Friday, September 13, 2013
I don't know Diana Nyad or Serena Williams, but I have admired them both for a long time. Rachel, our daughter, I have admired from the second she was born, and she continues to inspire and amaze me.
I could complain (as I sometimes do) about how things are not the way they used to be. I could wallow in nostalgia, but since I have experienced this past half century (and some) as a woman, I can loudly proclaim that "now" is much preferable to "then." I spent a lot of last night looking through Lorenzo Hodges' photographs from the Crossfit "Pretty Gritty" competition (that this proud mother can say her daughter won the first prize in), and thought I'd share them here. (Please let me know if the link works if you are not a Facebook user.)
Before this "season," I was aware that Rachel got a lot out of doing Crossfit and participating in Crossfit-related activities, but now I understand just how important it is for her (and for all women) to be able to gain and display their physical and mental strengths proudly.
As much as I appreciate the Crossfit culture, I am content to confine my physical activity to practicing viola (which does take strength) and walking. I can put myself at a distance and laugh at what it meant to be "feminine" in previous decades, and love the whole idea of "pretty" and "gritty." I also love the fact that there seem to be a lot of men that support the efforts of the women who do Crossfit, and that these men admire women for their physical and mental strength, and the beauty that comes from having both.
Sometimes I do wonder what my life would be like if I were exactly the same person with exactly the same skills, strengths, and sensibilities, but I happened to be a man. In the world of music it probably would mean that I would have a great deal more professional success and recognition than I currently have. People would have taken me more seriously when I was younger. People (i.e. the male musical establishment) would probably take me more seriously as a composer and as a critic (which I am, by the way), and I probably would have been given more opportunities for gainful employment.
Oh well. I just go about my business (under-employed and under-respected as I often feel I am) and am very proud that my daughter is spending her young adulthood in a world where she has a greater shot at equality than I had.