Tag Archives: Powerful women

Number 5 Hero of the Year 2012: Hillary Rodham Clinton

27 Dec
Number 5 Hero of 2012

Number 5 Hero of 2012

Let’s start this year’s honor roll with a big THANK YOU to all the readers and friends of TSM who nominated heroes this year. It’s a wonderful list that helps to maintain my sometimes shaken faith in humanity, where I can easily plummet into a misanthropic abyss. It’s a special pleasure to recognize outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at #5.

Clinton had a hard job to do from the start. Following the disastrous non-diplomacy of Condoleezza Rice and the integrity-challenged Colin Powell, she had to work with President Obama to help restore the United States’ international image. She proved more than equal to the task. A consummate diplomat and articulate spokesperson for core American values, she reassured the world that the abusive days of W were gone and that responsibility and participation would be watchwords of the new administration.

Throughout her tenure, Clinton has also been a true champion of rights for the oppressed. She speaks out regularly about using international cooperation to address poverty and hunger. She is a very outspoken ally of the LGBT community, encouraging equality in the State Department and insisting on its promotion internationally. Secretary Clinton is also a wonderful role model of the powerful woman, proving that barriers based on sex are at best irrational. Thank you for your service, Hillary, you will be missed.

TSM extends best wishes to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a speedy recovery from blood clots.  May you enjoy the New Year at home with your family and know how much you are loved and admired by so many of us.

Honorable mention in the women in leadership category goes to the incoming class of U.S. Senators and Representatives. The 213th Congress will have the largest number of women in the Senate and the most diverse class of Representatives ever. Despite all the efforts made to disenfranchise women and minorities, voters helped move the numbers forward. We look forward to seeing how this diverse coalition helps shape policy to the betterment of all Americans and address the bizarre and arcane disproportionality of representation of white heterosexual men.

Celebrating Women’s History Month: March 30

30 Mar

Honoring Eleanor of Aquitaine

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was at one point the most powerful and wealthiest woman in the world. Eleanor lived for 82 years, most of the entire 12th century. Eleanor was a determined woman and an awe-inspiring politician. Upon returning from the Second Crusade with her first husband, Louis VII, she demanded a divorce. Louis was amenable to the divorce, for there was no heir, only two daughters. Quite funny now that we know that was Louis’ fault, not Eleanor’s.  Interestingly enough, Louis got custody of their two daughters and Eleanor retained custody of her lands. Later, Eleanor, at age 30, would marry the 20-year-old Henry II.  Within two years, Henry II would become King of England. For those that enjoy the chronicles of Arthur, Eleanor was the patroness of such literary scholars as Wace and Chretien de Troyes.  Eleanor would pass on her love of the arts to her son Richard, who would later become Richard the Lionhearted.

Eleanor and Henry had eight children, two of whom would rule as King of England. Young Henry, heir apparent, died in June of 1183. Richard would succeed his father as King. Eleanor becomes Richard’s regent and goes on the Third Crusade. How sad that the very land rich Eleanor and thus the Plantagenet House, would lose much of its territory to the incompetent King John. John was Eleanor’s youngest son, also known as John Lackland, although he did give us the Magna Carta.

My fascination with Eleanor of Aquitaine started in the 7th grade when I saw the movie, The Lion in Winter. It is difficult not to conjure up the fiercely independent Katherine Hepburn’s face as Eleanor. Click here to learn more about the independent and strong Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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