The Liberated Woman

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Liberated

I remember the time I first heard the phrase “liberated woman.” I had just graduated high school. I was on a trip to Kansas City, MO with my classmates and my speech coaches to compete in a national speech and debate tournament. We had made a stop in St. Louis to visit the Arch.

There were four girls on the team. Two of them were best friends (still are), and they were the Debaters with a capital D. Both analytical. Both brilliant. Both fiercely independent. I remember my coach, a burly little man with a voice like a foghorn, holding up his camera for a group photo. The two girls put their hands on their hips, stuck out their chins, and smiled into the sunlight.

“There they are!” my coach jibed, “The liberated women!”

I was not included in the group of liberated women. And I wondered why. I wasn’t…

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