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I Am Woman

Lawrence Bush
October 24, 2017

Helen Reddy, who brought feminism to the top of the charts with her 1972 hit song, “I Am Woman” (“I am strong, I am invincible”) was born in Australia on this date in 1941. Reddy, who co-authored the song, was inspired to write it by Lillian Roxon (Ropschitz), an Australian feminist and rock critic who was one of the first journalists to write about the nascent hippie movement in San Francisco as well as the feminist movement. “I realized that the song I was looking for didn’t exist,” Reddy said, “and I was going to have to write it myself.” “I Am Woman” became an anthem for women in a time of fast-shifting consciousness. A naturalized American citizen, Reddy served as California’s Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for three years.

“I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back and pretend.” —Helen Reddy

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.