Kit Steinkellner
November 21, 2014 9:46 am

Hannah Simone, whom we all know/love as Cece on New Girlrecently took part Time Magazine’s “Time For Thanks,” a forum for public figures to, in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, to write on the subject “What I’m Thankful For.” Chelsea Peretti counted, among her blessings, the women with big personalities in her life, Ryan Reynolds feels lucky to have been a born into a family of brothers who were always bailing him out of trouble, Connie Britton is filled with gratitude for her adopted son, John Kerry is thankful “…to know that we live in a world where near-miraculous change is possible.”

Amongst the many moving entries in this series, one of the highlights comes from Hannah Simone, who wrote about how grateful she is to be the daughter of her feminist father.

Simone explains that her father was born in 1947 in “a newly independent India.” Simone says she believes that “. . . somehow the spirit of this free Mother India was woven into the fabric of his being.” She goes on to tell us that her father was the first member of his family to enter into a “love marriage” (as opposed to a traditional “arranged marriage”) and when his first-born daughter, Hannah, came into the world, he decided to “break the cycle of patriarchy” that had defined his life. In Simone’s words “Since the day I was born, my dad encouraged me to find my own strength, follow my own heart, and live my own life.”

Simone goes on to tell us how her father empowered her with his passion for his daughter’s education:

“My father wasn’t naive to the gender inequalities I would continuously face as I grew up, so one factor in my life became non-negotiable: my education. He knew a solid education was liberating, inalienable and enduring. It was the key to maximizing my full potential and protecting independence.”

And, in one of the greatest lines in an any-way-you-slice-it great essay, Simone tells us exactly what her education meant to her father and what it means to her:

“It was the one gift I could be given that could not be taken from me.”

Simone tells us the lasting impact her father has had on her life:

“Because of my father’s courage, vision, and pioneering feminist spirit, I now have two university degrees. I’m building a career and life for myself on my own terms. And perhaps most importantly, I’m able to be in relationships where love and respect are the only reasons to stay.”

Simone is thankful for her feminist father, and we’re thankful to all the feminist-minded family members in our lives who love and support us and do everything they can to encourage and enable us to be our smartest and strongest selves.

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