Deena Romoff – Activism

“There is nowhere to hide.”

I would think, “It’s so wonderful being around women.” It just was so exciting. Women in the ‘70s and ‘80s were doing everything. I think they changed the course of history. They brought up awareness about violence against women. Domestic violence, violence against children, and rape—they brought everything out in the open. They were political movers and shakers. It was very exciting. To be with women was very exciting.

I think, for me, visibility has been an important piece. I was 12 pounds, 13 ounces when I was born. I was 90 pounds in kindergarten. I have been a large woman my whole life. There is nowhere to hide. So, the option for me is to be quiet and not make people uncomfortable—because people are uncomfortable with large women—or just be there. Be there as a large woman. Be there as an unmarried woman. Be there, coming to Spokane with two little kids . . . with a kid wearing loin cloths. To be there as a witch. To be there as a Jew. Jews are invisible in Spokane. We’re marginal. All these things are marginal. If you’re lucky, people get to claim one thing. Okay, “I’m a hippie.” Or “I’m a Jew.” To claim even more than one identity . . . Is very, very scary for people. Very threatening, and kind of against the law. Against the law for marginal people to be as marginal as they want.

So I’m not shy. I’m not shy of being seen, of being different. I think it wakes people up.

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Source: Interview with Laura S. Hodgman on 20 March 2013.