Sometimes when things are complicated and discouraging, as they have been lately, I forget the enormous strides women have made in my lifetime—as well of course as in decades before I was born. We do truly build on the accomplishments of our ancestresses, many of whom are not remembered, recalling to mind the final sentences of my all-time favorite novel, George Eliot’s Middlemarch: “…that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs”—the quotation I used to introduce my memoir, The Blue Box: Three Lives in Letters.
I was inspired, almost to the point of tears, by the video I am including. I know only one of the women’s faces you will see here. Here is the proof, internationally as well as nationally: we do more than survive; we lead. And it is due, I believe, to some of the rare and magnificent qualities we women possess that we are coming now after so many centuries into our own: