Hillary Rodham Clinton with Aung San Suu Kyi
Picture credit: U.S. State Department
They say that today is International Women’s Day.
This makes me just a bit curious, what about all of the other days?
What follows here is a selfish post.
I have always wanted to write about the women that I think have changed the world and influenced me.
So, with the excuse of what has been deemed their “day,” I shall begin!
I would like to speak of just a few of the women who have impacted my life and are especially worthy of mention here today.
I would of course, begin with my grandmother, who had 18 children and was the matriarch of our huge family and my mother, who raised me as a single mother, long before it was socially acceptable. Between them, these two very different, equally strong women, gave me all that was needed to become the person that I am today.
Of the women in my past not related to me, that I most admired, I would like to mention a very special History teacher at Shortridge High School who made the subject come alive, for one who despised the whole idea of it, Mrs. Mary Walker.
She was a tiny, vibrant, African-American woman with beautiful white hair and I loved being in her class.
To this day, I can still hear her saying the word ” Hapsburg’s.”
Of all of the world’s current women leaders, the one that I hold in the highest esteem is Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma/Myanmar. What she had done for her people and her country is simply astounding and remarkable and there are few in the world who could have endured all that she has.
Dr. Judith Marti was my first Anthropology Professor at CSUN and taught mostly Ethnography Classes, which is basically, the study of a people through written observations. She made a huge impact on all the years that followed in College. My classes with her and the lessons in life that she gave me, changed the way that I looked at the world. She pushed me to always do better in every paper, every project, I would know little of real Anthropology if it were not for her. (Regretfully no picture)
Mrs. O’Brien, the dynamic, demanding, Irish Charge Nurse at two of the facilities where I worked. She put the fear of God in all who were near, and not meeting her expectations in Nursing and patient care and taught me how to be a better Nurse. She often stood over me as I did treatments and remarked how perfectly they were done. As I told her, I had many times to practice with my son, who had years of skin breakdowns due to his paraplegia. We became very close and I will never forget her passion and her insistence on nothing but the best from all who worked with her. (Regretfully no picture)
For our current positive status in women’s liberation and equal rights we all owe much to many women, but for my own generation, my connection has always been to Gloria Steinem. Those of us who came of age in the ’60’s, especially in Southern California, found their voice, through hers. We were able to fight for our rights, when no one wanted to give them to us and what she did made me a stronger woman. Regrettably, we are still waiting in this backwards thinking state of Florida for the ERA to be passed!
In American politics, my choice must certainly be Hillary Clinton for being one of the most intelligent, powerful, accomplished women of my time. She is the closest we have come so far in putting a woman in the White House. For that I will forever thank her. Hillary has worked hard all of her life to make the world a better place for all of us.