Sarah Gardial
October 4, 2017
Rebekah Tilley

Homecoming at Iowa is a time of reflection on the events that shape us into who we are, how being a Hawkeye played a role in that transformation, and how we’re not so different from each other.

This year, “Dear World” was on campus to facilitate the telling of Hawkeye stories. Dear World is a social experiment where people are encouraged to share pivotal moments with others in a unique way, and by doing so build trust and community.

Tippie Dean Sarah Gardial participated by sharing this story with Dear World and the University of Iowa community:

Growing up in the south, when someone died, the community rallies to the family--salad, casseroles, and fried chicken pour in. After a number of days watching the women of the family cook, set the food out, go last through the meal line, and clean up, a teenage Gardial observed to her great-aunt that only the women performed these tasks and an obvious pecking order was in place: the men ate first, then the children, then the women.

“Honey,” said Gardial’s great-aunt, “I’ve had nothing but wings and backs for years,” referring to the brown meat portions of fried chicken left behind after the men and the children had served themselves.

Women as a group often place themselves in the back of the line and think that if they put in the hard work, someone will notice and reward them, Gardial says. Instead, they should step up to the front of the line and not hold themselves back.  

“That’s when I decided there would be no more wings and backs for me,” said Gardial.