Well, while many women throughout history have inspired me to succeed in life, one stands out. She was well-known in her time, but over the years, her name has sadly faded away. I'm talking about Maria Deraismes. This lady lived in Paris during the mid- to late 1800s and was a feminist writer and speaker. She openly spoke out against the government's sanctioning of prostitution and mistreatment of the poor. She suffered throughout her life with a terrible stomach ailment that limited her activities and made her stop her artistic endeavors when she was young. Instead, she took to writing and speaking. She was so well admired, that she had backing from the male-only organization of Freemasons in Paris. They invited her to speak in their halls, yet they wouldn't admit her into the Order on the basis of her gender. The Masons are all about equality, but when it came to them opening their doors to women, it was a no-go. So, never one to accept defeat, Maria and her Masonic friends petitioned the Grand Orient Lodge to admit women. They refused year after year. Then came the Paris Commune, a period of civil unrest not dissimilar to what's going on it the world today. The people rose up against their government and siezed control of Paris, building up barricades to block the streets and capturing cannons that were left from the war with Prussia. Maria and her sister helped with the war effort and Maria continued to speak against the government. After the Commune collapsed, Maria never stopped fighting until a small Masonic Lodge agreed to initiate her. This broke the rules, but Maria became a Freemason in a 'mixed' lodge. She finally had won a good victory. Maria's strength and drive has instilled in me the idea that I will never give up on my goals either. No matter what's thrown in front of me, I will continue and I will get stronger. I wrote my book, A Woman's Way, in honor of Maria so that hopefully her name will be well-known again.
About Sofia Diana
Causes Sofia Diana Gabel Supports
SPES Children's Orphanage in Togo, Africa