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Angela Bonavoglia

Angela Bonavoglia


Angela Bonavoglia calls herself a bleeding-heart liberal, and has spent her career writing about and championing the cause of women, with particular emphasis on religious, social and health issues. An award-winning journalist, Angela’s also the author of Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading The Fight to Change The Church and,The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion. Make sure to tune in.

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Sandi: Welcome to another addition of Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein.  Proud of being a bleeding heart liberal, my guest today has spent her career writing about and promoting the cause of women, with particular emphasis on religious, social, and health issues. Not one to shy away from controversy, author and award-winning journalist Angela Bonavoglia, is a former Ms. Magazine contributing editor. Whose feature articles, investigative reports, op eds, personal essays and profiles have also appeared in the New York Times, Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and The Nation among others. Her blogs for the Women’s Media Center and the Huffington Post include, For Pope Francis: A To Do List For Women.

Angela has long championed the cause of women in the Catholic Church. The Church’s Tug of War, was a lead article in The Nation in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal that broke in 2002, it became the basis for her second book, Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church. Angela speaks all over the country about women and Catholic Church reform and was one of the experts featured in the documentary Pink Smoke over the Vatican. Her first book, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak out about Abortion, is an oral history that takes us from the 1920s through the 80s. Featuring interviews with Whoopi Goldberg, Jill Clayburgh, Grace Paley, as well as activists, clerics, and medical providers who share their experiences with legal and illegal abortions. Angela is also a communications and development consultant who has worked for leading foundations, public agencies and non-profits. The first in her family to attend college, Angela has a Masters in Social Work from New York University.

Angela. Welcome and thanks for joining me today.

Angela: It’s great to be here today, Sandi.

Sandi: But, you didn’t have a choice because in the spirit of full disclosure, Angela and I have known each other since the late 70s.

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: So, it’s really very exciting for me to have a conversation that’s being taped with you today.

Angela: [Laughing] It’s great to be here Sandi.

Sandi: Angela, despite your immigrant grandmother who was a suffragist, your strong willed working class mother who raised two children alone, you wound up, as you say, not an intentional but an accidental feminist. What does that mean?

Angela: Well, it means that where I grew up there was no talk of anything like feminism. I grew up in Scranton Pennsylvania, coal mining town, working class community. Very Catholic, which was a good part of my growing up in many ways. But there really, there were no role models. I didn’t know any women who were out in the world. I knew teachers, but a lot of them were nuns. Really, at that time, women who wanted to be independent became nuns or maybe a nurse or maybe a teacher. There were very few paths.

Sandi: Those were their only options in a sense.

Angela: Yeah. I really didn’t know anything about feminism. My grandmother was a suffragist in the 1920s. She was an immigrant from Italy. She had that period of her life when she was obviously very spirited. Then she went on to marry and have eleven children.

Sandi: Oh my God.

Angela: I remember her as a very kind of beleaguered woman. When people talked about the fact that she was a suffragist, no one ever said it was brave. It was kind of this quirky part in her history.

Sandi: Did she ever talk about being a suffragist?

Angela: No. She never did. It was just part of the family lore. We knew that. Everyone knew grandma was a suffragist. Really, I didn’t come into feminism until I left Scranton for New York which was in 1969. Which was an amazing year to be in New York. The people who got me out of Scranton helped me on the road to feminism. As you said, one was my mother, who was widowed when I was seven and my brother was three. My mother had a real adventuresome spirit that she never really followed up with herself. She, unlike the mothers in the town where I grew up, who really wanted their daughters close to home and nobody was encouraging anybody to leave, my mother practically bought my bus ticket to New York. She was like, go.

Sandi: You were going to live the life that she couldn’t live?

Angela: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Sandi: Did she say that to you in so many words?

Angela: Not really, but the level of encouragement for me to follow my own dreams was always so strong and it meant so much to me. She did kind of tag along. There were times when I was aware that she was really vicariously living through me. When my books came out and she came to book parties, she would have tears in her eyes. She would really, she really shared the triumphs. I could never have done them without her. The other person I have to credit is Ms. Lewis. I think guidance counselors can be the most important people in our lives and they’re often unappreciated. I had no notion of college, I knew no one who went to college, I had no intention of going to college. I took typing, which has served me really well. I took short hand.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Angela: [Laughing] Even though I talked in class and got thrown out occasionally. That was my track, until Ms. Lewis said, take French, take chemistry, take biology, I mean, she nudged me.

Sandi: You were kind of on a business track?

Angela: I was going to be a secretary.

Sandi: Right.

Angela: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Sandi: No, not at all.

Angela: There’s nothing wrong with that, but I had other talents. I wrote from when I was a child and Ms. Lewis just saw that. She said, I want you to apply to one Liberal Arts College. I was like, what’s a Liberal Arts College?

Sandi: Wow.

Angela: She had me apply to Wilkes College, which is a Liberal Arts College in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania that I would have been able to commute to and I applied to one business school. I got into both and she said, I want you to go Wilkes, and I went. She really changed the course of my life. She and my mother.

Sandi: Did you live at home when you went to Wilkes?

Angela: I did. For three years. The last year I lived on campus.

Sandi: Where those four years very seminal in your life?

Angela: I loved it. I think people who maybe grow up expecting to college,

Sandi: Take it for granted?

Angela: Yeah.

Sandi: Mm

Angela: I didn’t. I was so hungry for knowledge. I just loved it. I loved philosophy and literature and logic. I took religion classes. I was almost going to be philosophy and religion major but I didn’t know what in the world I would do with that.

Sandi: I was just going to ask and what do you do with that?

Angela: Also, the other thing is I never talked. I was so quiet as a child. I didn’t talk through college. I maybe once opened my mouth. Even in graduate school, it took me becoming a feminist and having people encourage me to speak to get me to the place where I could have a public voice. I haven’t stopped talking since. [Laughing]

Sandi: Then, what was your real introduction to feminism?

Angela: It was kind of gradual. When I came to New York in 1969.

Sandi: You did that because why?

Angela: When I was at Wilkes, a man named Mr. Nork, came from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to Wilkes to recruit people to come work at Met Life in New York City in the training, the manpower training and development department. I don’t know that I had any skills for that but he was looking for people. He was looking for young people who were willing to leave. He said to me, I’ll never forget this, he said the girls from this area are all ready to leave. The guys, they won’t budge. I was thinking why would they leave?

Sandi: Yeah. [Laughing]

Angela: They have a great life here.

Sandi: Sure.

Angela: I got the job and I came to New York for the first time. They put me up in the Americana Hotel, on the eighteenth floor for my interview.

Sandi: I don’t even know.

Angela: It’s gone.

Sandi: Yeah. Okay.

Angela: This is 1969. So I got the job and then I came back. I was here for a year. August 26, 1970, was the Women’s Equality March which was the 50th anniversary of the women’s right to vote. Somehow I wound up in that march. It went down Fifth Avenue, there were 60,000 women, it was the largest march of women for equality in the United States that had ever happened. I remember it like it was yesterday. I don’t remember where I joined it and I don’t remember where I left it.

Sandi: Huh.

Angela: I just remember so many women. Women of all ethnicities, cultures, with babies, old women. We were all just marching together.

Sandi: You got swept up in that.

Angela: I got swept up in it.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: That was the beginning. But, I didn’t stay in New York. At that point, I don’t know, I think I was still trying to figure out who I was. Was I this girl who belonged in Scranton? Was I somebody else? Was there some other route I should take? I actually went back to Scranton and lived.

Sandi: After a year in Manhattan.

Angela: After a year in Manhattan.

Sandi: That’s interesting because it’s kind of like dying and going to heaven. Why in God’s name would you ever leave? Unless you got, you know, married to somebody or

Angela: I had a broken heart. I had met somebody who I fell very much in love with and he was such a New York person. I mean, he knew the arts and I knew nothing about that. He just, he had life by the throat and I didn’t. I sort of thought if I hung on to him, well, I could have that too.

Sandi: Mm

Angela: He wouldn’t let me do that. He was like, you need to find your way. You need to learn what you like. What music do you like? What theatre do you like? It was overwhelming to me and so I went back home. I got engaged to my old boyfriend, and I thought, I’m just going to stay here now. I would have nightmares that I would marry him and stay there. Finally, I concluded that I couldn’t stay there. While I was there, I worked in an alcoholism and drug abuse clinic. I felt that I wanted to go and get a Masters in Social Work so I applied to graduate school, got into NYU, came back to New York and never looked back. Once I got to New York, then I really got involved in the feminist movement.

Sandi: There was maybe a maturity sense also and a greater sense of self there.

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: That you needed to find out who you were. It was important that you do go home again.

Angela: It was because I saw that I did not belong there. That there was not where I wanted to live my life. That I really needed to chart a path of my own, as scary as it was.

Sandi: So, you come back, you go to graduate school, and is that when the political

Angela: Yes. It began.

Sandi: Foundation really began?

Angela: Yeah. It began. Actually when I was home in Scranton I started reading. I read The Feminine Mystique, I read Germaine Greer, I started reading the books. By the time I got to New York, back to New York, I was in that mind set. Then in that time NOW New York was forming.

Sandi: NOW. Right. National Organization for Women

Angela: Yeah. Women.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: There was the New York Women’s Lobby.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: I started to write. I had always both written and cared about social justice. What’s interesting, as I said, I grew up Catholic. I took the message they gave me so seriously. The message was, in the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, which is that blessed are those who fight for justice. I believed in justice. I believed in justice for women. In a way, they created their own monster. [Laughing]

Sandi: I was just going to say, there’s a bit of a dichotomy there.

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: Not even a bit.

Angela: I brought that into my work and that’s what I started, I started really building. I was going to say, that I have had this duel commitment in my life. Both to social justice and to writing and I, eventually they came together.

Sandi: They married.

Angela: Right. I was able to see that I could write all kinds of pieces that were my way of saying, my way of getting out into the world, the world I wanted to see. I could also work with wonderful organizations from Planned Parenthood to the Ms. Foundation to The International Women’s Health Coalition. I could write for them to help them forward that goal. It all eventually came together.

Sandi: Working for Ms. had to also be, I keep using the same word, seminal but that had to be a really big moment in your life.

Angela: It was huge. It was really huge.

Sandi: Then, you’re surrounding yourself with

Angela: Incredible people.

Sandi: Mentors and women in the same position you’re in.

Angela: Yeah. I worked actually, there’s the Ms. Foundation and then there’s Ms. Magazine.

Sandi: Right. You worked for Ms. Foundation.

Angela: I worked for the Ms. Foundation, but I was a contributing editor to Ms. I did a lot of writing for Ms. and they were very closely aligned the two. There were board people on both the magazine and the foundation board.

Sandi: What was the focus of the Ms. Foundation?

Angela: Supporting grassroots women’s groups who were working on all kinds of women’s issues. In the early, early, early days. Domestic violence. Violence, rape prevention, economic development. All of the different areas you think of that were just bubbling up. We forget that in the early 1970s, in fact I wrote for Ms., one of the annual reports I wrote, it was the dawn of a decade, the 1970s. No woman had ever been elected State Governor, ordained a Rabbi, worked in a coal mine, driven in the Indianapolis 500, ventured into space, joined the National Press Club, or become a Rhodes Scholar. Pregnant teachers were forced to stop teaching, married women could not get a phone listing or a passport in their birth names and women with small children were commonly refused employment.

I went on to say that women could not sue their husbands for rape because there was no such idea that you could be raped in marriage. There were no domestic violence shelters. There were no domestic violence programs. Women could be, were criminals if they had abortions. It was a totally different time then. The Ms. Foundation played a really crucial role in building the network of women’s organizations that would begin to fight for change in all of these areas, in women in athletics, in women in business. We still are, that fight is still raging. [Laughing]

Sandi: You think?

Angela: [Laughing]

Sandi:   If you’re just joining us, my guest today is Angela Bonavoglia who is an author and award winning feminist journalist.  So, when you went to the Ms. Foundation, obviously, you got to meet Gloria Steinem.

Angela: I did. I got to meet Gloria Steinem.

Sandi: She had an impact on your life.

Angela: Oh, enormous. I consider her a dear friend.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: She’s an absolutely wonderful person. In fact, she was the person who made it possible for me to write my first book. It was in the late 80s and the Supreme Court had made several decisions that allowed for more impediments to abortion. For things like waiting periods. A day, two days, three days, which meant women had to travel for those, now they’re called compulsory internal vaginal ultrasounds, intravaginal ultrasounds before you have an abortion whether you want it or not. There was a lot of concern about the fact that there were going to be a lot of burdens put on the right to abortion at that time. Gloria was under contract to Random House to come up with book ideas. She had this idea that there should be a book of women’s experiences. Famous women’s experiences with abortion. The first person who was thought of to do it was an incredible editor who used to be at Ms., called Mary Thom, who has since passed away. Mary couldn’t do it, so she and Gloria talked about it and they decided that I should do it.

That’s how I got that assignment. That was an incredible experience. I got a list of celebrities that were maybe tangentially involved in the pro-choice movement, or who Gloria knew. I had to call them up and say, my name is Angela

Sandi: [Laughing]

Angela: Bonavoglia. I’m writing

Sandi: Hello, Whoopi

Angela; Right. Exactly. I’m writing a book for Random House about women’s experiences with abortions. I don’t know whether you’ve had an abortion or not, but if you had, would you like to talk to me? Amazingly, so many women came forth at that time. Those women, like Anne Archer, who was if people may recall, was from Fatal Attraction and many other things, she was aware at the time I interviewed her that ten, twenty years down the road, people could look at her confession of or her admission

Sandi: Admission.

Angela: That she had had an abortion and really demonize her for it. That maybe at that moment they wouldn’t, but later they would. I think in a sense that has come to pass. One of the people I interviewed said that she felt that women who had illegal abortions were given some measure of sympathy but women who decided to have legal abortions, today even, are judged. Would be judged. That was an interesting comment that she made.

Sandi: How’d you reconcile doing a book on abortions with the fact that you were raised Catholic?

Angela: Being raised Catholic, the one thing that, two things happened. Number one, as I said before, it gave me a social justice framework for life. That people have a right, all people have a right to be treated fairly. That all people are equal. So, for me, when I saw no women on the altar, no women that you could go to confession to, no women. There was an abused woman in my neighborhood nobody was helping her. I saw what was happening to women. At that time actually, if a woman was pregnant, I remember hearing this, got to the point of birth, and it was the choice between her life and the child’s life, it was the husband’s decision. All I could think was that is really not right. I had this bubbling anger against the church as a child and then as a teenager, when I began to become sexually active, I just couldn’t, I felt like I had a right to my own body.

Sandi: So, you couldn’t reconcile what you had been taught all these years

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: with what was happening in life? There’s what’s over here and then there’s what’s over here. And never the twain shall meet. I don’t understand.

Angela: It was really, really hard. It was a really hard place to be. What happened was I pulled away from the Catholic Church was what happened, in my early twenties. Actually, something really helped me with that. When I was in my early twenties, in New York, sexually active, really believing women should have access to birth control, should be able to end a pregnancy. I believed that stuff and it did not feel, it felt holy to me. It felt like that was my moral responsibility.

Sandi: Huh

Angela: Given to me by God. Look where she put the fetus is what I always say. I was feeling very torn. I go home to visit my mother. I am feeling really guilty. I’m not going to church, I’m not going to confession.

Sandi: Did she make you feel guilty?

Angela: Never.

Sandi: Okay.

Angela: Never. My mother had her own way of being Catholic, which is the other thing that really helped me. She always said take what you love and leave the rest which is a twelve step motto that I think works with the Catholic Church. It’s a Saturday morning, I decide that I’m going to go have my own personal confession to a priest. I got to the rector. I travel up to the monastery in Scranton. Beautiful Monastery of St. Anne’s Church. I knock on the door to the rectory and this little housekeeper guy comes to the door. I say, I need somebody to hear my confession. It’s like 9 o’clock in the morning on Saturday. He says okay. He takes me to the little confessional in the rectory and I’m sitting on my side and the screen opens and in comes the smell of alcohol. The priest says, I start talking, Bless me Father, the priest stops me. He says, how old are you? I said twenty four. He said are you single or married? I said single. He said come with me into the parlor. I want to hear your confession there. This was like a gynecologist saying come with me to my apartment and we’ll do your exam. It was so unheard of. He was the priest, so I got out of the confessional and I followed him to this parlor. He was an old guy, not a hundred years old, but he wasn’t like any overpowering kind of person but he had the power because he was the priest. So we sit on a couch. He sits way to close to me, he puts his arm around me, and he’s expecting me to confess my sins. Then, he wants to know where do I live in New York? He wants my address. I actually gave him my address but, I wriggled out of there before anything bad could happen. When I opened the door to leave that rectory, the sun was shining, the sky was blue. I thought, these are not my way to God. These guys are not the way to God and it changed everything for me.

It gave, it empowered me. That I will find, I will get to God in my own way, whatever God is. I can keep what I need from my faith and be a fighter for women at the same time.

Sandi: This was a critical moment in your life.

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: Then what happened after that?

Angela: I got very involved with Catholics for Choice. I eventually was on the board of Catholics for Choice. They were doing a lot of work in New York City at the time. There were demonstrations and marches and all sorts of things focused on changing the church. On teachings in the church that support a woman’s right to choose like the church’s teaching on the primacy of conscious. That teaching holds that we have the freedom, the right, and actually the responsibility to make our own moral choices. That those choices must be in the final analysis between each of us and God. Catholics for Choice also publicized the positions the Church had taken on abortion that were not well known. For example, historically, the church didn’t teach that ensoulment, that is a fetus having a soul, occurred at the moment of conception but that it occurred later. Months later in the pregnancy.

Sandi: You never lost your religious beliefs? Is that a fair way to put it?

Angela: No. Some of them I feel like I, like in the piece that you talked about before, the to do list on women for Pope Francis. Who by the way, I think Pope Francis has some really great qualities. He’s wonderful on poverty. He cares about the poor. He doesn’t like trickle down economics. He’s really great on a lot of things.

Sandi: But there will be no women priests under his tenure.

Angela: There will be no, and that’s the least of it. Yes. There will be no women priests. In terms of beliefs, the church for many years has said, since Humaneae Vitae has said you can’t use artificial birth control. I think that’s totally crazy. Most Catholics, there was actually a pontifical commission at the time that said, you should be able to use, we think you should be able to use artificial birth control. Most people use birth control. Teachings have changed. The Catholic Church used to have a place called limbo, which if you were a baby; If you had a baby and that baby was not baptized and God forbid you lost your baby, that baby would go to limbo where they would never see God. What a ridiculous belief. So they got rid of limbo, why can’t they get rid of artificial birth control? The ban on artificial birth control. So, in answer to your question, there are plenty of beliefs at this point that I think really desperately need adjustment. Whether they are, some of them are just extremely misogynistic beliefs and they just need to go.

Sandi: Yes, and one of those things that needs to go in your opinion is the fact that there are no women clergies.

Angela: Well, but there are women priests now. Depends on how you look at it.

Sandi: But they aren’t recognized.

Angela: No.

Sandi: They’re not, not validated.

Angela: Well, I recognize them.

Sandi: Yes, so?

Angela: And there are people who do recognize them. I mean they have followings, they have church communities around the world at this point. And I think that’s how this change is going to happen. From the bottom up, it’s not going to happen from the top down.

Sandi: You don’t feel frustrated in the sense that you’ve been doing this so many years, and while you’ve seen some movement, it hasn’t been glacial though.

Angela: Very frustrating. It’s extremely frustrating. And for me, my faith journey is not with the Catholic Church. It’s what, it’s finding my own path, to what is God, you know, what is that in life? But I still feel like the Catholic Church has a place in my heart, it always will, and it has an enormous influence on the lives of women all over the world whether they are Catholic or not. The Catholic Church pushes, everywhere that it is, bans on birth control. But we know that women who have access to birth control, are healthier, they have later pregnancies, so they are healthier and their babies are healthier because they are spaced well. They block that, and they block access to legal abortion. In the most incredible circumstances, I mean even with teenage girls, incest survivors, they block it. They excommunicate the parent, the doctor, not the step-father, in one case not the step-father.

Sandi: Mm Hmm.

Angela: So they have, and their position on LGBT issues is terrible. They oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children, and see their sexuality as intrinsically disordered. They don’t treat gay and lesbian couples and their commitments with any respect. So they have great power in the world, and I think it’s crucial that Catholics who believe the message on the mount, on justice and equality, and peace makers, and mercy, have to really fight for change in the church.

Sandi: Why did you write the book Good Catholic Girls?

Angela: You know, I was mad, I’ve gone through many phases during the course of my life, in terms of the church being angry, being quiet about it, leaving it, going back and at one point, I wanted to write a diatribe against the church, I was so mad. And then I heard about Sister Joan Chittister. She’s a brilliant orator and writer. A Benedictine nun. Towering figure in the Catholic Church. I didn’t know about her at all. She was invited to speak at the first world conference on women’s ordination in Ireland. The Vatican wrote a letter to the Benedictine Monastery and said to the prioress, you cannot let her go. We forbid you to let her go. The prioress said, I’ll have to think about that. She’s also a very strong woman. So, what happened, long story short, the prioress thinks about it. Joan doesn’t know what is going to happen. The night before Joan, Joan plans to go. The night before Sister Joan Chittister plans to go to Ireland, all of the Benedictine nuns in their Erie community come together in the chapel. There are about a hundred and twenty of them. Many old, on walkers, wheelchairs. There are two letters at the front on the altar. One is to go to the Vatican, signed by all of these nuns, saying Sister Joan Chittister is going to Ireland. The other letter was going from twenty-two chapters around the country. The prioress got up and she said to the nuns in the chapel, if you are comfortable signing these letters, sign these letters. Virtually, one person didn’t sign. Everybody signed the letters and Joan Chittister went to Ireland.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: She speaks out all the time. I found out about her. I found out about Sister Jeannine Gramick, who was censored by the Vatican for fighting for the rights of homosexuals in the church. I found out about Sister Elizabeth Johnson who’s a theologian at Fordham, who’s brilliant, who wrote a book called “She Who Is” about the female face of God. I thought the way to write this book, is to write about the great things these women are doing. About what they’re fighting for and how hard they’re fighting and that spoke to me.

Sandi: Do you think that it’s going to make any kind of a difference?

Angela: I think Pope Francis, I am not going to give up on him. I am not going to give up on him yet. He has said that in advance of the next bishop senate, which is 2015.

Sandi: Right.

Angela: We just had a senate of bishops.

Sandi: Right.

Angela: There’s to be conversation all over the world about these, some of these issues that we’re, that we’ve been talking about. I want to see what happens with that. I want to see who gets brought into the conversation. I want to see what happens next year.

Sandi: You’re going reserve judgement.

Angela: Yes.

Sandi: What are you going to work on now? What are you working on now?

Angela: I’m still watching the church. I still

Sandi: Watch out.

Angela: I know. I still watch women’s issues. I’ve been involved a lot in the issues around women with disabilities.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: That and their access to health care which I think is really, really important. I’d like, I’ve been working on a memoir for a really long time. I would like some day to finish it.

Sandi: Well, you’re still living. Why do you have to finish?

Angela; I’m still living. Right Exactly. I didn’t want to rush. [Laughing]

Sandi: [Laughing] It can change everything.

Angela: Hopefully I will get to that.

Sandi: You concerns or what’s important to you extend beyond religion.

Angela: Women’s issues in general.

Sandi: General

Angela: I love, I love looking at how women are being represented in arts and culture.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: I write about television, enormous movement.

Sandi: You mean Shonda Rhimes and so on and so forth.

Angela: Shonda Rhimes, Homeland, I mean there are amazing women. I think television is a place where women have had an opportunity to take on roles that they haven’t even begun to take on in mainstream film.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: I think film is way, way behind in terms of giving women a voice. There are really strong women on television right now.

Sandi: So, you feel

Angela: I feel heartened by that. I love seeing them and I love that people are watching them.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Angela: People are watching them take stands. People are watching them give orders. People are watching them be powerful. People are watching them crumble when that happens.

Sandi: You’re feeling optimistic for lack of a better word? Feeling good about what it means to be a woman in 2014-2015.

Angela: I feel that we are empowered in a way that we were not.

Sandi: When you were growing up.

Angela: When I was growing up.

Sandi: When we were growing up.

Angela: When we were growing up.

Sandi: Mm hmm

Angela: That gives me great heart. I think young women today are doing great work. On campuses with the whole business of getting rape cases recognized properly, whatever way that’s going to be we don’t know, but there are young women out there who are really fighting and who consider themselves feminists and who are happy to be called feminists. I’m feeling heartened I think. There’s an incredible amount of work to and I’m really sad that there’s so much work to do, but I do feel like now we’ve got a reenergized women’s movement in the United States. I think there are young women who are doing great stuff.

Sandi: Well, Angela, you’ve been doing great stuff, for many, many years.

Angela: Yes. Let’s not go there. [Laughing]

Sandi: [Laughing] No, but the important part of that is that you’re going to continue to great stuff. I guess you can never run out of things to write about and feel impassioned about.

Angela: Having a way to express that is such a gift. I’m so happy that, when I sit down and write something, I feel like I’ve had an opportunity to throw a little tiny drop in the ocean.

Sandi: More than a tiny drop. I’m so glad that

Sandi: [singing] I’m so glad we had this time together.

Angela: [Laughing]

Sandi: [Laughing] I think it’s just great that we’re friends.  Join us for another edition of Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein.



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