My Feminist Icon? Solo Female Travelers.
In my mind, feminism's freshest face isn't a pop star, but backpacker Cheryl Strayed, who's portrayed in the awesome new film staring Reese Witherspoon, "Wild."
Watching the movie, which is based on Strayed' book that recounts her time on the Pacific Crest Trail, reminded me of my experience backpacking around the globe solo. There are lots of things that we as women face while on the road alone that men simply don't have to deal with, which I talk about my Op-Ed with the LA Times:
"There were times, like Strayed, where I felt incredibly vulnerable simply because I was a woman traveling solo. Then there was the questioning, which I still get when traveling for work, namely regarding the whereabouts of my husband, followed by queries as to why a nice girl such as myself doesn’t have one at my age, and finally why on Earth would I ever travel alone? Then there were the warnings of how I could get robbed or raped, or worse yet, might never find said husband because I was too busy globetrotting...
To be fair, being on the road can be quite dangerous. I questioned myself, just as my family and friends back home did, when money was low or when life got lonely, or I was simply just dying for a hot shower or a warm bed to sleep in. And there are plenty of things I had to consider as a female on my own that a man would never have to worry about.
But those challenges weren't an excuse to quit, or worse yet, to never start."
You can read my full Op-Ed piece here. And travel on.