Thursday, September 4, 2008
It's not much of a lighthouse; it looks like a small farmhouse with a light instead of a chimney. The massive highway construction project that has spanned 10 years so far and cost 2.5 billion dollars turned all the land surrounding it into an asphalt wasteland but spared the small park around the lighthouse. I walked under the highway overpass in the blazing sun today to pay my respects.
The lighthouse was owned by Margaret Brent in the seventeenth century. The inscription reads, "An extraordinary woman, she spent most of her adult life fighting discrimination of her sex." She was a land baron as well as a litigator, and people were often stunned at her very unladylike ways.
Our rapidly approaching wedding has made me reflective. I am grateful to Margaret and everyone else who fought for gender equality so that I can marry the person I love, not the one who will support me or the one my family has chosen. I left Margaret flowers in gratitude.
Margaret must sometimes have been discouraged by the enormity of the fight towards gender equality. 400 years later, sexism still exists, and attitudes towards animal rights, resource consumption, and the environment frustrate me on at least a weekly basis. However, I told Margaret her work was worth it, and I hope that ours is too.