My father is an ardent feminist. His own father died when he was young, and he was raised by my grandmother Jean, a woman who stood nearly six feet tall. Grandmother Jean ruled the household with an effortless discipline, the same way that she played the Steinway piano in her sunlit parlor, the keys rippling beneath her fingers. Alone, she competently provided for her household, ensuring that her three sons received excellent educations.
My grandmother passed on to my father a straightforward egalitarian perspective towards women that he has carried with him for the rest of his life. I rarely see my mild mannered father bristle but I remember once attending a wedding with him when I was young at which the Pastor referred to the prospective husband as the shepherd and the soon-to-be wife as the sheep. My father whispered furiously to me that he thought we should, Rise up and walk out in protest. Shhh, Dad, I said. But he was right. At least conceptually.
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