International Day of Women

Posted by Cheryl Sloane on

I have been reflecting on this day for a few weeks now. I started by thinking of the women who paved the way for sexual freedom and happiness. Yes, I know that all women are not enjoying either of these rights, however I do think that we have come a long way and at least we are able to openly fight for our rights.  There are too many to honor in a blog post so I will begin with 3.

Betty Dodson (born August 24, 1929) is an American sex educator. An artist by training, she exhibited erotic art in New York, before pioneering the pro-sex feminist movement. A fourth-wave feminist, Dodson’s workshops, which she is still teaching, encourage women to masturbate. Betty's favorite toys are the vag barbell and the cordless Hitachi Magic Wand.We agree with Betty. Masturbate more this month!

Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American transgender women who was an LGBTQ rights activist and an outspoken advocate for trans people of color. Johnson spearheaded the Stonewall uprising in 1969.Along with Sylvia Rivera, she later established the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). and they became fixtures in the community, especially in their commitment to helping homeless transgender youth. Marsha was tragically murdered on July 6, 1992 at the age of 46. When I think about how many transgender children & teens have parents who accept them, I honor Johnson's work. I also know that, according to Rolling Stone's 2017 article, there are are still more than 70,000 homeless transgender teens in the US alone. We have so much work to do.

In 1961, in order to put Connecticut's ban on birth control to the test, Estelle Griswold and Dr. C. Lee Buxton opened a birth control clinic, Planned Parenthood, in New Haven to dispense contraceptives. This simple act of civil disobedience, followed by their arrest and conviction, ultimately led to one of the most far-reaching revolutions in constitutional history. Griswold v. Connecticut, decided by the Supreme Court in 1965, not only overturned an archaic obscenity law, but ended up defining a new constitutional right to privacy. I applaud these ladies and Planned Parenthood every single day. It wasn't that long ago....

Often thinking about the big picture just isn't enough. It's the smaller circle, the everyday, the people who touched your life and made you who you are. Now, on this day of women, I honor those who raised me. I come from a family of very strong women and I know they are always in my soul. Their legacy is my source and informs my life everyday. 

  • My bubby, Pearl Coval, worked, cooked, baked, danced, cursed with a vengeance and was a hell of a card player. Our house was an open house, a gathering place, a place of food, laughter and music.
  • My mom, Joyce Sloane, was the best. Mom to so many Chicago actors, her occupation was her passion and I grew up surrounded by improvisers and actors. She was a shining light with enough love for everyone in her world. Besides her family, she loved Frank Sinatra, Chicago, children, dogs and chocolate.
  • My family, the Centman's and the Coval's. I am so lucky to have inherited the Centman's strength and the Coval's love for the arts. Literature, music and especially theatre are my lifeblood. This is how I was raised and what I have to pass on.

So on this day, I honor those pictured below, Pearl Coval, Joyce Sloane, Charlotte Levin, Jacque Schwartz, Esther Nudelman, Tessie Goss, Nettie Coval, and so many more who came before me.



 Which fabulous women are on your mind today?


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