It opens, dear NeuroCooking readers, with a story about Sheila Thaler Pekar, mother of Jim and me:
Click here to continue reading.
I remember my first feminist act. It was Spring of 1974, and I was nine years old. My mother, Sheila Thaler Pekar, had gone to a car dealer earlier in the day, prepared to purchase a car. When it came time to sign the contract, however, the dealer required that she obtain my father's signature. Sheila had the deposit, the credit and the bank account. But, the salesman insisted, the dealership would not sell a car to a married woman without the consent of her husband.
When my mom returned home -- defeated, humiliated, and very, very angry -- she told me to follow her into my parent's bedroom. She retrieved the purse in which she kept her store credit cards. In those days, it was common for a middle class woman to have a credit card – in her husband's name – for every small, local department store. She sat me down on the floor, put a pair of scissors in my hand, and instructed me to cut up each and every one of the credit cards. As the scissors bore through the words “Mrs. Walter Pekar," my mom passionately spoke about the importance of a woman having her own money and being able to make independent financial decisions. And she spoke about the importance of women being respected, valued, and treated equally to men.