Monday, June 1, 2009

Catherine Marshall via My Mom

The stage is set like this... Peter Marshall is trying to gain the attention of a large crowd anyway he can when he shouts out "how about a song!". From the crowd he hears "how about a song about Rosie?"

Catherine Marshall steps up and says the following:

“I never thought much about being a girl, until two years ago when I learned from a man what a wonderful thing it is to be one. Until that Sunday morning, I’d considered myself lucky to be living in the twentieth century; the century of progress and emancipation. The century when supposedly we women came into our own.

“But I’d forgotten that the emancipation of woman really began with Christianity, when a girl – a very young girl – received the greatest honor in history. She was chosen to be the mother of the Savior of the world. And when her son grew up and began to teach His way of life, He ushered “woman” into a new place in human relationships. He accorded her a dignity she had never known before and crowned her with such glory that down through the ages she was revered protected and loved. Men wanted to think of her as different from themselves. Better.

“It remained for the twentieth century, the century of progress, to pull woman down from her throne. She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years, she had not been equal; she had been superior. To stand equal with man, naturally, she had to step down. Now, being equal with men, she has won all their rights and privileges … The right to get drunk. The right to swear. The right to smoke. The right to work like a man, to think like a man, to act like a man. We won all this, but how can we feel so triumphant when men no longer feel as romantic about us as they did about our grandmothers, when we’ve lost something sweet and mysterious … something that’s as hard to describe as the haunting, wistful fragrance of violets?

“Poets have become immortal by remembering on paper a girl’s smile, but I’ve never read a poem rhapsodizing over a girl’s giggles at a smutty joke. I’ve never heard a man brag that his sweetheart or wife could drink just as much as he and become just as intoxicated. I’ve never heard a man say that a girl’s mouth was prettier with a cigarette hanging out of it or that her hair smelled divinely of stale tobacco…”

My mom states at this point it is known that Catherine Marshall stopped abruptly as she realized she had given her first speech.

I'll like to note that one of my very first memories is asking Catherine Marshall a question (which my mom wrote and forced me to ask:) during an event at Len LeSourd's home in Northern Virginia. I also remember from that day that there was a parade of stuffed animals that everyone had dressed up. Strange, I had forgotten that till now. I'll have to get with my mom on that.

Thank you mom for this article today!

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