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Women’s Lib and Synanon

Women’s Lib

By January 19, 2022No Comments

Becoming a Conscious Choice Maker

In March 1972, my 47 year old father dropped dead suddenly of a heart attack, leaving my 45 year old mother alone in her row house with no income and no money. He was a working man who lived pay check to pay check.

In 1972, women could not own their own credit card without a male signer. That was the tipping point for me to question everything about the life of a woman. I dedicated myself to always be my own wage earner, be totally responsible for my own plans, and navigate a new way. I found role models like Gloria Steinheim to listen to and read about. I went to college on my own, figured out how to pay my own way and, no matter what obstacle I confronted, I was determined to graduate. I went to Planned Parenthood, got birth control, and valued the support I got there of tender loving care protecting my own liberation. I discovered Synanon, the first therapeutic drug rehabilitation community in California, where all the women worked.The founder’s wife, Betty Dederich, was a strong African American woman co-leading the community. I met other strong, determined, and transformed women in this integrated community that thought like I did. I attended my first women support groups and circles (they called them Games) and found myself in new ways and found a new path to travel. I travelled that path from 1974 to 1989 through the ups and downs of life, but remained determined and made choices that were always my very own choices. I was a conscious choice maker now and of value to mySELF.

Wendy Williams

Author Wendy Williams

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