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A Woman's Voice Should Be Heard: My Journey from the Convent to the Battle for Women's Equality


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The book is a must-read reminder of the crucible women have faced in the ongoing battle for equality. Aggie Jordan is a force of nature!

Fiercely determined, Aggie Jordan is a force of nature. Her book, A Woman’s Voice Should Be Heard (My Journey from the Convent to the Battle for Women’s Equality) recounts her story of growing up in an Irish Catholic family, devoting 14 years of her life serving as a nun, and later leaving the convent and taking up the cause fighting for women’s rights in all areas of life: health choices for a woman’s right to choose, representation in the workplace, equal financial opportunities for female entrepreneurs, and workplace training to combat gender bias, racism, religious discrimination and prejudice in all forms.

From the beginning, we learn of her nana giving birth to 10 children, and how Aggie’s mother married because of societal pressure and had children out of a sense of duty. Her mother raised seven children, had one stillborn and three miscarriages. When Aggie asked her mother if she believed in abortion, her mother confessed, “If I did, you wouldn’t be here.” Perhaps the most telling of what life was like for women at this time in history was when her Aunt Mary took Aggie out into the cornfields and said, “Honey, I want you to stand here and scream it out… I want you to get it out of your system.” 

Aggie felt God’s call to join the convent, and shares, “for the rest of my life, I would have no left or right vision outside these straight horse blinders made of covered plastic.” We learned of the horrid treatment of novices forced to wear chainettes with spokes that caused the skin to bleed as penance and prayers accompanied by self-flagellation with a whip. Aggie later says, “My fundamental belief about humans is that we need more encouragement of our self-worth and less punishment regarding this ancient belief in our sinful nature.”

It was her acceptance into the University of Notre Dame that changed the course of her life forever, leading to her eventual transition from nun to feminist. Along with her advocacy, Aggie Jordan shares practical, if unconventional, methods for finding a soulmate within a year, stories of what it was like marrying a divorced man with four children, and a delightful (yet frustrating) tale of getting a bank loan as a female business owner without her husband co-signing on her behalf, leading a befuddled bank manager to ask, “What kind of marriage do you have?”

This book is a must-read because it reminds us of the women who came before us who had to pave the way for basic freedoms that men have always enjoyed. A Woman’s Voice Should Be Heard also lays out a blueprint for moving forward and effecting change in government policies, in the workplace and in our personal lives. There is still much work to be done. The world needs more women like Aggie Jordan.

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Danielle Palli is a Board-Certified Positive Psychology & Mindfulness Coach, Multi-genre author & book coach, and multimedia content creator. Her published works include The Data Collectors sci-fi trilogy, the cozy Music Mystery series, the I AM Enough Workbook, and the kids Acting Out Yoga books.

Preface The battle for a woman’s right to choose what is good and sacred for her own body is not the only battle going on today. Many women endure unjust treatment in their jobs and careers. The “Me Too” movement has demonstrated how men of power have gotten away with sexual and physical abuse. But I am hopeful that women will continue to fight. They want their voices to be heard and their echoes to resound down through the centuries. This takes leadership, a willingness to support your sisters, and a focused attention on what is happening to young girls. This book, A Woman’s Voice Should Be Heard: My Journey from the Convent to the Battle for Women’s Equality, is definitely a story of a female protagonist. It examines my experiences as an Irish Catholic girl. I grew up in a small town, West Pittston, Pennsylvania, with an uncle who was a priest and a grandmother, mother, and aunt with their strong influence (plus all their biases) on who I became – a Catholic nun for 14 years. The 12 years of Catholic schooling undoubtedly contributed to that decision, and those background stories shine light on why a young girl joins the convent. But why did she stay and then leave? Other stories describe what the novitiate training of a girl of 17 was like. I describe my eight years of teaching and the challenges I faced living in a convent with 15 other very human females whose passions ran the gamut of society. My love of the students combined with my joy in teaching, and my understanding that I received a calling from God to serve him, allowed me to be happy in a very enclosed structure, a cocoon. And then metamorphosis – an assignment to study at the University of Notre Dame for a master’s degree. The pupal stage came to its end. The environment of Notre Dame in the late 1960s, like so many American universities, was ripe for change. Living in a dorm with brilliant women, all recognizing what was happening with the women’s movement, gave me the courage to question my lack of friends in my community; my vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; and the basic tenets of what I believed was God’s new call.

About the author

Former small business columnist for the Dallas Times Herald, contributor to Prime Women, an online magazine, and a current writer for The View, the monthly magazine in Indio, California and has published over 100 articles. Author: The Marriage Plan: How to Marry your Soul Mate in One year or Less, view profile

Published on October 25, 2022

Published by Legacy book Press

60000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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