A Woman's Nation Embraces the Emotion
With all due respect---and new respect for what California's First Lady accomplished at this conference----I thought the Women's Conference was powerful, but it wasn't about empowering.
Possibly that's due to where I stand--part of the pioneer generation of women---who looks back at where we were and sees today's women already empowered. For me, the Women's Conference--and the times--represent another significant change that also begins with "em"-- less about empowerment and more about emotion.
It started--appropriately enough--with Eve. Not the biblical Eve, but with Eve Ensler. The woman who made it popular to carry on monologues about vaginas....is moving up....geographically speaking....to our hearts.
Her own emotion- and her passion-- rocked and roiled the Long Beach Convention Center like a tsunami....as she read from her upcoming book: I am an EMOTIONAL Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World.
I thought this might be the emotional high point of the day---but the emotions were just getting started. If Eve was a hurricane, other speakers were the storm surge-- in a day filled with emotional, memorable moments. There was Somaly Mam 's saga of her life of slavery in the brothels of Cambodia, then her return to help thousands of others escape. Katie Couric's odyssey of resilence-- both professional and personal--told with honesty and humor.
I thought about all the times I've heard woman say, "I'm an emotional mess" --when I heard ABC anchor Robin Roberts repeat her mother's mantra: "Make your mess your message." (I love that one.)
And the waves of emotion continued, peaking during the session on Grief, Healing and Resilience.
Probably there is no more indelible and undeniable part of the human experience--- than grief, loss and suffering. Nothing is more painful; nothing is more private.Continued on the next page