If someone were outside the All Girl Immaculate Heart High School gymnasium -which doubles as an auditorium – and heard the cheers – one would assume there was a game going on. But no. The girls were cheering at Mary Wollstonecraft, and Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass.
It was March 1st, 2012, the first day of Women’s History Month and I was performing SHE’S HISTORY! The Most Dangerous Women in America, Then And Now… for five hundred and forty fabulous future feminists.
This was my first high school performance and what a way to start Women’s History Month! The girls were rapt! Rapt I tell you. They CHEERED at our first feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft – who wrote our first feminist book – A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman – or as I like to call it Don’t Punish Me For Having Ovaries! They loved it when I called Bella Abzug, “a great GREAT Pain In The Ass”! They screamed with recognition at Sojourner Truth. And they went a bit crazy when Frederick Douglass came to the SHE’S HISTORY! party.
What a joy and a surprise to get this reaction from high school students. The day before I was working on some promotional materials in my Apple Class. My tag line is “Why do we know more about Snookie than Abigail Adams? My trainer – a nice 30ish year old man asked, “who is Abigail Adams”? My heart sank. The night before I was at Staples printing a photo of me and Gloria Steinem (who I got to meet again), and asked the lovely young woman helping me, “Do you know who this is?” When she said no I said “it’s Gloria Steinem”! She had no idea who she was.
Immaculate Heart, a private girls Catholic High School in Los Angeles, has a reputation as a rebel school. No wonder those girls related to SHE’S HISTORY! Afterwards, several of the girls came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the show. One lovely young woman gushed compliments, passionate about her desire to get “more people involved in feminism”. I almost started crying. Their very cool teacher Claire told me the school has a fabulous theater department (yay!) and the seniors were all taking AP History (a college prep course) and that is why so many were familiar with the women and story lines in the show. I profile, show slides, tell stories about, humanize and bring to life around 40 fabulous females – each one a rebel and each one deserving of their own show. I am working on Victoria Woodhull’s – the first woman to run for President in 1872. I didn’t get to perform her story for the rebels at Immaculate Heart, as I had to cut the show down to fit into their 50-minute schedule. What a fabulous fifty minutes it was! As Elizabeth Cady Stanton said to Susan B. Anthony – in a scene from the play – “I am FIRED ANEW!!!”