Monday, July 9, 2012
nora @ wellesley.
nora ephron graduated from wellesley college in 1962.
in 1996, she was invited to address her alma mater's
exiting graduates with a commencement speech.
the speech — wise, witty, consummate nora —
contains a couple of pieces which has been broadly quoted.
but, not surprisingly, much more of it is infinitely quotable.
just like nora.
here are my favorite pieces:
"don't underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women
& how many people wish we could turn the clock back.
one of the things people always say to you if you get upset is,
don't take it personally,
but listen hard to what's going on, & please, i beg you,
take it personally.
every attack on hillary clinton for not knowing her place
is an attack on you.
underneath almost all those attacks are words:
get back, get back to where you once belonged.
when elizabeth dole pretends she isn't serious about her career,
it is an attack on you.
the acquittal of o.j. simpson is an attack on you.
any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you —
whether or not you believe in abortion.
the fact that clarence thomas is sitting on the supreme court today
is an attack on you.
above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
" ... in case any of you are wondering,
of course you can have it all.
what are you going to do? everything, is my guess.
it will be a little messy, but embrace the mess.
it will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications.
it will not be anything like what you think it will be like,
but surprises are good for you.
& don't be frightened: you can always change your mind.
you are not going to be you, fixed & immutable you, forever.
one of the most delicious things available to women,
& more particularly to women than to men, i think:
it's slightly easier for us to shift, to change our minds,
to take another path.
yogi berra, the former new york yankee who made a specialty
of saying things that were famously maladroit, quoted himself
at a recent commencement speech he gave:
'when you see a fork in the road,' he said, 'take it.'
yes, it's supposed to be a joke, but this is the life
many women lead: two paths diverge in a wood,
& we get to take them both.
whatever you choose, however many roads you travel,
i hope you choose not to be a lady.
i hope you will find some way to break the rules
& make a little trouble out there.
& i also hope you will choose to make some of that trouble
on behalf of women."
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