4 introduction hopeful to me, though, because I know that I still have much more to discover and uncover about my self. transForMation throUGh readinG I became a feminist late in my life. Up until that time I had believed that a woman’s place was to settle behind her man, taking care of chil- dren and hearth, and sacrificing career and education so that the man could better himself first. Indeed, I had practiced that fervently, doing everything in my power to get it right. For example, I remember when I was twenty-three, back in the early seventies, sitting in my brother’s living room one evening after dinner. His friends, all seeming so much more scholarly and intelligent than I was, were discussing current issues of the time. When one of them spoke from a feminist perspective I became indignant and waxed prolific about the joys and delights, the duties and obligations of a dedicated wife being able, nay privileged even, to wash the floors, making them clean for her husband’s well- being. I blush to remember it. I had always been an avid activist, believ- ing in social justice and equal rights for all—all that is, except women, but way more personally—except me. A few years later when I returned to Africa with my two-year-old son to visit my aging father, I spent the day with the mother of my best friend, Nan Partridge, a woman who had tremendously influenced the way I thought about social justice when I was an older teenager (Jacob- son 2003). During our visit, Nan gave me a book to read called Meet Me in the Middle (Clinebell 1973). Back then I was struck by Clinebell’s description of interdependence—a true equality of the sexes. Certainly it means that both sexes will have to give up some things. Men will have to give up dependence on women as an automatic servant class and will have to move over to make room for women in public life. Women will have to give up their helplessness and dependence for identity on men. . . . it means hanging loose about sex roles—what Maslow describes as a “desexualizing of the sta- tuses of strength and weakness, and of leadership so that either man or woman can be, without anxiety and degradation, either weak or strong, as the situation demands. Either must be capable of both leadership and surrender.” (Clinebell 1973, 31–32)