Friday, February 13, 2015

A Galentine's Day Love Letter

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 2:15 PM

This might be entirely self-indulgent, but let me have a moment. I wrote a lot this week about Valentine's dinners and such, but, thanks in large part to "Parks and Recreation," the day before V-Day is a day for ladies to celebrate the other ladies in their lives. It's Galentine's Day, friends.

This year, I want to take some time to celebrate all of the fantastic, radical, creative and driven women who have made the past two and a half months in this town a complete inspiration.

There's my editor, Mari Herreras, who sticks up for us when the haters hate and lets me have the freedom to pursue whatever weird idea comes to my head.

There's my co-worker, Maria Taracena, who has an unbelievable knack for telling other people's stories and isn't afraid to travel to far away and sometimes dangerous places to get those stories. A fortune cookie told her she'd win a Pulitzer and I'm not one to tell cookies that they're wrong. 

There's Liane Hernandez who runs YWCA's cafe, but is also just a badass on her own accord and is interested in everything from local food sourcing to mass imprisonment issues in the U.S. Someone told me this afternoon that one of the reasons she stays in Tucson is because of people like Liane.

There's Barbara Eiswerth who takes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food that would be thrown away and redistributes it to refugees in need. She's also committed to educating pretty much anyone who crosses her path with enthusiasm and passion. 

There's Linda Ray who has made a name for herself in music criticism—one of the most male-dominated industries I can think of. Despite the field often dismissing female voices, she has a strong one that manages still to be gracious. Her piece on Vox Urbana is a must-read this week.

There's Rebecca Safford who runs Tap & Bottle with her husband while taking care of a newborn and makes sure women's voices in the beer industry are heard, especially through events like her Women in Craft Beer panel next week.

There's the girl that saw me waiting for a table at Miss Saigon alone and offered to have dinner with me. Her name is Jessy and we're friends now thanks to her offer.

I haven't even scratched the surface on every great lady I've met in this town and I can't wait to meet more.

Disclaimer: If you're reading this and feel a surge of men's rights anger bubbling in your gut, know that I've also met a fair amount of cool dudes in this town. You're being validated now and you're also more than welcome to create Manintine's Day where you and all your bros can celebrate each other. That's great. Communities should be supportive of each other. The best way I've heard the difference between the two put is from another of my personal heroes, Allison Karow:

"Think of society as a big ladder with the people who control the resources, labor, money, politics, etc. (people with power) at the top and people with no power at the bottom. People with some power are in the middle. Men are higher up on this ladder than women (see government and income as examples in first world societies, women's health issues in third world societies). When a group that is higher on the ladder tells a group that is lower on the ladder to go away, that is called segregation. When a group that is lower on the ladder tells a group that is above them to go away, that is called 'organizing.' When and ONLY when a group has the initiative to organize can they gain power by helping each other."

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