Valuing Women’s Voices
Author Nancy Dredge, Exponent II foremother, pictured with her daughter Margaret Moore.
Exponent has meant many different things to me over the years. Initially, I loved the excitement of being involved in something new, something that would affect—and better, we hoped—women’s lives. We foremothers of Exponent II were standing on the cusp of the Women’s Movement’s most recent re-birth, and we had the heady feeling of being part of it. Then, as we slogged through the more practical aspects of what being part of the Movement meant for us—putting out a newspaper—Exponent was late nights of paste up with dear friends; warm letters of gratitude and acknowledgement from grateful readers; jam sessions of brainstorming topics to address in the paper and of finding new writers and poets and artists; more hours spent editing articles and writing editorials and blurbs; time spent planning Exponent dinners and connecting with women locally about our new enterprise. And all this encompassed by the thrill and comfort of being in a sweet network of wonderful women who had decided that this project was something we could do!
In more recent years, Exponent has meant the mentoring of younger women who have come into the organization to take the places of “the old guard” in staffing, decision-making, and new directions for the paper. I have loved the mixing of ages and personalities as we have all learned valuable lessons from one another.
The paper itself has morphed into a beautiful, full color magazine, no longer the black and white version we pasted together ourselves, using typewriters, lightboards, and tape. It has also taken on other new forms, such as the blog that makes ideas so instantly accessible.
Exponent has meant going to the retreats for the past thirty-three years, where women have come together from different backgrounds and a variety of lifestyles from all over the country. In the peace and safety of the New England woods, women have shared their lives, their hopes, their fears, leaving with the strength to go forward.
Exponent, whether at the retreats or through the newspaper/magazine and blog or in small planning groups, has always been about women having a voice—in the country, the church, our careers, our homes, our lives. We celebrate what women have to say through Exponent’s pages and offer it up to you to join this celebration. Please join our effort by helping us with your financial contribution.
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