Two women whose stories are completely unrelated (except perhaps in their similar insistence on living life by their own lights) but I found both rather fascinating.
Patricia Heaton has managed to carve out a successful career in an industry that doesn’t much cotton to pro-life Christians. Tony Rossi captures some of her essence and energy:
Reason played an important part in the development of Heaton’s pro-life views. She learned to articulate her position when she moved to New York at the start of her career and had to start defending it because she was in the minority. It forced her to ask herself, “Where are we going to demarcate ‘life starts here’? If you do it anywhere other than conception, you just get into a huge amount of trouble and it doesn’t make any sense logically. So I think there’s a very reasoned way to be pro-life.”
Gloria Wasserman aka Annie
Less famous than Heaton, except among the fishmongers of New York City, Gloria Wasserman, aka “Shopping Cart Annie” has her unusual life profiled in a beautifully-wrought, almost lyrical piece by Dan Barry of the New York Times:
For several decades, Annie was the profane mother of the old Fulton Fish Market, that pungent Lower Manhattan place fast becoming a mirage of memory. Making her rounds, running errands, holding her own in the blue banter, she was as much a part of this gruff place as the waxed fish boxes, the forklift-rocking cobblestones, and the cocktail aroma of gasoline, cigarettes and the sea.
Some ridiculed and abused her; others honored and protected her. Young men new to the market were occasionally advised to make acquaintance with Annie’s prodigious breasts; kiss them for good luck. And the veterans, young men once, often slipped her a dollar, maybe five, for a copy of a fresh tabloid; pay her for good luck.
Young and old, they all had heard that the faded color photograph on display at Steve DeLuca’s coffee truck — of a striking young woman, a raven-haired knockout in a two-piece bathing suit, running barefoot against a glorious sky — was of Annie in her younger days, decades before her dark fish-market terminus. But some could not see the coffee-truck goddess in this bent woman at shadow’s edge, clutching the handle of the shopping cart she used to hold wares and provide balance, wearing a baseball cap, layers of sweaters, and men’s pants, navy blue, into which she had sewn deep, leg-long pockets to keep safe her hard-earned rolls of bills.
On consideration, both of these women have lived very feminist lives in ways that the feminist “movement” would either proclaim as “fake” (in the first) or consigned to weak victimhood (in the second). But weakness does not stand up straight and say, “I yam who I yam” quite so forcefully.
Read the whole thing; spend a little time this weekend getting to know these women, and think about how fearfully made we are, and how individually…
Thanks to Deacon Greg for the heads up on Barry’s moving and exceptional bit of writing.
Speaking of feminism: Western feminism seems unwilling to speak up on a true injustice.
But I liked