An ode to Gail Collins


For anyone who’s reading this, I’m about to go all fan-girl. Ready? Good.

Gail Collins is the entire reason you’re reading this blog post right now.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, Gail Collins is a biweekly Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, featured on Thursdays and Saturdays. Her column are known for sarcastic wit and political commentary. The results are usually hilarious musings about the current state of politics in America.

I was introduced to the writings of Gail Collins by my mother (another avid fan) about two years ago, and instantly became hooked. I loved everything about her: her intellect, her sense of humor, her cynicism, and her amazing ability to almost always work in a dog-on-the-car-roof reference whenever she mentions Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

It was Gail Collins that inspired me to enter this contest. As a college student, I’m constantly being bombarded with two questions: What’s your major (or various other forms of this question), and What do you plan to do when you graduate? The answer to the first question solidified itself over the last year or two (for those who are curious, it’s political science). The second question has been harder to answer. The short list includes: being a politician, being a lobbyist for a women’s organization like Planned Parenthood, working for the Daily Show (the ideal outcome of that being becoming the next Jon Stewart), becoming the next Rachel Maddow, and, yes, becoming the next Gail Collins.

My admiration of Gail Collins runs deeper than just my love of her columns. It’s rooted in a deep-seated respect for all the things she has done in her life. In addition to working as an Op-Ed columnist for many years, Collins also served as the editor of the New York Times’ editorial page from 2001-2007, the first woman to ever do so. She is also the author of several books, including America’s Women: 400 Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines; When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present (which I have read and can say is an amazing book and a must-read for every woman); and, most recently, As Texas Goes: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda. In short, Gail Collins is the kind of woman I want to be: smart, opinionated and unafraid to express those opinions, and a ground-breaker.

I wasn’t lying in the beginning of this piece when I said Gail Collins was the entire reason this blog post exists. She is a large part of why I chose to enter this contest. I knew that if I wanted to be like her, this was the place to start. So Gail Collins, if you’re reading this, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for always bringing your wit and sarcasm to the political goings-on of the day. Thank you for making me laugh, making me cry (usually from laughing too hard), and making me think. Thank you for giving me a dream to shoot for.

Thank you for being my inspiration.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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