Gwinnett Daily Post
All-Outrageous Women keep everyday world interesting
October 25, 2004
Photo: Peter Kramer
That thundering background noise you hear is the legion of senior females demanding that we name our companion team of All-Outrageous Women.
Attentive readers remember how we selected 11 men to our All-Outrageous Men lineup and understand that outrageous is merely a code word describing independent, strong-willed and socially aware citizens.
Further, allow us to suggest that it remains to outrageous women (and men) to get most community jobs done, while keeping our everyday world interesting.
1) Sandra Day O’Connor belongs, because as the first woman named to the United States Supreme Court, she serves as a sterling role model. She also makes no secret of her affection for kids and horses.
2) Oprah is omnipresent, with a talent for every occasion. She preaches, writes, acts, sings and reminds us of the pleasures and profit from reading worthwhile books. This unique, wealthy African-American is the epitome of zeal, energy and mid-life maturity.
3) As a friend to and champion for sufferers of depression and other emotional or mental challenges, Rosalynn Carter receives our highest marks. This world-traveling former First Lady is notably outrageous for goodness and as a selfless giver.
4) When historians measure Hillary Rodham Clinton, who can say what verdicts will be rendered? Perhaps these authors may speak of the first woman to serve as First Lady and later a United States President? Meantime, the intelligent, articulate politician performs ably inside the United States Senate.
5) Nancy Reagan became the quintessential American caregiver, a spokesperson for her late husband and for all who become afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, she has served as a controversial champion for expanded stem cell research. In her frailty, people today see a woman of strength, of commitment and possessing a fierce will.
6) When President Ronald Reagan was shot by a deranged man, so too was James (Jim) Brady, his press secretary. Both men lived, and from that tragic attempt at assassination there emerged a new champion for victims of gun violence. She is Sarah Brady, standing tall behind her handicapped husband’s wheelchair and ceaselessly “working the system” on Capitol Hill or wherever the cause carries her. Her message: too many guns, too many innocent dead or wounded.
7), 8) Singer/actress Bette Midler now takes center stage, but who would deny her? Perhaps only Carol Burnett, true queen of American stage, screen, television or wherever she elects to display her comedic talents. With this pair, the word outrageous takes on wings.
9), 10) Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, authors and advocates for women, join as an entry. This duo, dynamic to a fault, helped achieve new and deserving rights, freedoms and acceptance for women.
11) Coretta Scott King is the proud bearer of the legacy that reminds the nation of its historic struggles to affirm civil rights for all citizens. The courtly widow of Martin Luther King continues his work in dignity.
12) Mention media, and television leaps to mind. You might rush to nominate Barbara Walters or perhaps Leslie Stahl, Jane Pauley or Judy Woodruff. However, I am of the print world, so I select Helen Thomas, once celebrated as the slightly cranky “First Lady of the Press.” A columnist with Hearst, Thomas continues to cover the White House, her beat for 44 years. “Reporters see so much,” she says. “You see the poor, the hungry, and you see suffering. It’s the reporter’s job, I believe, to take a very human approach.”