It’s that time of year again! The fabulous August McLaughlin, had an idea three years ago that continues to blossom … just like a woman! It’s the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest. Everyone who joins in the celebration, blogs on the same day about aspects of beauty we women share. All the links are on August’s blog so click here to get right on over and check them out. The more explicit #Girl Boner edition is featured first and the original version for posts like mine begins Feb. 27th.Closeup decorative grunge vintage woman with beautiful long hair In 2012, I mused about how it feels to be getting older and the joys of being a grandparent. Let’s face it, you have to be old to get there! Last year I shared a treasured book, She Walks In Beauty, and Lord Byron’s exquisite poem. When I considered how I would celebrate this year’s theme, a very familiar song kept playing in my mind. I had turned 30 the year this hit the charts and, as Bob Dylan sang, “the times they were a-changing”. They had been for a decade. So let me take you back to 1975. (I know, I know … a lot of you weren’t even born then!) helen-sizedThe United Nations had declared it to be InternationaL Women’s Year (IWY)  with Helen Reddy‘s song, I Am Woman, as the theme. This was an empowering time for women with Gloria Steinem, Betty Frieden and other groundbreakers leading the way. Women’s liberation was a hot topic as feminists spoke out, demonstrated and lobbied governments. In the United States, the focus was on the success of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, state by state. It’s hard to believe that to this very day it still has not been ratified!  Visit this site for the complete history and advice as to how you can add your voice to this cause. Take a minute to watch this video clip. Let me know if you realized this was the situation. I didn’t know! Unbelievable. Every year since 1975, March 8th has been recognized as International Women’s DayHave you marked it on your calendar? I’ll wait while you do … no worries … I hope you will take a stand for the ERA on that day. Let’s continue to show what a beautiful anthem can be heard when women raise their voices as one! And now,  get your disco clothes out of that storage box, call up your BFFs, and celebrate the beauty of women everywhere! Make it loud! As I researched what I wanted to share in this post, I came across this interview and helen-reddy-picture_612x817… to be honest … it caused me to wipe a few tears and then cheer. I discovered that today, at age 73, Helen Reddy continues to exemplify the beauty of a woman. Please take seven minutes and 14 seconds to watch this video. I have a feeling you will see what I mean and agree. It’s what we’re talking about. Choose to be yourself and be proud of your choice! Erm … update … I had lunch with my friend Evelyn Hannon today (she’s the fabulousJourneywoman and you should subscribe to her newsletter … okay, that’s another story )… anyway, she told me that coincidentally she had also been talking about I Am Woman and someone told her Helen was performing in Las Vegas this month! I just checked it out and sure enough … see here. I guess they made her an offer she couldn’t refuse and she decided to take a break from her quiet life, after all. Choices, people, that’s what it’s all about! Here are the lyrics, in case you get the urge to sing along! The meaning is every bit as strong today as it was 40 years ago. I Am Woman I am woman, hear me roar In numbers too big to ignore And I know too much to go back an’ pretend ’cause I’ve heard it all before And I’ve been down there on the floor No one’s ever gonna keep me down again CHORUS Oh yes I am wise But it’s wisdom born of pain Yes, I’ve paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to, I can do anything I am strong (strong) I am invincible (invincible) I am woman You can bend but never break me ’cause it only serves to make me More determined to achieve my final goal And I come back even stronger Not a novice any longer ’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul CHORUS I am woman watch me grow See me standing toe to toe As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land But I’m still an embryo With a long long way to go Until I make my brother understand Oh yes I am wise But it’s wisdom born of pain Yes, I’ve paid the price But look how much I gained If I have to I can face anything I am strong (strong) I am invincible (invincible) I am woman Oh, I am woman I am invincible I am strong FADE I am woman I am invincible I am strong I am woman Transcribed by Robin Hood with help from Maid Marian -Artist: Helen Reddy from “Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits”: EMI ST 11467 -peak Billboard position # 1 for 1 week in 1972 -Words and Music by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton These lyrics were transcribed from the specific recording mentioned above and do not necessarily correspond with lyrics from other recordings, sheet music, songbooks or lyrics printed on album jackets. ROAR!!!! Now hop on over to August’s blog and feast on the other posts!

About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. Wow. What a great way to start my day!

    • That song still inspires, doesn’t it? And I loved seeing what a strong, happy woman Helen Reddy is today ~ beauty at every age. But what is this with the ERA? Obviously I haven’t paid enough attention to the situation in the USA!

  2. I’ve always been a big fan of that song. No surprise, right?

  3. What a wonderful post, Patricia. I remember that song very well. Perfect for this blog fest! I also refer to “the times they are a changin’ in my BOAW post! Well, as of now. I need to revise it and cut some of it. Turned out way longer than I planned!

    • Thanks, Lynn! We know that era and it sure was a time of change. It’s so easy to get carried away with these posts, I hear you! I’m popping over now to find your link and all the others.

  4. I still have the album. Love Helen Reddy.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. That video is amazing! The women’s rights one. I am so sharing that at work. Thank you for posting this!

  6. The Regular Guy NYC says

    It’s still a great song, a classic. I was over at August’s blog site and read the post. I follow many of the bloggers already. Good stuff.

  7. I LOVE that song, Patricia! I grew up singing it in the den with a hairbrush, and it was our adolescent battle cry. Thanks for taking me trooping down memory lane.

    Here’s what I know: the women who walked before me did all the hardest work. They’re the reason why I never even question that I can do anything I can imagine. So, thank you. I appreciate being the only one who can place a limit on my dreams. 🙂

    • Jenny, I can see you singing into that hairbrush! A little trip down memory lane is good for the soul and those days were exciting and empowering. But … the ERA not ratified yet? I nearly fell over as I started reading about that. The women of the USA have to roar at the top of their lungs and make some noise! I’m off to read all the other posts ~ such good stuff!

  8. I knew about VDay on Valentine’s Day and always celebrate (alone) but I forgot about International Women’s Day. Merci!

  9. What an incredible song! You introduced me, and so many, to International Woman’s Day, and I still recall your lovely posts from the last two years. Thank you for giving me chills, yet again! The BOAW fest wouldn’t be as special without you.

    • August, you continue to inspire so many women of all ages and you encourage us to speak out when we might often simply carry on quietly. It’s such a pleasure to be part of your BOAW each year and it’s obvious that it will continue to grow as word spreads. I’m loving the recent success of your radio career! Rock on!

  10. What a great post! I think we take for granted all the women before us who have worked tirelessly to get us the freedoms we do have.

    • Thanks, Kathryn! We definitely need to remember all those front-line feminists! I was stunned when I learned the status of the ERA though! We need to encourage the American women to raise their voices.

  11. Woah. Fantastic! The words of that song need to be my daily mantra 🙂 Thank you Patricia. I feel like I can charge into my day and get exactly what I want!!

  12. “Choices, people, that’s what it’s all about!” You have defined feminism so well with just that one statement. I hope many young women will read your post and know feminism (like Helen showed at the time) is not the bad word that some people still try to convince others it is. Thanks for this post!

  13. Magnificent post! I’ll be standing for ERA on March 8th! Thank you for such an uplifting and inspiring post, Patricia. I’m proud and honored to stand with you for women everywhere.

  14. Brilliant post, Patricia! I particularly like the women’s rights one.

  15. What an encouraging and strong post, Patricia!! Well done!! I enjoyed reading it and hear the song and the interview! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I really is a travesty that the Equal Rights Amendment has not been passed. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Great post. I was really surprised about the ERA.

  18. One of my all-time favorite songs. I was 23 when it came out and it was definitely my theme song! Thanks so much for the glimpse into Helen’s life now.

  19. One of my favorite artists… and a serious wake up call. In my safe little northern state of NY, I grew up thinking we had Equal Rights. But so many of us don’t… Thanks for giving me a quick shake, Patricia.

  20. Great post, Patricia. I wasn’t alive in that era, but Mathair was and she continues to instill those empowering values with both of her children, myself and my little brother (who has an immense respect for women at the ripe age of seventeen). And, while your second video had me singing and dancing, your third had me teary, but inspired. So glad we stopped by to read your wonderful addition to the blogfest.

  21. Wow! That song brings back so many memories. She sure motivated so many of us. Hear us roar!1

  22. Love that song by Helen Reddy! It gives me chills and inspiration! International Women’s day is coming up and can’t wait to celebrate it with all my lovely women friends!

  23. Such a beautiful song! It’s so disheartening that the ERA still hasn’t passed. No matter how far we’ve come as women there is so much more that needs to be done.

  24. Patricia,

    I was 5 years old, in 1975 (well, until late July, anyway!). I wanted to be a jockey, but my mother said I would be too tall (she was right, I am 5’9″). Then I decided I wanted to be a mounted lady police officer (thus combining my love for Adam-12 and horses).

    My mother asked me what I would do if my husband wouldn’t let me work.

    i just stared at her for a bit; I couldn’t believe the question. And then I said what was obvious to me – “I wouldn’t marry a man who wouldn’t let me work.”

    That’s what these women did for me. They gave me a sense of ownership of my own life that my mother still really doesn’t have. My own mom wasn’t a feminist, and my dad didn’t ant her to work. But he did watch the news, every night at dinner, and I absorbed bits and pieces – of this song, of marches and bra-burnings, of determined women and angry men, of Gloria and Betty, and Joan Baez…and those pieces echoed my own personal sense that being female made me no lesser.

    I’ve been married for almost 17 years. At this point, I write and am the at-home parent of two homeschoolers. That was my choice; when our oldest was old enough for school, but didn’t go. I’ve worked in the past, as I wished, and, as the kids grow older, I may again. There’ve been times I earned more than my husband did.

    He is a kind and fair man – and yet, he was raised in a male-dominated family, and there are times when he takes a role of presumptive male superiority, although not with conscious intent. The patterns we doak up as children…

    We have a son and a daughter. They are growing up in a home where we talk about these issues, examine them, and our own choices. My son can’t imagine thinking he should have more rights than his sister – of the two of them, she is definitely the fiercer! Both would be shocked to learn that in parts of this supposedly free and equal nation, women don’t have the same rights as men, under the law.

    Maybe, in another generation or two, people of both sexes will look back and shake their heads at this nonsense. Until then, I am adding my roar to the collection, because I definitely have grown wiser through pain, and I am strong! =)

    • Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response. I love hearing the stories of others and am so pleased that your chose to share yours here. You sound like an intelligent, strong woman who is passing on those good qualities to her children. Bravo!

  25. Why, thank you! I tend to be thoughtful, and I am stronger than I ever realized. Maybe we all are!

    The world is a sweeter place for us all when things are arranged equitably. We live that way here, in our home, and it’s definitely something I hope both children will carry out with them into the world. So far, they have.

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


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