Girl Power

July 18, 2016

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
~ Alice Walker


On the day of the New York Primary Elections this past April, women affixed their “I voted” stickers to the headstone of Susan B. Anthony’s grave, in tribute.

Susan B. Anthony, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, died March 13, 1906, more than 14 years before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, finally giving women the legal right to vote.

Anthony began collecting anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17 and eventually became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.  She was also active in the temperance (anti-alcohol consumption) movement.  She formed one of the first national suffrage (right to vote) organizations in 1869.

Women-led organizations, from the early 1800’s, had fought for various causes, including property and other rights for women, abolition of slavery, child labor laws, and temperance, but not all of them agreed on the right of women to vote as being a priority.  In time, most women reformers realized that many politicians were not willing to listen to a group that did not represent voters.  It is votes, after all, that ultimately determine whether a politician has a job.  Therefore, women activists decided that, in order to achieve the reforms they sought, they needed to fight for the right to vote.  Ratified on August 18th, 1920, the 19th Amendment was the single largest extension of voting rights in the history of the United States.

Photo by Andrew Cuthbertson, via Twitter and Facebook


The power of women to make change is also embodied in the image of Harriet Tubman, who, in addition to later helping to promote the cause of women’s suffrage, escaped slavery in 1849 only to risk her own life and freedom by making 13 missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved friends and their families via the Underground Railroad.  Tubman passed away in 1913, after a lifetime of heroism and service, becoming a powerful symbol of female courage.

On April 20th, 2016, the day after grateful women decorated Susan B. Anthony’s grave with their “I voted” stickers, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that a portrait of Harriet Tubman would replace slave-owner Andrew Jackson as the image on the front of the $20 bill.


Although the Tubman twenty dollar bill will not be available for another four years, I think I will donate that amount in her honor to one of the many organizations started by women doing good work today:

Moms Demand Action
Moms Demand Action was founded by concerned mother Shannon Watts, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.  The organization is now a leading non-partisan force for gun violence prevention and grassroots movement for stronger gun safety laws with chapters in all fifty states.

The Malala Fund
Inspired by co-founder Malala Yousafzai, the teenage advocate for educating girls who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, the Fund’s goal is to enable girls around the world to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so they can achieve their potential and become positive change-makers in their communities.

The American Red Cross
Founded by Clara Harlowe Barton in 1881, the mission of American Red Cross is to provide compassionate care to those in need.  The five key service areas of the organization here and around the world are: disaster relief, providing lifesaving blood, health and safety education, supporting military families and international humanitarian work.

The League of Women Voters
Founded by Carrie Chapman Catt, just six months before the 19th Amendment was ratified, The League of Women Voters was originally designed to assist women in carrying out their new responsibilities as voters.  Today, this non-partisan organization continues to work at registering, protecting, educating and engaging voters, improving election processes, reforming money in politics, defending the environment, advocating for gun safety and more.


2016 has been a challenging year so far, filled with one tragedy after another.  I had intended to publish this particular post weeks ago, but with successive shootings, attacks, candlelight vigils, and shocking events coming sometimes days apart, the time never seemed to be appropriate for a post celebrating and encouraging the role of women in the world.

But then it occurred to me that, maybe because of the excessive violence, anger and aggression expressing itself in the world today, traditionally feminine leadership qualities are exactly what are most needed now.

The willingness to listen, negotiate, multitask and forge relationships; the quality of supporting, encouraging and softening; the power of compassion, the strength of patient persistence, etc., all seem, to me, to be much needed antidotes to the current rhetoric clamoring for attention in a world that seems to be lashing out in fear.

The women and men that fought, died and sacrificed for our right to vote and for our freedom lived through incredible difficulties and experienced numerous setbacks and hardships.  They kept going.

Don’t let the sadness immobilize you.  Don’t let despair silence you.  Get involved in whatever way you can and be a force, big or small, for peace, healing, love, tolerance and education.  As civil rights activist and feminist Florynce Kennedy once said:

“Don’t agonize. Organize!

The power is already within you.


Eat some Pink Popcorn while watching the new Ghostbusters movie or whatever other events may be entertaining you during the next couple of weeks.


Pink Popcorn
Soft, sweet and irresistible, this all-natural version of Pink Popcorn is caramel-glazed popped corn tinted with cherry juice.  You can use air-popped corn or pop it without oil using a microwave oven and paper lunch bag (see instructions for this method below recipe).

12 cups plain popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cherry juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the popped corn into a large bowl.  Set aside.

Heat the butter, sugar, cherry juice and vanilla in a medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring.  Let boil for 1 minute, stirring often.  Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour over the popcorn, while stirring corn.  Continue to stir to mix well and coat popcorn evenly.  Let cool, stirring a few times during cooling.  Eat within 24 hours.

Paper Bag Popcorn
Two batches of 1/4 cup corn each should give you the 12 cups you need for the recipe above.

You will need:
Organic popping corn
Brown paper lunch bags
Butter, salt and other seasonings, if desired (omit for Pink Popcorn recipe)
In a brown paper lunch bag, add 1/4 cup popping corn.  Fold the top over a couple of times, using small folds.  Make a small tear in the center of the folded part and fold either side down in opposite directions to hold the top shut.

Place bag long side down in the microwave and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes, until there are 4 or 5 seconds between pops.  Do not leave the microwave unattended.  you want to be able to listen for the rate of pops and stop immediately when it slows down.  It only takes a few extra seconds to burn the  popcorn and you don’t want to risk ruining your corn or, worse, starting a fire.

Open the bag carefully, because steam will have built up.  Use in a recipe, eat it plain or flavor with salt, butter or other seasonings.


One Response to “Girl Power”

  1. Stessa

    Ate all my popcorn last night! 🙂 Thinking I need to make a double recipe this time.