Women's History Month: Heartache

Today's Women's History Tidbit:
1973: London Stock Exchange allows women members for the first time. *

My heart's been aching the last few days.

First came the news that the genius Mikhaela B. Reid was retiring from political cartoons. Why? She lists all her reasons and yes the market for political cartooning sucks, she's tired, she's expecting a baby (but she admits she's still be retiring even if lil M wasn't on the way) and she's burnt. I get that. TOTALLY. But I still cried when I read her good-bye on her blog. Part of it is the very real fact that we don't have a mechanism to fully support creative folks like her, thus they can either skimp together a meager living or work themselves to the bone 24/7 to get thru the "real job" and the "creative job." I cried because while the baby isn't the primary reason, there is the real fact that babies just slow you down. They just do. How fast you get pull out of the pit stop depends on many factors. Then I cried for the burnout. Mikhaela mentioned that one reason she hasn't retired earlier is that she felt pressure to represent for women in her industry. I so get that. I ponder that a lot actually and not just about myself.

Mikhaela: I wish you much love and luck as you complete your journey into mamahood. Relax and recover with your lil one. Let time heal your creative soul. I'm sure you'll be back creating things whether it is a cartoon or a super cute dress.

Today I cried again. This time for my friend Susan aka WhyMommy. Cancer...again. I saw her at Blogher 2009 at a party and was able to introduce her to Cinnamon. "She's a rocket scientist!" Seriously, I love bragging that I have a rocket scientist as a friend. Then she let me know that we had a student in common. Someone from my campus was interning in her neck of the woods. That student was forever changed by Susan. So just from a professional stand point, she's awesome. But the fact that she's battled and kicked cancer's ass before, shared her journey with us as a way to bring awareness to the rare form of breast cancer she was diagnosed with a few years ago. And now cancer is back. Fuck.

Susan: I don't know what I can say that you haven't heard before. Cancer wasn't in my job description when I signed up to help keep women in science, but I guess it goes with the territory, eh? You say you need, we need more research? That's where I will help. I like to talk pre-meds out of medical school by pointing them to areas in the medical science pipeline where they can be the ones making the discoveries, doing the basic research so that we never have to entertain the thought of losing one more friend. And if they still decide to go to medical school, I'll help to make them see they need to treat the whole person, not just the disease. No matter what, you'll be part of my pitch.

* Source: BBC On This Day

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