Joining The Women’s Movement In Their 60s: ‘We’re Done Being Quiet’

By Kim Ode
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Kim Ode of the Star Tribune takes a look at two older women Judy Seguin and Susan Dergantz who have found themselves afloat in a rather unexpected pool of activism. It’s a pool of older women who’ve raised kids, held jobs, gone to church, kept life going behind the scenes. Now, somewhat to their surprise, many feel energized by issues affecting women and social justice.

MINNEAPOLIS

There were women in trees, women on tiptoe atop ledges, all trying to peer over the hundreds of thousands of heads in pink hats filling Washington’s National Mall for the Women’s March in January.

In all of her 69 years, Judy Seguin never had been part of anything like this.

Seguin had driven from Nowthen with her daughter, teenage granddaughter and friends, saying yes with a newfound impulsiveness.

“It was a defining experience for me,” she said quietly. “The solidarity, the permission to be who you are.”

Across the dining room table, Susan Dergantz listened, nodding. She didn’t go to Washington, but she also finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone, calling congressional representatives, writing postcards, reading legislation.

“With all that’s going on this year, I decided it was time to become involved,” said Dergantz, 67, of Anoka, Minn. “I thought that making phone calls, trying to attend town hall meetings, would, I don’t know, make me feel less helpless.”

Seguin and Dergantz are afloat in a rather unexpected pool of activism. It’s a pool of older women who’ve raised kids, held jobs, gone to church, kept life going behind the scenes. Now, somewhat to their surprise, many feel energized by issues affecting women and social justice.

“We really are issues-oriented,” Seguin said. “It’s not necessarily about who’s in the White House. I see what may be coming, and I don’t like the plans from our Legislature or Congress or president. They aren’t listening. Government happens at the lowest level. I think people forget that.

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