And I know I'm like the creepy, boring uncle of digressing right now, but I'm OK with it.
Girls/women haven't always had the greatest rep in these here parts. Remember when we couldn't run for office or vote or anything? (Did you know Colorado was the first state to adopt an amendment granting women the right to vote? Chalk that up as another reason to love ole CO.) Remember when women who made mistakes (with men who made the same mistakes and were usually the married ones) were stoned to death, hanged, or just publicly scorned until they killed themselves or crawled in a corner to die? (Wow, this got heavy fast.) Remember when women got 50 cents on every dollar a man made doing exactly the same job? Remember when mostly rich white males decided how women should conduct our lives? Oh wait, still working on that one. So glad those days are (soon to be, I hope?) over.
Women are kicking major ass right now. How about some Hilary Rodham Clinton? Hil has been takin' names since Day 1. Oh you don't like my haircut or my "frigid" attire? Suck it, I'm going to be the first First Lady to go on to be a member of a President's Cabinet. I'm going to be Secretary of State, fools, so keep hatin'. She went on to be one of the best, most-diplomatic Secretaries of State we've ever had and - fingers crossed - a future US President. And one of the themes central to her tenure? Female empowerment.
"Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children's and grandchildren's fates, are decided," she said at a fundraiser in early 2012. Go Hil.
Plus, she is just the coolest:
And the rest of us aren't doing too poorly, either. The 113th Congress was recently sworn in, and with it a historic number of female leaders - 110. Let's make that last "Remember when," statement ancient history, ladies. What do you say?
While I know very little about sports, I'm confident women are takin' care of business there, too. In June, I had the privilege of interviewing five inspiring Paralympic athletes - two of them women. The current world record holder with 13 Paralympic Gold medals, Jessica Long is a swimmer and double below-knee amputee. Katy Sullivan, a double above-knee amputee sprinter, broke the U.S. record for the 100 meters at the London Games this summer. While learning to walk steadily would be considered a major accomplishment for either, they choose to submit their bodies to mind-numbing training to perform against and beat the most talented amputee athletes in the world. Hashtag WINNING.
|Photo: The Downey Patriot|
Then there's music. Where to begin? The female power ballad is the anthem of my life. On what I imagine was a foggy Massachusetts morning, I was brought into this world and I'm confident Whitney Houston was on the radio somewhere in that hospital. I made my entrance with a full head of hair, long limbs, and a deep urgency within me for soulful music that knocks me out of my chair. All-time favorites include: Whit (May she rest), Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Shawn Colvin. But there are some new greats out there. I strong-arm you to check out the following:
(Photo: Jessie Ware Facebook)
There are a great many things to hem and haw over - yeah, I said it - in this day in age, in our bombastic teenage country, but there are also a lot of great things. Like many of the women above - and others - who've got it goin' on right now. Can you snap your fingers and solve child abuse, starvation, poverty, gun violence, rape, adultery, athletes shootin' up (Ugh, Lance), the National debt, loneliness? No. But you can make the best of what you've been given, you can stand up for the things you love instead of bashing everything you hate, you can fight the greed and give of your time/resources to a cause you believe in, you can stay healthy in honor of those who can't, you can fight for the mother-lovin' rights to your life and lady parts, and you can listen to some damn fine tunes while you're at it.
Vive la revolution and happy fridee, all.
Amendment: (Thanks Dave.) A round of applause, please, for Kathryn Bigelow - a majorly talented and bad-ass female film director of many, including The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty - two incredible, fearless films that don't just show you the world of war, they take you there and throw you in alongside the ranks. She is dominating in a field historically controlled by men. Plus, she's a hottie with a body. Check her and her films out. Do it.