Skip to main content

Photo courtesy of the author

Mary McDonough's picture
My mother taught me so many things, it’s hard to choose which to write about.
What always stands out for me was her fierce independence as a young woman. She told me she could do anything as well as the boys when she was a kid and she proved it to them often. She ran away from an abusive father to California and found her “Golden Dream." She instilled in me a sense of being my own woman, and not to depend on a man.
Yet, she always wanted to be a lady and have doors opened for her. She taught me: A little lipstick goes a long way. She was the first feminist (without knowing it) I ever met. The motto I often repeat to my own daughter was Mom saying, ”First, go to school and play the field, get an education, then play the field, get a job, then travel the world, then have a career, and play the field, and after you have done all you wanted to do…maybe…maybe think about getting married. Then travel the world again…with him!” 
As I get older, I find myself sharing my mother’s sage wisdom with more and more young girls. I see her beautiful face and hear her voice in my head as I repeat her words of independence, strength, femininity and adventure.
Then I put on lipstick.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!