We continue our Strong Women theme for the month this week.
Wickeds: who is – or was – a strong real woman over sixty you admire(d) for her strength? Is/was she strong in character, in muscles, in emotional intelligence? Describe her strength. Bonus points for pictures.
Julie: The first woman who comes to mind is Eleanor Roosevelt. Though she was inspiring throughout her life, post WWII while in her sixties she became a delegate to the United Nations, and became the first chairperson for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. She wrote, remained politically active, and took on many other roles well into her 70’s. An inspiration.
Liz: I have to go with Jane Fonda. She’s such an inspiration as a still-working actress (who doesn’t love Grace and Frankie?) and her advocacy work. Her latest efforts are focused on the environment – and she was instrumental in delivering enough support to the UN from 157 countries to get a Global Ocean Treaty in place just this year.
Edith: Liz, Jane Fonda has been an activist for decades. Good pick, as is Eleanor Roosevelt. I’m thinking of Madeline Albright. She became US Ambassador to the United Nations at age fifty-six and the first female Secretary of State at sixty, and received the Medal of Freedom at seventy-five. Yes, she was involved in several controversies, but one involved asserting her opinion that women should support other women. At root, I applaud that statement.
Barb: I’m laughing because “old” seems to be a moving target. I’ve blown by several ages I thought were old when I was younger, but happily, I’m still here. I find now that the women I admire are the ones who are just a little older than me–5 years, 10 years. I love watching how they navigate this part of life, taking away tips as I can. They’re not names you’d recognize. Well, some are writers so maybe you would. But I don’t think any of them would appreciate being on my list of “older women,” so they will remain anonymous for now.
Jessie: Like Barb, my pick is a woman who is not a household name, but has been a huge influence on me for the past twenty years. Over that time I have had the privilege of seeing her life up close, watching her try new things, follow her dreams, and pass through extraordinary grief with grace. Her relentless curiosity and interest in expanding her world year year two of her greatest strengths. I don’t think I would be the person that I am today without her influence.
Sherry: After watching the Oscars I’m adding Michelle Yeoh (winner of Actress in a Leading Role and she’s only 60) to my list of women I admire. In her acceptance speech she said, “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you’re ever past you’re prime.” Cheers to that!
Readers: Who is your favorite strong older woman?