婦女都在努力 Women Are Struggling
I’ve traveled all over America, talking and listening to women who are struggling to raise their children and somehow make ends meet; bumping up against the glass ceiling; watching their insurance 1 premiums increase; coping with inadequate or nonexistent child support payments; 2 panguishing over the 3 prospect that 4 abortions will be criminalized again.
We need understanding and a helping hand to solve our own problems. We’re doing the best we can to find the right balance in our lives.
家庭、工作、服務 Family, Work and Service
For me, the elements of that balance are family, work and service.
First, your personal relationships. is said and done, it is the people in your life, the friendships you form and the commitments you maintain, that give shape to your life—your friends and your neighbors, the people at work or church, all those who touch your daily lives. And if you choose, a marriage filled with love and respect.
Second, your work. For some of you, the future might not include work outside the home (and I don’t mean involuntary unemployment); but most of you will at some point in your life work for pay, maybe in jobs that used to be 5off-limits for women.
Third, your service. As students, we debated passionately what responsibility each individual has for the larger society.
The most 6 eloquent explanation I have found of what I believe now and what I argued then is from Vaclav Havel, the playwright and first freely-elected president of Czechoslovakia. In a letter from prison to his wife, Olga, he wrote:
Only by looking outward, by caring for things that, in terms of pure survival, you needn’t bother with at all, and by throwing yourself over and over again into the tumult of the world, with the intention of making your voice count—only thus will you really become a person.
Some of you may have already had such a life-shaping experience; for many, it lies ahead.
Recognize it and nurture it when it occurs.Some of you may be saying to yourselves, “I’ve got to 7 pay off my student loans. I can’t even find a good job, 8let alone someone to love. How am I going to worry about the world? Our generation has fewer dreams, fewer 9 illusions than yours.”
守住妳的夢想 Hold onto Your Dreams
And I hear you. As women today, you face tough choices. You know the rules are basically as follows: If you don’t get married, you’re 10abnormal; If you get married but don’t have children, you’re a selfish yuppie. If you get married and have children, but work outside the home, you’re a bad mother. If you get married and have children, but stay home, you’ve wasted your education.
So you see, if you listen to all the people who make these rules, you might just conclude that the safest course of action is just to take your diploma and crawl under your bed. But let me propose an alternative. Hold onto your dreams. Take up the challenge of 11forging an identity that 12 transcends yourself. Transcend yourself and you will find yourself. Care about something you needn’t bother with at all. Throw yourself into the world and make your voice count!
1 premium (n.) 保險費
Which insurance plan has the lowest premium?
2 anguish (v./n.（) 感到）極度的痛苦
The widow anguished over the death of her husband.
3 prospect (n.) 可能性，可能發生的事
The doctor says the patient has little prospect of improving.
4 abortion (n.) 墮胎
Do you support a woman’s right to have an abortion?
5 o-limits (a.) 禁止（進入、使用等）的
This area is off-limits to hotel guests.
6 eloquent (a.) 有說服力的，口才好的
I was moved by the speaker’s eloquent words.
7 pay o (phr.) 清償
Steven is working two jobs to pay off his debts.
8 let alone (phr.) 更不必說，遑論
She never reads magazines, let alone books.
9 illusion (n.) 幻想，幻覺，錯覺
Some people believe that love is just an illusion.
10 abnormal (a.) 不正常的
The abnormal weather is damaging crops.
11 forge (v.) 鍛造，創造，打造
The actor is forging a new career as a director.
12 transcend (v.) 超越，超出，超過
The band makes music that transcends cultural barriers.