This Women’s History Month, celebrate the accomplishments of these ten women’s sports and health pioneers
Rebecca Lee Crumpler, M.D.
First African American woman to become a physician
After earning her degree, Crumpler worked primarily with former slaves who could not receive medical attention elsewhere. She was as much a missionary as she was a doctor, and the impressive span of her career is expressed best by the 1883 publication of her Book of Medical Discourse, the first of its kind written by a black American.
When I was growing up in western Minnesota, ravioli came out of a can and was made by Chef Boyardee. That was as close as I was ever going to get to haute cuisine until I was in my early thirties and finally ate ravioli made by an actual chef.
Rather than being plopped into a bowl and thrown in a microwave Boyardee style, this pasta broke open between my teeth and quail egg filled my mouth with its warm, silky ooziness, blanking out everything else.. I closed my eyes. I moaned, out loud, and I licked my lips.
Canned ravioli does not elicit that kind of response.
The feeling lingered, warmth spreading into my hands, my feet. I felt flush. I wanted to enjoy it for a little longer by myself. That one bite of food made me so aware of my body my entire interior voice turned off. It was pure sensation. That had never happened before.
Hold on, that sounds like something more than good pasta.
“Prepare to be enraged,” a friend said, when I told her I hadn’t yet read all the details of Michigan’s newly passed “rape insurance” law. When I got the basics—Michigan insurance companies would now only be able to cover abortions by offering a rider you paid extra for, and those still only covered in the case of incest, rape or endangerment of the mother’s life—I didn’t find myself enraged, just numb.
When people learn that I’ve been vegan for half of my life, they often ask why. “Is it political? Ethical? Environmental?” My response: “It’s personal.” This answer isn’t meant to be a cop-out; it’s actually an invitation to a longer conversation, my way of saying it’s more complex than one reason. It’s all of those things and more, and it is deeply rooted in a personal place.