Friday, September 05, 2008

role [rohl]
Sociology. the rights, obligations, and expected behavior patterns associated with a particular social status
Synonyms include: character, job, duty
This is my high school ring (great pic, Tinsters! Thanks!). It’s a mighty original-looking piece of jewelry, and I’m reminded of this each time a stranger recognizes it, which has happened quite a few times. I wore it every single day since we were “ringed” in high school, and even after graduation, I wear it every so often still.

Yes, at a private, Catholic, all-girl high school, complete with uniform dress, and sometimes uniform ideals, we sure were shown the way of the world through an interesting, quite specific, set of eyes – that of a woman’s. At my lovely alma mater, we were taught that as an educated woman in this world, not only would we ABLE to do what we want, we’d be ENTITLED to it. Call it “girl power,” like the Spice Girls did, or consider it awareness of our “woman’s worth,” like Alicia Keys did, but we were raised to be women first, human beings second, and my class ring is a constant reminder of that.

I know it seems like a silly thing to wear your high school ring at my age, and I may be accused of hanging on to a long gone adolescence. But there is something mystical about this ring, a kind of blessed power and, at times, a sort of protection that I feel each time I wear it. It’s not just a 10K scrap of precious metal, but an heirloom that carries the might and minds of every woman who’s ever worn one. What an honor…

So what’s with all the feminist hoo ha, you might be asking. Well, it’s this year’s elections. I’m not a political fanatic at any level (gee, that international studies major sure didn’t go past the aisles of SSLH – Social Science Lecture Hall for the non-Anteaters). As much as I hate to admit it (especially being in a position to vote for our own country’s government!), I’m only ever on election watch just enough to make a relatively informed decision. But THIS entire presidential election, from Hill Clinton gunning for a presidential nomination earlier, and now Sarah Palin as a possible USA VP – I can’t help but rally my female cry and be reminded of all the women in this world who made a difference because they could. Here’s to great, fearless, loving women!

Shout outs to some women who’ve affected my life; many who have always been there, and others who are inspirations: Mom, Mamang, Nanay, Tin, my aunts and lolas and all my sister-homies, Sr. Jane, Sr. Angelica, Mrs. A, Mrs. V, Alice Cotti, Miss Weber, Miss Knudsen, Mrs. Hellinger, Senorita Mullins, Mrs. Hill, Mrs. Sterling, Miss Conklin, Alice Sebold, Mother Teresa, Elizabeth Blackwell, Betty Freidan, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Gilbert.

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