God Bless America. Land that we love. “Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above.”
Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” in 1918 – almost 100 years ago.
Lady Liberty, a sculpture representing the Roman goddess Libertas, was given to the United States as a gift from France in 1886.
We have been referring to America in feminine terms since 1886. Strong, beautiful feminine terms.
But positive feminization of aspects of our country only goes so far. Our own country is portrayed as a strong, beautiful, female force to be reckoned with – and yet we live in a society in which we, as women, can’t be.
America sounds like a great gal when she is but a free-flowing concept whose only “body” is made up of borders, with interstates as her veins and mountains as her knuckles. But when she is embodied by an overqualified woman who holds up her fist to a system that has repeatedly tried to kick her down, she’s a bitch.
I am glad you picked up this magazine. I am sure it was a bit shocking to see it being handed out in Cougar Mall or sitting in the newsstands in the hallway of Maybank.
The female body. Oh, the horror.
But there is something to be said for feminism in this country. I have surrounded myself with strong women. Whether they be members of my family, my roommates, my best friends from high school or the girls on this staff, we are all proudly hanging ten on the Third Wave. We are independent, educated and motivated and we do not settle for anything. We have made a lot of progress – and not just by burning bras and condemning men.
Whenever I think of strong women, I think of my Grammy. My Grammy was a badass. Don’t believe me? They played “I am woman, hear me roar” at her funeral. My mom is who she is largely because of my Grammy, and I am who I am because of some mystery cocktail of traits from both of them.
I am with her – and her and her and her.
That slogan should not retire with Hillary’s campaign. It is all too applicable and all too relevant, now more than ever.
Misogyny was just elected president of the United States. In my opinion, there is no better time to put a raw, strong female body on the cover of this magazine. Embrace it. Give your mom, your sister or your grandmother a hug.
If we cannot yet be the face of this country, we will continue to be the backbone.
*This article first appeared in the November 2016 issue of The Yard.