She had been arrested in New York back in October for standing outside a Huffington Post event at which Governor Cuomo was speaking. Granted, Occupy protesters were nearby, yet she was only advising them on their right to assemble. Police handcuffed her anyway and swooped her away to jail for "inciting violence" or some such nonsense. Ironically, her book "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries" dealt specifically, in part, with non-violent protest and obtaining permits to legally assemble.
This woman amazed me with her wealth of knowledge and ability to synthesize the audience members' otherwise confusing questions into a clear understanding of what they wished to know from her. Her attitude was very respectful, although I'm sure this setting was distinctly different from others she visits on a week-to-week basis. She brought up enlightenment and the universal desire for happy lives, and I enjoyed her time with us greatly.
A book signing followed the gathering, and I was pleased to have her sign my copy of "The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women," which was originally released in 1990. The content remains so relevant to any humanist society. I thanked her for having the courage to speak out for her convictions, and specifically for her feminist viewpoints. I told her I had seen her on The Rosie Show and followed her on Twitter. It was weird to be all star-struckish around an author/activist, but I could hardly articulate a sentence. She gracefully shook my hand and commented on our living in a beautiful place. The scenery is pretty great around here, especially this time of year, and perhaps I don't give our area enough credit until catching a glimpse for a different point of view.
Looking at things from a new perspective is what she was all about last night. I hope we in the audience can heed that call.