Thanks for the Memories



by Rosemary Dempsey,
Vice President-Action


What a time this has been. As I prepare to turn off my most consistent companion, "Ms. L. Top," in anticipation of one of my last flights back to DC's National Airport, I am tired, elated and once again in awe of all of the incredible women who have allowed me a glimpse into their hearts and a share of a chapter in their lives.

How to capture a slice of this incredible seven-year journey as Action Vice President for NOW?

What are the most brilliant memories?

The recurring theme is the women who have made things happen. Their vitality, their courage, their fears and their unbridled optimism that by taking action we will pry open the gates to the "American Dream" so that women and all the "others" get onto those elusive, even playing fields beyond:

We, all of us, have seen great changes in these seven years. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 in which women finally won the right to a jury trial and damages in employment discrimination cases; the Violence Against Women Act in which women won the civil right of freedom from gender-based violence; the culture-bending phenomenon of Anita Hill; the women of Tailhook, Aberdeen, The Citadel and VMI; lesbians and gays in the military; the women elected to Congress in 1992; the great marches and rallies; passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a first for reproductive freedom in the U.S. Congress.

And we have seen the intense backlash from the Army of God, Operation Rescue, Promise Keepers, the Majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives sounding the alarm that Congress has become too "fem-centric." And most infuriating, the increased harassment and attacks on our younger sisters and their self-esteem.

My vision for the future is one that holds unlimited challenge and possibility. This generation of young feminists is unapologetic and determined to claim and mold this culture as its empowered movers and shakers. This is the future of NOW. As I am ending a remarkable chapter in my life, I look forward to turning the page and jumping with both feet into the rest of the story.


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