Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Liberation: 1972

She and Helen Reddy sang
"Hit the Road, Jack," with gusto,
while her husband glowered.
She read The Feminine Mystique,
a revelation, and felt the "click".

He toe-d her stack of Ms magazines
and muttered,
"We were happy till you started
reading this crap
and began thinking
you were a person."
"You were happy," she corrected.
"Yes, and I could be again
if you started being
A Proper Wife."

In 1972, it was over.

She took her kids up the hill
to the store
and bought them candy.
Heading back downhill,
in sudden joy, she began skipping,
two babies bouncing in the buggy
in front of her,
her oldest boy giggling and leaping

She was walking through
crunchy fall leaves
in the city's West End
one amber afternoon,
all alone and unencumbered,
the children with their dad,
when she realized,
"I can live my own life now.
I'm free."

For my prompt at Real Toads on Wordy Thursday: Being a Woman in Times Like These. We could write of the dystopian age we seem to be headed for, or simply tell the story of one woman's flight from oppression. This was mine. My heart has never stopped its skipping. Smiles.


  1. those "aha" moments, when for whatever reasons, everything just suddenly seems lighter - and from some unknown place deep within, one understands, despite all the unknowns and challenges to come, things will somehow, turn out okay -
    and then the heavens, stars and cosmos all unite and things start to turn, like the leaves - and change comes calling -
    and it's often just one step at a time, but if the heart keeps skipping? then this will keep on keeping on :)

  2. She's free of him and so are the kids. They did not need that kind of role model in their lives. Happy liberation day to them all!

    1. I had been thinking about this piece all day and came back for a second reading, post tea. And I realized I missed the note. *Hugs* I'm damn glad you're free my friend. It takes a lot of guts to jump out of a situation (even if its a crappy one) without knowing where and how you'll land.

  3. This is the problem with most men, they believe women should behave in a certain manner and that if they do anything out of the ordinary then they aren't "proper," ..sigh I am happy for her that she realized what was going on and broke free from the vicious cycle.💞

  4. I applaud the moment that became reality - your decision to be free. It is not an easy step to take. You are a role model to other women who may be in doubts as to how to approach the future.

  5. I was afraid to be a single mom living in poverty. And it was hard. But it wound up being easier - and far more joyous - than staying would have been.

  6. I'm closing my eyes and imagining the look on your face, the warmth and sense of bring-it-on-world! in your heart, as you found the path that would lead you to your Wild Woman self. Freedom is difficult and costs a lot, but... it tastes (and reads) so good!

  7. Taking risks makes life worth living ... Brava.

  8. That second stanza really grabbed me. The "we" were happy when really it was just "you" who were happy. The ending I found interesting as she is walking alone freely while "the dad" is home with the kids. The roles have been interchanged (at least for the moment) and freedom attained.

  9. Hallelujah! Love this coming of worth story. "I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman."

  10. I love this Sherry. I am glad you took your babies and ran. So many women feel they have to stay.

  11. I will never be able to see the world as a woman sees it. But I came a whole lot cIoser to that possibilty when my daughter Jennifer was born in 1972. Watching the world interact, too often unfairly, with my daughter - and seeing what she has to face day to day, being both very smart, and “beautiful”, as defined from the misogynistic male perspective - I got an infuriating good look at the challenges a woman faces. Jennifer has struggeled her way to upper management in the male dominated financial industry. What she has had to endure, just to embrace her career, has stoked a righteous anger in me that makes me breath fire, and breaks my heart. It has also emboldened my belief that this country needs a strong female to firmly grasp the reins, and steer this country back toward sanity.

    1. Jennifer has one of the strongest foundations a girl can have, Rob - a loving father. That's what helped her climb. My girls didnt have that. But somehow they rose out of abuse in their turn, as their mother did.

  12. I am so glad I live NOW in this day and age - I can't imagine how I would survive abuse such as that. Today I think we have no looming removal of any rights... except for the obvious one and that one is, as you know, controversial. I am so glad you got out... so many women don't.

  13. I wonder so much what a "proper" wife was... somehow it always seemed to me that wife is seen more as ownership by some men.

    I think it's still hard for a woman to leave an abusive relationship... maybe even for exactly the same reasons, but at least society at least give the women support instead of forcing them to stay.

  14. Ah Sherry, what a amazing story of liberation! You took the first step and the rest fell into place.

  15. I will never forget the year I knew I could and would survive on my own. It was not an easy journey, but I would not go back for any amount of money or false sense of security in the world. Brava.

  16. I feel that I am lucky to have been brought up in Britain in WW2 to see the strength of women at that time, then when I emigrated to a Australia in 1966 which had been I thought a male dominated country and found to my delight that South Australia (the State where I settled with my family) was the first in the world to have Women voting in elections. New Zealand came afterwards but Australia as a whole didn't until 1901. But there is still pressure by misogynists even here to down play women in so many fields so the fight goes on!

  17. Women are very strong. We have to be. Smiles. Am happy you wrote to my prompt, Robin, about your wonderful mother.

  18. Those moments of realization were wonderful. I remember reading the magazine, and the book. My disastrous first marriage (@18) was over, and a new outlook wasdawning.


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