The Feminine Revolution by Amy Stanton

The Feminine Revolution by Amy Stanton

Author:Amy Stanton
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Published: 2018-11-05T16:00:00+00:00

It’s powerful to be a dreamer because in dreams worlds are born.

—AMY ROSENTHAL, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MODEL10ELECTRA

CATHERINE’S STORY

I was not at all a practical little girl. I was a dreamer. A fantasist. A girl who sat at her window and gazed at the sky and imagined wild futures and crazy alternate universes. I wrote fantasy stories (my sixth-grade novel about a demon-fighting girl named Kira and her unicorn companion, Illumina, remains unpublished) and drew endless pictures of fairies and magic forests and alien cities. I tapped on mirrors and investigated closets and wardrobes, just in case Wonderland or Narnia was real. I tried to map a navigable route to Neverland.

I’d say that I had my head in the clouds, but that wouldn’t be accurate. My entire self was in the clouds. I lived in the clouds.

And my parents encouraged this. My mom did, I think, because she, herself, has always been a fantasist and dreamer. She delights in the wide-eyed fascination of children with all things fantastic, and she decided very early in her career as a mother that part of her job was to keep the eyes of her own children, and those of any children who accidentally wandered into hearing range, as wide as possible. Accordingly, I grew up in a home in which it seemed entirely possible that there were sea creatures living in the plumbing and gnomes hiding in the closets. There were fairies and elves and imps and other magical creatures in the woods behind our house, and they lived in harmony with the animals there—the squirrels and birds I saw every day and the unicorn my mom swore on her life that she saw one moonlit night. I doubted some of this, sure. But I still loved every bit of it.

Of course, as I got older, I became more circumspect about my love of fantasy. I channeled it into more practical endeavors. I studied political philosophy but incorporated study of myth and folklore into that work; I quoted Aesop and the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen in otherwise dry academic essays; I became a mother who, like her own mother, told her children many tall tales. Eventually, I became an executive at the Walt Disney Company, and when my mother proclaimed to me that she never, ever thought I’d end up in business, I said, “Neither did I, Mom, but in this business I’m sitting in conference rooms talking about the finer nuances of fairy tales and running ‘blue sky’ meetings in which the whole purpose is to literally and figuratively ‘Dream Big.’”

I’d somehow turned being a dreamer into a career, and even though the Walt Disney Company is part of my past, my future as an entrepreneur depends (perhaps even more) on my capacity for dreaming big—and believing in those dreams. The ability to dream, it turns out, might be the greatest power of all.



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