“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is.   I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.”  –Rebecca West, (December 21, 1892–March 15, 1983.) Rebecca West was an English author, journalist, literary critic and travel writer who wrote in many genres, West was committed to feminist and liberal principles and was one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century.

Rebecca West

March is dedicated to the celebration of women and their accomplishments that have shaped history through their contributions as mothers, teachers, community activists and integral segments of all levels of the work force.

In honor of all women, I wrote this week’s Heart and Soul column, but particularly  I dedicate my words to my mother— a woman who achieved despite the odds stacked against a country girl equipped with no more than a high school education.

With her astute common sense intelligence and her burning desire to achieve, my mother became one of Buffalo’s leading executives in property management….a field traditionally directed and dominated by men.  As those who worked with my mother on many construction projects would agree, she was definitely a, “feminist,” by Rebecca West’s excellent definition of the word.

I am honored to carry on in my mother’s example and in the footsteps of so many like her, who paved the way for all women to follow.