Ginny’s mother’s facial expression changed from genuine interest to one of pain. She wrapped her arm around her daughter’s shoulders and led her inside to the sofa. As they sat, more tears rolled down Ginny’s face and she tried to bury her head in her hands. Her mother watched as her confident, beautiful daughter crumpled into a pile of tears and sobs. Something was very wrong.
“Sweetie what happened?” She asked as she brushed the stray hair away from her daughter’s wet face.
“It was awful. They mocked me… they said that women couldn’t be journalists… I have never felt so…,” Ginny trailed off. Her mother’s shoulders hunched over. She scooched closer to her daughter and held her as she cried. She had never seen Ginny truly cry before. She knew that it was not her nature to be sad or defeated. She knew that these tears were not of shame though. Ginny was embarrassed.
No, these tears were those of a woman who was angry, frustrated and could not do anything about it. Ginny had always refused to accept the way that the world worked. It was a trait her mother had secretly admired in her. But she hated seeing her so disappointed.
“Maybe you were right mother. Maybe… I am just foolish,” Ginny said through her tears. Her mother looked at her in surprise. That is what her daughter had gotten from her? That is what she believed?
“Oh no, honey. You’ve got it all wrong,” her mother replied. How could she make her daughter understand?
“Ginny, if I have ever discouraged you from doing something, it was never because of who you are. I just never wanted to see you so hurt by the world. I think it is amazing how you know exactly what you want and go after it. But you have to understand, for a mother… watching her daughter go out into the world with such passion and forward thinking. It’s terrifying. I never wanted you to experience this,” she said lifting Ginny’s chin.
“I am sorry if I made you feel like I didn’t cherish every wonderfully weird thing about you. Because truly, I think you are remarkable. It’s just… because of that… I can’t protect you.”
The Bounce Back
Ginny stopped crying. She looked at her mother. All these years, she had thought that her mother disapproved of her and thought she was just a foolish girl. But she was really just trying to protect her. Though she was still upset about the awful encounter at the newspaper, she felt a warm wave of joy rush over her. She had a new closeness with her mother. Ginny hugged her mother tight and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“So what should I do?” Ginny asked.
It was the first time she had ever asked her mother for real life advice and she could see a large smile creep across her face. She looked around the room with a big sigh then looked Ginny in the eyes.
“You prove them wrong and never give up. At least, that’s what the Ginny I know would do,” she said with a smile. Ginny felt a new sense of purpose and was empowered by it. Her mother took her hands and said, “Ginny, this is going to be hard and it might take a long time. But don’t stop until they see that you can out-write all of them,” she said seriously.
Ginny nodded and wiped away what was left of her tears. Ginny was driven and no smoke-filled office was going to choke that out of her. She decided to write. She loved writing when she felt intense emotion. She loved the feeling of pouring her feelings on to a page for others to understand.
And now she had something to write about. Career women.
Yes, We Can
She knew that the idea was so foreign to the people of her town, but the world was a large place. Women were flying airplanes and hosting rallies. If the world as it was would not accept her dreams, she would join the others. Together with the likes of Amelia Earhart and Hattie Wyatt Caraway, she would carve a new world.
Ginny spent the rest of the day at her typewriter. She wrote about the traditional place of women. She wrote about the women she saw on television. She wrote about Women’s Suffrage and how far the nation had come since then and how far it still needed to go. Each piece carried the same message.
Women are equal. Women deserve the same rights as men in the work place. Women can do anything.
For the first time, Ginny asked her mother to read her pieces. Her mother smiled and sat down with the stack of papers and a pen. To Ginny’s surprise, she started to edit them. By the time she was done, there was red ink all over. As Ginny looked over the revisions, she was amazed. Her mother had a true talent at cutting and editing to bring out the best point. When Ginny finished reading the revisions, she looked up at her mother with her mouth open.
Her mother smiled slyly and said, “What, you didn’t think you got your writing skills from your Father did you?”
What next for Ginny? Where is the man of her dreams or will he stay there? Join us next week Wednesday for Part V in this seven-part series. Subscribe and be the first to read as we will send an update to your email.
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