Without This Woman

Without This Woman, I Wouldn't Remember Your Name

By Marina Shifrin

Without This Woman, I Wouldn’t Remember My Home Country

When I moved into my first “adult” apartment, the most important thing I needed to bring with me was a pink plastic photo frame with the words “GROOVY GIRLZ” on it. The frame holds a photo of me and my cousin as toddlers, smiling in matching Hello…
By Isabella Gomez

Without This Woman, I Wouldn’t Be So Aware Of The Walls Between Us

When you visit a prison, you discover that the prisoners are not different from you. It's pretty arbitrary who's in prison and who is not. A few years ago, I went with Deborah Jiang Stein of the unPrison Project to visit a women’s prison in…
By Gloria Steinem

Without This Woman, The Glass Ceiling Would Have Fewer Cracks

In the '80s, when I was a teenager growing up in Russellville, Arkansas, my mother took me to the governor’s mansion for the First Lady’s Tea. It was there that I first met Hillary Rodham Clinton, a graduate of Yale Law School, the first female…
By Stephanie S. Streett

Without This Woman I Met Via Chatroom, I Wouldn't Have My Career

We met our junior year of high school. The year was 1995, the date was April 20, the time was 4:20. She hates when I tell that part of the story. The plan was to meet at Strawberry Fields in Central Park. It wasn’t our plan; we were each wing-women…
By Piper Weiss

Without This Woman, I Would Have Lost Myself To Abuse

The longest relationship I've ever had is with my best friend. I met Sarah when her family moved to my town. On the first day of 10th grade, she tapped me on the shoulder in Spanish class to mouth, “What the hell did Señor just say?” We’ve now been…
By Stacia Fleegal

Without This Woman, I Wouldn’t Know I Can Win

In the early '90s, you could have found me glued to The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, pretending I was helping fight the evil Rita Repulsa and Lord Z. I especially admired Trini, the Yellow Ranger, played by Thuy Trang. She fought for good amongst…
By Alexandra Velasco

Without This Woman, I Couldn’t Have Led The Resistance

Not long after I co-founded the open-source platform Resistance Manual, Trump announced his notorious travel ban. I jumped into action and helped coordinate a rapid-response effort to connect legal help with the people who needed it. It was the…
By Aditi Juneja

Without This Woman, I'd Still Be Living Other People's Dreams For Me

I started wishing myself away in kindergarten. For an entire semester, I let my teacher and classmates call me "Za-hee-da" (it's "Zai-ee-da"). I wanted my classmates to like me, so I was polite. Nice girls didn't correct others when the names that…
By Zahida Sherman

Without This Woman Fleeing The Vietnam War, I Wouldn't Have My Life

I grew up with an immigrant mother who had escaped the Vietnam War. Many of the gifts she provided to me were invisible to me as I grew up; it took years for me to see them for what they are. In the '80s, I watched dozens of sitcoms and shows on our…
By Quynh Mai

Without This Woman From A Novel, I Wouldn't Have Changed My Own Story

"I am so tired of it, and also tired of the future before it comes." This epigraph by 19th century South African writer Olive Schreiner is how Doris Lessing opens the first Martha Quest novel. Standing in the stacks at the public library, holding…
By Nina Burleigh

Without This Woman, I Wouldn't Believe We Could Start A Revolution

In 2005, when I was living in the Bay Area, my aunt emailed me a copy of a manuscript titled Recollections. It had been written in longhand by my late maternal grandmother, Meherunessa Islam, the first feminist I knew before I understood what…
By Abeer Hoque

Without This Woman, I Wouldn't Have A Closet Full Of Trophies (Or The Confidence To Win Them)

I was the kind of kid who feared talking to strangers. When I was 10 and my brother was seven, I'd coerce him into asking for change at the bowling alley, where our parents would take us every Sunday night to play with their church group, so we…
By Jen Doll

Without This Woman, I Wouldn't Remember Your Name

Celia. Deanna. Drew. Leigh. Toni. Rob. These are the last six people I’ve met, and I will always remember their names. Not because they’ve had a profound impact on my life. They haven’t. As of this writing, they are acquaintances who stopped by for…
By Marina Shifrin