Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fearless Women

I just finished Ariana Huffington's new book, On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work, and Life. It was a fast read, very honest, interesting and breezy. I hope it will reach the huge numbers of women who are trying to figure out if they should proceed with whatever they are fearful about-- public speaking, ending a bad relationship or marriage, letting go of their children, starting a business or a movement, traveling alone, disease, death, lonliness, whatever takes real boldness to push through the wall of fear. There were times when I was reminded of 70s self-help books on being an independent woman but then I considered my own fears, not so unlike Ms. Huffington's. I need to be reminded, too.

I heard Ms. Huffington speak at the BlogHer conference where she offered attendees her book if they asked via email. I was impressed with her intelligence, wit, and humility.

Speaking of fearless women, I have to mention my sadness at the deaths this past week of Ann Richards and Oriana Fallachi, both intelligent, passionate, bold, and couragous women. Ann Richards, at 73, was an American icon--witty, articulate, honest, and dedicated to sticking to her beliefs. She opened the door for women and minorities in Texas and was a vocal and strong supporter everywhere, as she always said she would be. Molly Ivins and Bill Clinton shared some especially hilarious and poignant moments with Ann Richards.

We will all remember her for the quotes that have become part of our vernacular: Ginger Rogers who had to dance backwards and in high heels, George Bush born with a silver foot in his mouth, etc. I heard Ann Richards speak several times and talked to her a couple of times. I remember her remarks when asked how to achieve work-family balance. She said very straightforwardly (my memory of her words): "I don't own anything that I have to water, feed, or polish! That gives me more time for what really matters."

Oriana Fallaci, who died at 76 this week, was a woman who cared intensely about righting wrongs, big ones against humanity. She interviewed and wrote about the biggest personalities of the last 40 years, with intelligence, passion, and wit. She was fearless about asking questions that no one else would ask, voicing unpopular but heartfelt opinions, and pushing, always pushing, for a better world.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You stated, "I hope (Ariana Huffington's new book) will reach the huge numbers of women." I am afraid that Ariana is being sidelined like other feminists, yet in a strange way: Her speaking engagements are at very high-priced venues! This is strange for an author who supports poor women with advice, support, etc. If you get the chance to tell Ms. Huffington: her PR people aren't doing her justice (pun intended) by scheduling her speaking engagements at fancy hotels and conferences which cost sometimes a couple hundred dollars to attend.