Women of Courage: Mother Teresa, Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda, Billie Jean King, Hillary Clinton


We’ve all played the “If-only” game: if only I was as pretty as Midge, as smart as Marilyn, as tall as Joan. “If only,” those were the wishes of a me that could see only a singular aspect of a person’s whole, never thinking I really wanted to be them, but because we intuitively know that our wishes are simply that, wouldn’t it be nice if–we never tire of the game.   Each of us have famous or not so famous people whom we admire, those we wish we were more like.  Super achievers who become world renown, who achieve the seemingly impossible.  Perhaps our wishes are more simple, we just want to be thought of as “nice.”   (nice:  agreeable, pleasant in nature, kind so that people will “like” us.)  But “like” is used as nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives.  Take your choice.  You hear so often, “but she/he isn’t “nice.”   A sought-after trophy?    

                        MOTHER TERESA

              mothera teresa mages She was born Anjezë  (Agnes) Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (Albanian: [aˈɲɛz ˈɡɔɲdʒe bɔjaˈdʒiu]) (gonxha meaning “rosebud” or “little flower” in Albanian) on 26 August 1910. She considered 27 August, the day she was baptized, to be her “true birthday”Her birthplace was Skopje, now capital of the Republic of Macedonia, but at the time part of the Ottoman Empire to ethnic Albanian parents.[4][5]

Agnes was the youngest of the children of Nikollë and Dranafile Bojaxhiu (Bernai).Her father, who was involved in Albanian politics, died in 1919 when she was eight years old. After her father’s death, her mother raised her as a Roman Catholic.

She left home at age 18 to join the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary. She never again saw her mother or sister.

Agnes initially went to the Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham, Ireland, to learn English, the language the Sisters of Loreto used to teach school children in India. She arrived in India in 1929, and began her novitiate in Darjeeling, near the Himalayan mountains, where she learned Bengali and taught at the St. Teresa’s School, a schoolhouse close to her convent. She took her first religious vows as a nun on 24 May 1931. At that time she chose to be named after Thérèse de Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, but because one nun in the convent had already chosen that name, Agnes opted for the Spanish spelling Teresa.

She began her missionary work with the poor in 1948, replacing her traditional Loreto habit with a simple white cotton sari decorated with a blue border.

Sisters of Charity      File:Sisters of Charity.jpg

Mother Teresa adopted Indian citizenship, spent a few months in Patna to receive a basic medical training in the Holy Family Hospital and then ventured out into the slums. Initially she started a school in Motijhil (Calcutta); soon she started tending to the needs of the destitute and starving. In the beginning of 1949 she was joined in her effort by a group of young women and laid the foundations to create a new religious community helping the “poorest among the poor”.

Her efforts quickly caught the attention of Indian officials, including the prime minister, who expressed his appreciation.

Teresa wrote in her diary that her first year was fraught with difficulties. She had no income and had to resort to begging for food and supplies. Teresa experienced doubt, loneliness and the temptation to return to the comfort of convent life during these early months. She wrote in her diary:

” Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then the comfort of Loreto [her former order] came to tempt me. ‘You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again,’ the Tempter kept on saying … Of  free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.”

342MotherTeresa_ Hillary Clintonjpg

She  founded the “Order of Missionaries of Charity”   Chastity, Poverty, Obedience.   These women treated the most needy: untouchables, HIV/Aids, leprosy, tuberculosis.  Mother Teresa chose to live as her flock  lived.  She received many awards in her lifetime but the “Jewel of IndiaAward, the highest civilian award presented  in India was one of her most treasured perhaps even over  the Nobel Peace Prize received  in 1979.  Her Missionary of Charity was founded  with 400 nuns.  At her death, it numbered 4500 Sisters in over 133 countries.   Mother Teresa, who unselfishly dedicated her life to others achieving the impossible, Sainthood in her lifetime?  Not through the church, but through the hearts and minds of the  people she ministered.

In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood, giving her the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.” A second miracle credited to her intercession is required before she can be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.[1]

Mother Teresa was not without her detractors. Dr. David Hawkins Mother-Teresa-Friendship-Quotes (self-proclaimed atheist) wrote a book:  “The Missionary Position Mother Teresa in Theory and in Practice” claiming that she was perpetuating “poverty” with her stand against contraception and abortion.  She also felt “suffering” was a gift to god and was accused of withholding pain medicine, and misusing funds.

I look at her selfless dedication with awe, and I find myself asking what have I contributed to the world?  I pause.  Does my life make a difference?    Mother Teresa was  fulfilling her need to be a servant of God in helping those who could not help themselves.  If that need was her goal, fulfillment not Sainthood, was her reward.


Each of us work toward fulfilling our own personal need.



  Would I want to be like Martha Stewart?

1959-martha-stewart-400Born: August 3, 1941, Martha Helen Kostyra (named after her mother) in Jersey City, New Jersey, second of six children.  She learned to cook and sew from her mother, gardening from her father, canning, preserving from her grandmother.  She began babysitting at the age of ten for  (Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra,  Yankee fame) and threw her first party for the Mantle boys.

Martha became a model at 13, television, magazines.  Made $50 an hour modeling in college for Chanel, early ’60’s. Among other things, Martha was a stockbroker earning $150,000 per year.  Her real talent and love was cooking.  Thus the  catering  business and from then to now she has been involved in writing, publishing, television, radio–you name it, she’s tried her hand at it. Her brand is recognized world wide.

When the company she founded,  ” Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia(MSO went public in 1999 , she became the first self-made business woman to become a billionaire in the United States.  (author’s note:  no one is ever “self-made”…there were many people along the way, I’m sure Martha would agree,  who helped her  build her road to success.)

Martha Stewart stepped into the arena of financial giants not only holding her own, but besting many of her male counterparts.   Was she  playing one upsmanship with the boys?  Now that is  a “no–no” in a patriarchal–structured society, a rule by which we continue to live by today .  But she wasn’t “nice”.

Barbara Walters asked her in the interview, “Why does everybody hate you?”  Hardly a fair statement, Ms. Walters.  I’m surprised she let you get by with it.  I’m sure “everybody” doesn’t hate Martha Stewart.  I, for one, do not.  I admire her ability to enter into the “men’s” game and succeed.  Perhaps Ms. Walters was speaking for herself?

martha stewart imagesImprisonment.  Payback from the guys?  Indictment, not for “Insider Trading” (that charge was dropped) but for securities fraudobstruction of justice and a few other Federal charges.  Martha Stewart went to jail.  For?  Lying.  Wow, now that’s a first.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch–Wall Streetbankers–CEO’s  stealing billions of people’s money get Federal Aid (that’s us.)  Too Big to Fair, Bailout money. Obviously there are different standards for lying if you’re a guy–Bill Clinton?

Envy?  Martha was a “pushy bitch” and  guys hate it when a woman gets into their locker room.  So it was off to jail.  Martha requested to serve her sentence in Connecticut, or Florida rather than the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, West Virginia which was located out in the wilderness.  Even the judge requested that she be sent to Connecticut.   No soap.  Too much media, too crowded, so Martha was marched off to West Virginia.  Vindictive?  These guys were really mad! They were sure that being in jail was the beginning of the end for Martha. So what did she do?  She made, not lemonade, but lemon souffle from the whole charade.

While imprisoned Martha became a liaison between the administration and the women inmates.  When she was released she went through all the “inhouse” restrictions, wore the electronic monitor on her ankle, said, “Yes, Sir, and No, Sir” to the authorities, and rebuilt her empire to include home building, furniture, acted on television, championed animal rights (gave up wearing fur.)

Martha Stewart-20110927-12Few marriages can stand the stress of two ambitious people.  Martha and Andrew divorced after twenty-six years of marriage.  They have one daughter, Alexis.  Martha has dated some notable men, Sir Anthony Hopkins for one.  She broke it off after seeing him in The Silence of the Lambs.  He was just too good as Hannibal Lectar.

What new adventure will Martha take up next?  She is 72, lives near Bedford, New York, and has a 37,000 square foot house on Mount Desert Island in Maine.


Do women “like” Martha?





 Would I want to be like Billie Jean?

(I don’t have the talent or the courage!)

billie-jean-king-former-tennis-pro-autographed-8x10_7250297c1302e22222836272538d823dBorn Billie Jean Moffit on November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California to a middle-class family.  Father a fireman, mother a homemaker.  Billie Jean and her younger brother, Randy, always loved sports.  He later became a professional baseball pitcher playing for the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Billie Jean began playing tennis at the age of 11.  She saved her money to buy her first tennis racket, played on public courts, was coached by Clyde Walker and later by Alice Marble (winner of 18 Grand Slam titles: ’36–’40: “Billie Jean has a great foundation from Walker, now all she needs is confidence.” Was Marble’s remarks.

All past champions were not so supportive.  Maureen Connolly, first woman to win a Grand Slam (4 major tournaments in the same year) said to Billie Jean, “I just want to let you know you’ll never make it.  So don’t bother! (Women supporting other women!) 

Billie Jean married Lawrence King in 1965.  In 1971 interview with Ms Magazine  he  disclosed, without Billie Jean’s permission, that she had an abortion.  Her comment some time later was that she didn’t feel her marriage to Larry was strong enough to provide the foundation for rearing a child.

I had the privilege of interviewing Billie Jean in the early 70’s when she was playing in Chicago.  Because of air traffic problems I was late in arriving for my scheduled interview time.  When I asked her for a few moments, explaining my situation,  she said  that she didn’t have time.  I hung around making myself available.  Behind the backdrop of the court I heard two people talking.  “Have you a back-up line caller just in case?”  Billie Jean was notorious for insisting on the removal of inefficient line callers.

Toward evening, the players were dressed to go out when a large man approached Billie Jean thrusting a flyer in her face.  “Here, sign this.”  His tone was more than a bit arrogant. “Sorry, Sir, I’m late for an appointment.” and she turned to leave but he stepped forward blocking her way. “Don’t be such a Bitch, just sign it.”  I could see Billie Jean swell with indignation.

Look, Buster, I’ve put down these rackets for the last time, now get out of my way.

Later the next day I was sitting in the lounge when Billie Jean came up to me. “I’ve a few free moments ,” and she settled next to me.  She was very cordial, answering all my questions in detail,  except one.  When I brought up her abortion.  “I’ll not comment on that.”

Billie Jean King, assertive, aggressive, who took the women in tennis off the back courts at Wimbledon, demanding equal pay.  It was not without risk. She and nine other women. broke away from the APTA, the only recognized official tennis organization forming the Women Tennis Association.    Notice it was not Chrissie Evert, Yvonne Gooligong, Margaret Court, the other greats of the day who all stayed dutifully playing safely under the APTA umbrella while Billie Jean and her crew ran their own circuit, recruited their own sponsors, drew large crowds proving they could be independent of the official, male–dominated APTA organization, an action that won equal publicity and pay for women players.

The list of awards and championships would fill pages.  Won her first Wimbledon Championship (doubles) on her first tournament entry at the England club.  She won 39 major championships in her career.  Was the first woman athlete to make over $100,000.00 in one year and the awards and citations piled up as she continued her incredible journey.

It was in  1971 that Billie Jean succumbed to  her attraction to women with an intimate affair with her then secretary, Marilyn Barnett.  Years later (1981)after first trying to blackmail Billie Jean, an attempt that failed when Billie Jean stepped forward admitting  to the press the truth of her intimate relationship with Ms. Barnett, that the Palimony lawsuit  against her was filed.

The world was shocked.  It was the first time that a prominent female athlete had ever admitted to being a lesbian.  Although Billie Jean had planned to retire that year, financially she could not. “Within 24 hours [of the lawsuit being filed], I lost all my endorsements; I lost everything. I lost $2 million at least, because I had longtime contracts. I had to play just to pay for the lawyers. In three months I went through $500,000. I was in shock. I didn’t make $2 million in my lifetime, so it’s all relative to what you make.”


In 1973. King defeated Bobby Riggs in an exhibition match.  Riggs had been a top male player in the 1930s and 1940s in both the amateur and professional ranks. He won the Wimbledon men’s singles title in 1939, and was considered the World No. 1 male tennis player for 1941, 1946, and 1947. He then became a self-described tennis “hustler” who played in promotional challenge matches, sometimes using a frying pan instead of a racket.  In 1973, he took on the role of male chauvinist. Claiming that the women’s game was so inferior to the men’s game that even a 59-year-old like himself could beat the current top female players, he challenged and defeated Margaret Court 6–2, 6–1. King, who previously had rejected challenges from Riggs, then accepted a lucrative financial offer to play him for $100,000, winner-take-all.

Dubbed the Battle of the Sexes, the Riggs-King match was played at the Houston Astrodome in Texas on September 20, 1973. The match garnered huge publicity. In

front of 30,492 spectators and a worldwide television audience estimated at 50 million people in 37 countries, King beat Riggs 6–4, 6–3, 6–3. The match is considered a very significant event in developing greater recognition and respect for women’s tennis. King said, “I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn’t win that match. It would ruin the women’s [tennis] tour and affect all women’s self-esteem.  To beat a fifty-nine-year old guy was no thrill for me. The thrill was exposing a lot of new people to tennis.  (Can you imagine the pressure?  For more information:  Billie Jean King – Wikipedia, the)

Billie Jean, for all her tennis championships,  is probably most recognized for her “battle–of–the-sexes” match with Bobby Riggs. I remember that day vividly and  the vindication I felt for all women who suffered from that unnamed feeling of inferiority that is so subtly taught.  It was not a “tennis match” that she won.  She struck a great blow for equality.  I can never repay this courageous woman for what she has suffered through in her life, for the pride I feel in being a woman.

The irony?   The very thing that she was condemned for (lesbianism) is now the vehicle that carries her to the 2014 Olympics. In December 2013, US President Barack Obama appointed King and openly gay hockey player Caitlin Cahow to represent the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This has been interpreted as a signal on gay rights, in the context of concerns and controversies at the 2014 Winter Olympics regarding LGBT rights in Russia.












Would I want to be like Jane Fonda?

Jane FondaLady Jayne Seymour Fonda was born on December 21, 1937, in New York City to legendary screen star Henry Fonda and socialite, Frances Ford Seymour. It was the second marriage for both her parents; Henry was divorced from actress Margaret Sullavan and Frances was the widow of a wealthy industrialist, George Tuttle Brokaw. In addition to her younger brother Peter Fonda, Jane had a half-sister, Frances “Pan” de Villers Brokaw (1931-2008), from her mother’s first marriage. When Jane was twelve, Henry Fonda left Frances for a younger woman (21-year-old Susan Blanchard, who became his third wife). Devastated, Frances checked herself into a sanitarium and committed suicide there on April 14, 1950 by slitting her throat with a razor that she’d hidden in a framed photograph of her children. Jane was told that her mother died of a heart failure, but learned the truth months later while leafing through a movie magazine. She eventually obtained her mother’s medical records and learned that Frances had been sexually abused, which may have been the reason for the emotional problems that had plagued her throughout adulthood.

Fonda won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1971, playing a high-class call girl, Bree Daniels, in the murder mystery Klute. She won her second Oscar in 1978 for Coming Home, as a Marine officer’s wife who volunteers at a veterans’ hospital and becomes involved with a disabled Vietnam War veteran (played by Jon Voight).[12]


“Hanoi Jane” controversy 936full-jane-fonda  Jane Fonda on the NVA nti-aircraft gun

Fonda visited Hanoi in July 1972. Among other statements, she said the United States had been intentionally targeting the dike system along the Red River. The columnist Joseph Kraft, who was also touring North Vietnam, said he believed the damage to the dikes was incidental and was being used as propaganda by Hanoi, and that, if the U.S. Air Force were “truly going after the dikes, it would do so in a methodical, not a harum-scarum way.” In North Vietnam, Fonda was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft battery; the controversial photo outraged a large  number of Americans. In her 2005 autobiography, she writes that she was manipulated into sitting on the battery; she had been horrified at the implications of the pictures and regretted they were taken. In a recent entry at her official website, Fonda explained:


“It happened on my last day in Hanoi. I was exhausted and an emotional wreck after the 2-week visit … The translator told me that the soldiers wanted to sing me a song. He translated as they sung. It was a song about the day ‘Uncle Ho’ declared their country’s independence in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh Square. I heard these words: “All men are created equal; they are given certain rights; among these are life, Liberty and Happiness.” These are the words Ho pronounced at the historic ceremony. I began to cry and clap. These young men should not be our enemy. They celebrate the same words Americans do. The soldiers asked me to sing for them in return … I memorized a song called Day Ma Di, written by anti-war South Vietnamese students. I knew I was slaughtering it, but everyone seemed delighted that I was making the attempt. I finished. Everyone was laughing and clapping, including me … Here is my best, honest recollection of what happened: someone (I don’t remember who) led me towards the gun, and I sat down, still laughing, still applauding. It all had nothing to do with where I was sitting. I hardly even thought about where I was sitting. The cameras flashed … It is possible that it was a set up, that the Vietnamese had it all planned. I will never know. But if they did I can’t blame them. The buck stops here. If I was used, I allowed it to happen … a two-minute lapse of sanity that will haunt me forever … But the photo exists, delivering its message regardless of what I was doing or feeling. I carry this heavy in my heart. I have apologized numerous times for any pain I may have caused servicemen and their families because of this photograph. It was never my intention to cause harm.”

(Her hope was to help end the war.)

During her trip, Fonda made ten radio broadcasts in which she denounced American political and military leaders as “war criminals”. Fonda has defended her decision to travel to North Vietnam and her radio broadcasts. Also during the course of her visit, Fonda visited American prisoners of war (POWs), and brought back messages from them to their families. When cases of torture began to emerge among POWs returning to the United States, Fonda called the returning POWs “hypocrites and liars”. She added, “These were not men who had been tortured. These were not men who had been starved. These were not men who had been brainwashed.”Later, on the subject of torture used during the Vietnam War, Fonda told The New York Times in 1973, “I’m quite sure that there were incidents of torture … but the pilots who were saying it was the policy of the Vietnamese and that it was systematic, I believe that’s a lie.” Fonda said the POWs were “military careerists and professional killers” who are “trying to make themselves look self-righteous, but they are war criminals according to the law.”  Her visits to the POW camp led to persistent and exaggerated rumors which were repeated widely in the press and continued to circulate on the Internet decades later. Fonda has personally denied the rumors.Interviews with two of the alleged victims specifically named in the emails found these allegations to be false as they had never met Fonda. In 1972, Fonda helped fund and organize the Indochina Peace Campaign. It continued to mobilize antiwar activists across the nation after the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement, through 1975, when the United States withdrew from Vietnam. Because of her time in North Vietnam, the ensuing circulated rumors regarding the visit, and statements made following her return, resentment against her among veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. military still exists. For example, for many years at the U.S. Naval Academy, when a plebe shouted out “Goodnight, Jane Fonda!”, the entire company replied “Goodnight, bitch!”This practice has since been prohibited by the academy’s Plebe Summer Standard Operating Procedures In 2005, Michael A. Smith, a U.S. Navy veteran, was arrested for disorderly conduct in Kansas City, Missouri, after he spat chewing tobacco in Fonda’s face during a book-signing event for her autobiography, My Life So Far. He told reporters that he “consider[ed] it a debt of honor” and further stated “she spit in our faces for 37 years. It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did.”


In a 1988 interview with Barbara Walters, Fonda expressed regret for some of her comments and actions, stating:

“I would like to say something, not just to Vietnam veterans in New England, but to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I’m very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families. […] I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless.

Critics responded that her apology came at a time when a group of New England Veterans had launched a campaign to disrupt a film project she was working on, leading to the charge that her apology was motivated at least partly by self-interest. In a 60 Minutes interview on March 31, 2005, Fonda reiterated that she had no regrets about her trip to North Vietnam in 1972, with the exception of the anti-aircraft-gun photo. She stated that the incident was a “betrayal” of American forces and of the “country that gave me privilege”. Fonda said, “The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda’s daughter … sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal … the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine.” She later distinguished between regret over the use of her image as propaganda and pride for her anti-war activism: “There are hundreds of American delegations that had met with the POWs. Both sides were using the POWs for propaganda … It’s not something that I will apologize for.” Fonda said she had no regrets about the broadcasts she made on Radio Hanoi, something she asked the North Vietnamese to do: “Our government was lying to us and men were dying because of it, and I felt I had to do anything that I could to expose the lies and help end the war.”

Between Klute in 1971 and Fun With Dick and Jane in 1977, Fonda did not have a major film success. She appeared in A Doll’s House (1973), Steelyard Blues and The Blue Bird (1976). At one point, she suggested her politics had worked against her: “I can’t say I was blacklisted, but I was greylisted.” However, in her 2005 autobiography, My Life So Far, she rejected such simplification. “The suggestion is that because of my actions against the war my career had been destroyed … But the truth is that my career, far from being destroyed after the war, flourished with a vigor it had not previously enjoyed. She reduced acting because of her political activism providing a new focus in her life. Her return to acting in a series of ‘issue-driven’ films reflected this new focus. Through her production company, IPC Films, she produced films that helped return her to star status. The 1977 comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane is generally considered her “comeback” picture. She also received positive reviews, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, and an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the playwright Lillian Hellman in the 1977 film Julia. During this period, Fonda announced that she would make only films that focused on important issues, and she generally stuck to her word. She turned down An Unmarried Woman because she felt the part was not relevant. She followed with popular and successful films such as The China Syndrome (1979), about a cover-up of an accident in a nuclear power plant; and The Electric Horseman (1979) with her previous co-star, Robert Redford. Fonda had long wanted to work with her father, hoping it would help their strained relationship. She achieved this goal when she purchased the screen rights to the play On Golden Pond, specifically for her father and her. On Golden Pond, which also starred Katharine Hepburn, brought Henry Fonda his only Academy Award for Best Actor, which Jane accepted on his behalf, as he was ill and could not leave home. He died five months later.[12]

Exercise videosjane fonda2

For many years Fonda took ballet class to keep fit, but after fracturing her foot while filming The China Syndrome, she was no longer able to participate. To compensate, she began participating in aerobics and strengthening exercises under the direction of Leni Cazden. The Leni Workout became the Jane Fonda Workout, which began a second career for her, which continued for many years. Jane one time attributed her dedication to exercise as instrumental in her cure of boullemia . In 1982, Fonda released her first exercise video, titled Jane Fonda’s Workout, inspired by her best-selling book, Jane Fonda’s Workout Book. The Jane Fonda’s Workout became the highest selling home video of the next few years, selling over a million copies. The video’s release led many people to buy the then-new VCR in order to watch and perform the workout at home. Fonda subsequently released 23 workout videos with the series selling a total of 17 million copies combined, more than any other exercise series] She also released five workout books and thirteen audio programs, through 1995. After a fifteen-year hiatus, she released two new fitness videos on DVD in 2010, aiming at an older audience. Jane’s dedication to exercise remains strong as testified in these photos: (Remember she’s 76!)

My condemnation of Jane’s actions during the Viet Nam war was strong.  Time gives one a broader perspective.  From the publicity of her protests those of us who felt as she did drew courage from her and  people from all walks of life  stepped into the streets, especially the young.  President Johnson’s decision not to run for a second term was attributed to that war and the American people’s outcry.   Jane has been branded a traitor, but, if her protests helped end the war (her goal) by one day, how many lives were saved?

My favorite Jane Fonda movie: ON GOLDEN POND.  Jane had always wanted to work with her dad, Henry Fonda.  She bought the  play rights specifically to work with Henry  hoping to iron out their troubled relationship.  A “true-to-life” happening wrapped into the “fantasy world?”  Or is it all fantasy?

“NICE”?   Jane was dedicated.

Jane Fonda Cannes 2013

                                                                      File:Jane Fonda Cannes 2013.jpg

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (Would I want to be like Hillary?)



(From WikipediA) Hillary Clinton:   Birth date: October 26, 1947, Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, Birth name: Hillary Diane Rodham, Father: Hugh Ellsworth, businessman, Mother: Dorothy (Howell) Rodham, homemaker.  Marriage: Bill Clinton, (October 11, 1975 – present),Children: Chelsea, December 27, 1980, Education: Wellesley College, B.A., 1969; Yale, J.D. 1973. Raised in a politically conservative household.

At age thirteen Rodham helped canvass South Side Chicago following the very close 1960 U.S. presidential election, where she found evidence of electoral fraud against Republican candidate Richard Nixon.She then volunteered to campaign for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the U.S. presidential election of 1964.

Rodham’s early political development was shaped most by her high school history teacher (like her father, a fervent anticommunist), who introduced her to Goldwater’s classic The Conscience of a Conservative, and by her Methodist youth minister (like her mother, concerned with issues of social justice), with whom she saw and met civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago in 1962. In her junior year at Wellesley,  Rodham became a supporter of the antiwar presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rodham organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley’s black students to recruit more black students and faculty. In early 1968, she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association and served through early 1969;  she was instrumental in keeping Wellesley from being embroiled in the student disruptions common to other colleges.  Rodham became a supporter of the antiwar presidential nomination campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy  Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rodham organized a two-day student strike and worked with Wellesley’s black students to recruit more black students and faculty.

In early 1968, she was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association and served through early 1969; she was instrumental in keeping Wellesley from being embroiled in the student disruptions common to other college      A native of Illinois, Hillary Rodham was the first student commencement speaker at Wellesley College in 1969. She then earned a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. After a brief stint as a Congressional legal counsel.

hillary-rodham-clinton-bill-clintonHillary moved to Arkansas and married Bill Clinton in 1975. Rodham co founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977. In 1978, she became the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation, and in 1979 the first female partner at Rose Law Firm. The National Law Journal twice listed her as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America. As First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992 with husband Bill as Governor, she led a task force that reformed Arkansas’s education system. During that time, she was on the board of Wal-Mart and several other corporations.


HILLARYCARE: In 1994, as First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. However, in 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her years as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during the Clinton presidency. Her marriage also endured the  Lewinsky scandal in 1998.

 Lewinsky scandal

In 1998, the Clintons’ relationship became the subject of much speculation when investigations revealed that the President had had extramarital relations with White House intern,  Monica Lewinsky. Events surrounding the Lewinsky scandal eventually led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House of Representatives. When the allegations against her husband were first made public, Hillary Clinton stated that they were the result of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” characterizing the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized, collaborative series of charges by Bill Clinton’s political enemies rather than any wrongdoing by her husband.

She later said that she had been misled by her husband’s initial claims that no affair had taken place.  After the evidence of President Clinton’s encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible, she issued a public statement reaffirming her commitment to their marriage,  but privately was reported to be furious at him and was unsure if she wanted to stay in the marriage.

There was a variety of public reactions to Hillary Clinton after this: some women admired her strength and poise in private matters made public, some sympathized with her as a victim of her husband’s insensitive behavior, others criticized her as being an enabler to her husband’s indiscretions, while still others accused her of cynically staying in a failed marriage as a way of keeping or even fostering her own political influence.

Her public approval ratings in the wake of the revelations shot upward to around 70 percent, the highest they had ever been. In her 2003 memoir, she would attribute her decision to stay married to “a love that has persisted for decades” and added: “No one understands me better and no one can make me laugh the way Bill does. Even after all these years, he is still the most interesting, energizing and fully alive person I have ever met.


After moving to  New York state, Clinton was elected the first female Senator from New York; she is the only First Lady ever to have run for public office. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, she supported military action in Afghanistan and the Iraq War Resolution, but subsequently objected to the George W. Bush administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq and continued to oppose most of its domestic policies.

Senator Clinton was reelected in 2006. Running in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton won far more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but narrowly lost to Illinois Senator Barack Obama who went on to win the national election. After winning the presidential election, Obama nominated Clinton to be Secretary of State, and she was confirmed by the Senate in January 2009. She was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, including advocating for the U.S. military intervention in Libya. As Secretary of State, she took responsibility for security lapses related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of American consulate personnel, but defended her personal actions in regard to the matter.

Clinton visited more countries than any other Secretary of State. She viewed “smart power” as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, by combining military power with diplomacy and American capabilities in economics, technology, and other areas. She encouraged empowerment of women everywhere, and used social media to communicate the U.S. message abroad.

Have we seen the last of Hillary?  Don’t bet on it.  Rumors of brain tumor, blood clot on the brain, undisclosed health issues are rampant.  NEW BOOK, yet to be named, to be published in June of 2014…a “Tell-it-all” Book?  A book deal with Simon and Schuster, Inc. is rumored to be $15 million.

“Hillary Clinton has redefined the meaning of ‘trailblazer’ in every phase of her career on the world stage, as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State, and notably, as an author,” said Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive officer of Simon & Schuster Inc. “She is widely admired by her peers in the highest levels of government in both the United States and internationally, and has become a role model for millions. We couldn’t be happier to continue our long association with Secretary Clinton and to bring readers worldwide her unique insights into the most dramatic events and critically important issues of our time.” (And maybe some “personal” secrets?  Tune in…gotta be the book of the year!  Author’s note.)




“IF ONLY…” echoes.  Obviously these women have changed the world in entertainment, sports/sexuality, business, and spiritually.  Makes you feel proud to be a woman even if  a bit insignificant?  Remember it is the rain drops that fill the puddles that fill the streams that fill the ocean.  Each and every one of us, when we offer a helping hand, clean up the dog mess, hold a crying child make a difference.  We bring history in the stories we tell, songs we sing, family traditions that we observe.  Without us the “leaders” have no one to lead.  We are the leavening in the bread, the salve for the wound, the salt on the steak.  WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  Author’s note:  Most of the information in the above articles was from the free WIKIPEDIA   facts and information.

  • By Pat Engebrecht, January 30, 2014 @ 10:05 PM

    Each of us have our own choices regarding strong women. I chose the above women because of their individual talents in spiritual, business, sports, entertainment. Each faced difficult issues within the context of their field. Agree or disagree with their position, but I believe one must recognize their courage to take a stand. Pe

  • By Pat Engebrecht, December 28, 2014 @ 9:08 PM

    As my daughter said, “We are all doing the best we can.” Living through these challenges and emerging stronger seems to be the goal. PE

  • By Pat Engebrecht, December 28, 2014 @ 9:10 PM

    Thanks…I have been absent for six months. Now getting my pen out again. Living and Learning. P

  • By Pat Engebrecht, July 27, 2016 @ 3:30 PM

    Thanks. P

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