Feeling Cheated Before My Mastectomy

Three nights before my double mastectomy, I cry about it. I’ve had moments of anger, wanting to stomp the old wicker chairs in our sun porch to hear them crunch like giant Wheaties. Other moments I go catatonic in my bedroom on a Sunday afternoon. But I hadn’t really cried yet. My husband and I […]

Girls Can Do All the Things

Juliette Gordon Low founded the girl scouts because she had been hanging out with the Boy Scouts founder and thought, well, why the heck weren’t girls encouraged to go hike in the woods, build a fire, swim? She liked all of that stuff. When people think about women who have made a major impact on […]

A Letter to My Muslim Sisters

I don’t remember your name. I do remember your laughter, your patience when you helped me with my pronunciation of sounds that are difficult for the English-trained tongue. I never saw you again after our college Arabic class ended but the look in your eyes has remained with me all these years—the fear and sorrow […]

Minnie Vautrin: Staring Down Death

“The city is strangely silent—after all the bombing and shelling. Three dangers are past—that of looting [Chinese] soldiers, bombing from aeroplanes and shelling from big guns, but the fourth is still before us—our fate at the hands of a victorious army. People are very anxious tonight and do not know what to expect . . […]

Female Fingerprints Are All Over Global Cities: Will we See them?

Night came swiftly as the cool air of Autumn descended upon the plantation. Fog covered the great poplar tree so that just the swish of her petticoat was visible as she removed the encoded message, replacing it with another. She knew that this station, on her family’s farm outside of the capital, was their most […]

The Rightness of Clothes

You know that thing where you show up for a fashion show in such amazing clothes that the photographers there assume you’re Someone Famous and photograph you? But actually you’re a sixty-something Fordham social work professor and just have really fabulous taste? And because of that photo shoot, you become a fashion icon, model, and […]

Women Have a History

  “History is no longer just a chronicle of kings and statesmen, of people who wielded power, but of ordinary women and men engaged in manifold tasks. Women’s history is an assertion that women have a history.” ~Aparna Basu, Professor of History at the University of Delhi, India And what a history it is! From warriors like Boudica, Zenobia, […]

Free to Be Me

  It’s been awhile since I’ve experienced it: vulnerability hangover. It’s a term Brene Brown coined for that feeling of, “Did I just share too much? Is she going to think I’m way too much of a mess?” It’s enough to make you throw up a little. But I felt that vulnerability hangover the other […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]

The Time I Ruled the World

Before there was Barack or Hillary, there was me. Black. Female. President. In the photo above, I had just been elected Beaumont Middle School’s first Black President. I knew in my heart I had enough love to change the world—one heart at a time. Our student body council bonded quickly in the name of “equality” […]

Zen and the Art of Acceptance

My sister and I sat cross-legged, waiting to learn about meditation. Someone filled the little porcelain cups with steaming green tea; they grew warm in our hands. I looked around the makeshift temple in what looked like it used to be a gas station. Bars on the windows reminded us we were in the heart […]