The theater event hosted by the authors Kathy Najimy, Linda Perry, Chely Wright, and Lauren Blitzer was Chicken Soup for the soul of women. After that eponymous venue at Symphony space, many were excited to get home, devour the book My Moment – 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves, and meet more empowered women. Included with the ticket price were photos with various artists and autographs, obtained like true starstruck fans on the book’s pages.
“For the girls and women who have gone before us – each laying down their single pebble to pave the road upon which we all walk. With gratitude, Kristin, Kathy, Linda Chely, and Lauren.” A thought-provoking dedication kicks off the book.
“The moment I was born.” Chrissie Hyde.
That is the first My Moment account – in its entirety.
The question is, “What was the moment in your life when you realized you were ready to fight for yourself?”
Credit to Hyde for being clever, but is that it?
Have you ever seen the movie and the play version of the same work? The live theatrical performance is always better. That describes My Moment. The Symphony Space was a live rendition of the selected stories told in the voices of the subjects, adding songs, poetry, and energy to draw the story from the page and breathe life into it. Perhaps the authors will consider another show with more contributors telling their stories. Take it on the road like Selected Shorts.
The curators boast a diverse group of women contributors, but their anti-conservative stance was glaring. There are a plethora of Trump haters – Rosanna Arquette took a selfie wearing a “F*CK Trump” t-shirt without the asterisk. Mary L. Trump, the niece of the 45th President, explains why she couldn’t come forward earlier to affect the 2016 vote. If the message of hope is universal, why not tell the stories of women from all walks of life?
The youngest contributor Havana Chapman-Edwards is only 10 years old. Her fellow classmates and those younger may need parental guidance in viewing the collection and making sense of it.
The curators state that their inspiration for this book was “the heroic Dr. Christine Blasey Ford standing in the Senate Chambers. With her right hand raised, she swore to tell the truth – the whole truth. Her voice shaking, she recalled and relived a sexual assault committed by a man about to serve a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.” Why was she not included in the book?
In the case of Rabia Chaudry, attorney, advocate, and author, who was heartbreaking on stage, her story possessed a mere seven lines in the book. The truncated version did not do her justice.
Billed as an “invigorating handbook for any woman making their way through the world,” it should be taken as more of a cautionary tale, with some advice perhaps as to what not to do.
Operatic soprano and activist Renée Fleming writes, “singing is the most personal kind of music-making because the instrument lives inside us. The sound is unique to each individual, like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.” Perhaps that unique sound is why one-fourth of the women contributors consider themselves singers. Fleming’s writing was poetic with beautiful literary images and metaphors – perhaps another career awaits her.
I recommend going to see the live show if another gathering ensues and getting the book with your ticket rather than spend the $27.99 list price.
As explained in the Exception to the Rules play review, after suffering trauma how one responds is altered. Repeated trauma magnifies one’s ability to cope. Many of the women selected have survived and continue to cope with trauma.
This is for a targeted audience that would embrace and enjoy many of their heroes within the pages occupied by progressive women.
Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Women Running In the Mountains, My Moment – 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves (the book), Gold by Rumi, and What Doesn’t Kill Her, and Make Them Hear You.