling certain moments in my life that still resonate.

Some happened before I was born. Others happened afterwards.

What shall I call these moments?

What if they all together added up to a constellation, a metaphorical shape in the sky? A shape I won’t recognize without first laying them all out, like stars?



Stars, because they burn in my memory. Stars, because they shed light on something larger than the light of each one.

So, stars:

Star: It is 1945. My father is in the Navy. My mother travels from their apartment in Greenwich Village to her childhood home in Fairmont, Minnesota.

Her father, my grandfather, had left the farm on which he was raised to go to medical school, to escape the life of a farmer. He was now a brilliant medical diagnostician, a beloved family doctor. 



His oldest child and only daughter, my mother, always wanted to be a doctor, and had her father’s gift for it. 

My mother wrote to my father that she wanted to go to medical school while he was fighting the Axis.

No, he said, since they wanted six children, he’d be happy to earn the living for the family while she raised the children.

My grandfather and my mother’s brother, himself a doctor, also dissuade my mother from going to medical school. Why do women need to go through all that?

Star: My parents have five children rather than the six they planned. Four are girls. My brother is given a middle name. We girls are not, presumably because we’ll marry and get name #3 that way.



Star: It’s my first year of college at Sarah Lawrence. I’ve just come out of four years of a girls’ boarding school. At Sarah Lawrence I study during the week and spend the weekends at men’s colleges nearby, Princeton and Yale. It is a shockingly schizophrenic life. A monk during the week, and black-out drinking among the men on weekends. After half a year of sailing through the work, something breaks down in me, and I can’t make sense any more of why I’m in college, the strange dichotomy between study and weekend frenzy, being a subject during the week, an object on the weekends.



Star: Spring break from my second year of college, in England. I take a train alone through France and Italy on the way to Greece. Italy feels like a descent into hell, men like a ravening pack of wolves hounding me on the train. I take refuge in a car full of nuns. Relief. Safety.



Star: I live with my artist/painter boyfriend in Novato, California. While I’m visiting my family in Paradise Valley, Arizona, my boyfriend calls, excited. “Guess what. I just bought an interest in a schooner. We’re going to live on it! Change your ticket to meet me in Honolulu.”

I do so, with no discussion of his decision. We move from a ranch in Novato to an 85-foot schooner. We move from land to the sea. We move from the life of being a couple to being a “crew.” I don’t question that he hasn’t even asked me whether this life appeals to me.


We sail from Honolulu to Marina del Rey. We are a crew of ten. We move to a shipyard in Newport Beach, where we’ll renovate the ship for the next two years. Everyone chooses jobs on the schooner. Since I’m the only woman who lives full-time on the boat, it is assumed that my job is to cook. I don’t like to cook, though I’m perfectly good at it. And anyway, I can’t rebuild engines.

It’s 1972. It’s the Virgo decade, the decade of Demeter. Everyone is tuning up their health by careful dietary choices. The men want no dairy in their diets. They want home-made corn bread and three meals with three or four courses each a day. But we’re rebuilding the galley, and don’t have a refrigerator or stove, so I must market once or twice a day and cook on an hibachi in the noisy, dusty shipyard.


At the market one day, I pick up the first issue of Ms. Magazine.

The ship is an optical illusion, a mirage. From the outside it looks like the ultimately glamorous life: we’re rebuilding her to sail around the world.


Groupies flock around the single male crew members. These are seriously mentally challenged “chicks” and the turnover is high. It is my job to comfort the broken hearts of girls who were attracted to adventurous guys who have something they want (a free ticket to sail around the world) but who quickly grow tired of them.

From the inside, this life is anything but glamorous. It is hard physical labor all day long, seven days a week. It is a perfect life for an extraverted action type who loves being surrounded by people and adores physical labor, like sanding masts, rebuilding engines, pumping the bilge.

For an introverted intuitive type like me (you know, a dreamer), it is my definition of hell.

I beg my boyfriend to leave the boat. He doesn’t hear me for two years. “Think of the adventures we’ll have sailing around the world,” he says.

But it’s too many people, too little time for reading and writing or any of the things I like to do. 



Star: A. and I rent a little apartment on the beach in Laguna Beach. It is so small that we have to halve the day. He leaves in the a.m. to give me silence to write. I leave in the afternoon to give him solitude to paint. His friends knock on the door all morning looking for him. I ask him to tell them to stop by during his “studio hours.” One leaves me an anonymous nasty cartoon. How dare a woman try to have silence, a space of her own?



Star: We move to Sausalito into a bigger house. A. is extraverted, likes having friends drop by all day, music, talk, radio and TV always on. I ask for a few hours of silence in the morning. He promises he’ll protect my alembic, but doesn’t.

I ask A. to go to counseling with me. He doesn’t see the need, refuses.

I leave him, get involved with another man.

Now A. offers me whatever I want, silence in the morning, communication, counseling, anything. But it’s too late.



Star: I discover that this man I’m dating has a drug problem. I try to leave him. He says if I do, he’ll kill me.

 I live in hiding on the other side of the country for a year and a half, until he tracks me down by breaking into my parents’ home.

 Ten years later in Santa Fe, I become a traveling art dealer. I don’t pay enough attention to appearance, clothes, but in this job, with high-end buyers, I must refine my wardrobe and appearance. I borrow a gorgeous black cotton dress from a good friend, pair it with a concho belt my mother has given me, and looking my best, interview for the job, get it, and go to artists’ studios to look at their work.



One of the male painters says, “She’s too good-looking to be any good as an art agent” to a friend of mine, who tells me what he said.

In my first art-selling trip to Arizona, I snag three banks, am asked to fill them with art of my choosing, paintings and sculptures of the artists whose work I carry. I place no paintings by this artist in any of the banks. Another artist is able to put a down payment on his first home from the paintings that have sold.

In Santa Fe I complete a vision quest of thirty years. What I discover at the center of the labyrinth is that the breakdown I experienced in my first year of college, post-loss of religious faith, post-boarding school structure, was not a merely personal drama.

The confusion about values, about my path and focus, was a refusal of an entire cultural construct: a patriarchal world in which nature is not honored, women are not revered, all is driven by the masculine values of progress, economics, power, domination. And the soul, being, relationships, love, the sacred, the earth, are lesser values or ignored altogether.



Long after I become clear about my own spiritual values, and work…

Long after the influence of Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Doris Lessing, Anais Nin, Ms. Magazine…

Long after the lessons of the ‘60s and ‘70s about equality between women and men have become a part of our cultural conversation…



I hear women denying they are feminists, or splitting hairs in defining it:


“Those early feminists were just so aggressive, so angry.”

“Poor men—it hurts their feelings.”

“Feminism needs to be more feminine.”

Or from women who’ve been getting by for years by being seductive: “I’ve never had any trouble as a woman getting what I want.”


And I’m amazed. Really, amazed. As if I’m hearing an African-American say,


“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an abolitionist. I mean, those Civil Rights people were just so angry.”

“Poor white people. You wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings, now would you?”

 “We just need to be more pliable, less demanding.”

This is just plain absurd. Nothing at all changes without the first revolutionary activists. It’s their very anger—that fire, that light—that blazes the trail, lights the way.



I have a few questions I’d like to ask you women who deny or negate feminism:

Have you ever been dissuaded from doing the work you wanted to do because you’re a woman?

Even if you proceeded with the work you wanted to do, have you ever had others in your life consider it secondary to matters of relationship, others’ expectations of you as wife, girlfriend, mother, friend? 

Has the work you are expected to do ever been dictated by the fact that you are a woman (stereotypes of what women’s work should be rather than what you’d like to do)?



Has your capacity for work ever been underestimated because you are a woman? 

Have you ever been punished for your looks—looking “too good,” or looking “not good enough?”

Have you ever had life decisions made for you, without being consulted, because you are a woman?



Have you ever felt threatened by—or experienced—abuse because you are a woman?

Have you ever feared for your life because a man wanted something from you that you didn’t want to give him? 

And lastly, a question for those of you who say you’re not feminists: Have you lost your mind? Is your memory really that brief?


I’m looking at all these stars laid out in the sky. They seem to form an island. Or is it a woman, in a long bell-shaped skirt? Wait—it’s both! It’s an island shaped like a goddess. It’s the island of Crete. This goddess—what is her name? Is it Hera? Aphrodite? Rhea? Or is it all of these? It is. It’s the ancient Great Goddess, reawakening now after a slumber of 3,000 years.

Street art by Salvador Dali