Sep. 2, 2022

Journey of an Invisible Woman

I doubt that I'll be able to do Sandy Camillo justice in one brief blog entry. That's how it is when you've got maybe a couple thousand words to describe a real champion of social justice.

In my continuing stroll through the ranks of Penmore Press authors, I've discovered amazing novels of historical fiction, humor, satire, thrillers, mystery, and fantasy. But sometimes the most harrowing and inspiring stories are those that are real.

Sandy Camillo's Journey of an Invisible Woman: Women Struggling for Visibility in a Gender-Biased World, is an intriguing memoir--and much more. As a child, she dreamed of becoming a newspaper reporter like Lois Lane, or becoming a real-life Law & Order prosecutor. But the world had a different idea regarding the appropriate career choices for women, according to her Penmore bio, dictating "that they (women) should happily become nurses, secretaries, or teachers." After a brief stint as a teacher, her acquiescence to society's expectations ended, and she began her quest to remain visible, exploring a variety of professions in her home state of New York as well as Texas and Missouri, including blogger and writer. She dedicated herself to promoting equity for women through advocacy, serving as a Director, Secretary and Governance Consultant of the National Board of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a top-ranked women’s advocacy nonprofit dedicated to empowering women, and traveled across the U.S to speak to AAUW stakeholders about women’s issues.

And she has chronicled her experiences in Journey of an Invisible Woman. Here's the description from her Penmore Press author page:

"When she was a young girl, Sandy Camillo’s mother told her a secret. That secret was that one day she and all of her friends would become “invisible” women. Her mother’s words horrified Sandy, and she vowed that she would defy the mandate of this secret. The Journey of an 'Invisible' Woman recounts stories of how Sandy and women of many generations struggled to overcome stereotyping and societal barriers erected to keep them in their “place”, to keep them invisible and silenced. She invites readers to accompany her on this journey of confronting biased gender norms, becoming visible, and finding a voice."

"I've reached out to hundreds of people involved with women's issues, as well as to a variety of influencers," Sandy told me recently. "Several universities are including my book in their gender studies curriculum. My journey has been experienced by many women and yet I fear that the book may remain undiscovered. I'd like to believe that because women today have C-suite jobs and have attained financial independence, that many of the gender bias regarding their life roles have changed. However, from my personal experiences I've concluded that gender role expectations still exist for both men and women." 

Sandy has begun writing her second book about how men really feel about women. "I've received almost 400 responses to questions asked of men in a survey conducted anonymously by an independent survey company," she said. "In addition, the same company conducted a survey of women showing their responses to how they think men answered the questions in the original survey. I plan on comparing the thoughts of these contemporary men with men's attitudes towards women throughout history. I think that many women will be surprised about how men really think about them." I'm already intrigued.

Sandy's current book has been well received. “The two great questions we each ask during life’s journey: Did it matter that I was here?  Did I leave it better than I found it? For Sandy Camillo, the answers are 'YES'." according to Robert G. Romasco, AARP, President, and Chief Volunteer Spokesperson. "I’m glad this 'invisible woman' told her story. Honest, filled with the details of a life well lived, constant chapters of self-discovery and determination.  All told in an entertaining style sparking wry nods of understanding and laugh out loud moments. An enjoyable read. Get to know this woman.”

That's great advice. My conversations with Sandy have revealed a passionate, literate, justice-oriented, and very human individual whose writing is worth a look.

If you'd like to visit Sandy's author website, click AUTHOR.

If you'd like to order Journey of an Invisible Woman, click ORDER.

If you'd like to listen to her podcast on ageism, click PODCAST.

And if you'd like to sample the wide array of Penmore Press authors, click PENMORE.