Published:  01:19 AM, 01 October 2019

Symbols of female empowerment

Symbols of female empowerment We have come a long way, but there's still plenty of turf to tackle.

Patricia Martin

That became synonymous with the women's movement of the 1960s. The origin was a cigarette ad campaign for Virgin Slims. Ads showed a slender, attractive woman in pants holding a more feminine cigarette - a symbol of women's empowerment. Growing up, I was a bit of a tomboy. I loved hanging out with my dad and brothers watching them tinker with bikes and cars.

I was never the tinkerer; I was the assistant handing the necessary tools for the task at hand. It was OK for me to like these things, but not OK for me to do these things, and honestly, I was OK with that. I didn't know any better.

I didn't participate much in sports. I was a chubby kid and lacked the confidence that I could run fast enough or was coordinated enough, but at the time, I was OK with that.I didn't want to be portrayed as a tomboy or too masculine.

When we raised our kids, times had changed. We encouraged our daughter to play sports, and she did. She loved soccer and worked hard at getting better, and it helped her build her confidence and grow bonds and strong friendships.

In my 20s, I started to be physically active to ward off the extra weight that had been my constant companion all my life. I found that exerting myself to the point of exhaustion was exhilarating! I was hooked.

I felt confident and competent and marveled at the things my body was capable of and the new shape it was taking.Most of us watched or at least saw replays of the U.S. Women's Soccer team winning the World Cup. We have televisions at the office, so many coworkers and I stopped working and watched the final minutes of that game.I felt such pride and exuberance. I was emotional to the point of embarrassment in front of my office mates.

Reflecting on those intense feelings, it wasn't just about patriotism; it was about empowerment. These young ladies had done something so awesome, and the whole world was celebrating with them.

We have come a long way, but there's still plenty of turf to tackle.In this issue, we are so pleased to present a special section in tribute to the female athletes at Highland Park High.

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