Fenriss (fenriss) wrote,

Geraldine Ferraro

I know that there are mixed feelings about Gerry these days due to some of the comments she made during the 2008 campaign, but that doesn't change what she meant to a generation of American women. My mother was president of NOW at the time, and she wrote the following editorial shortly after the election.

Ferraro: A Door Has Been Opened That Cannot Be Closed
from the National NOW Times, Nov/Dec 1984

When Geraldine Ferraro and her staff boarded a commercial flight the day after
the election, the passengers on the crowded plane recognized her – and burst into

We will be thanking Gerry Ferraro for a long time to come, for many things.

It is always toughest for pioneers, for those who blaze the trails and break the hard
ground. It takes extraordinary character, strength, and class, and we were fortunate to
have those in Gerry Ferraro.

We knew, as did she, that she would be microscopically examined and scrutinized in
this bruising campaign. We were familiar, too, with the “first woman syndrome,” which
always exposes some dormant layers of sexist attitudes, and it was fully operative in
this campaign, from the irrelevant comments about her hairdo to the condescending
manner of her opponent.

When it was all over and someone asked her if she was bitter about the treatment she
got in the press, she laughed and said, “No, no…I’m pretty tough.”

Tough she is, and brave, and we admire her for it greatly. But we know that inside the
public figure, the human being must have absorbed a great deal of pain. Yet she went
on it spite of it, because that’s what you do when you’re the pioneer.

Because she agreed to take on the historic challenge, it will be a little less difficult
for the next woman. Because she conducted herself and her campaign with such
outstanding dignity, integrity and intelligence – and with her wonderful sense of humor
intact – the lid is off the aspirations for the girls and young women of this nation. They
can dream and aim as high as they want to now.

Her story is far from over, and we look forward to her continuing presence on the
political scene. But for now, we’ll never forget this year. We’ll never forget her and
what she did for all of us.

Thank you, Gerry.
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