Emma Goldman was a reckless sass-and-a-half bitch on wheels. If ever I feel like I -alone- cannot stand up to the world, I break out my copy of Red Emma Speaks: Selected Writings and Speeches and am quickly reminded of what one determined human being can accomplish. She was a powerful voice for civil liberties and cared deeply about the plight of women concerning herself with how to radically move society forward to a place of equality between men and women. There is no woman in a position of power who does not owe Emma Goldman a nod of gratitude.
Oprah is phenomenal in every sense of the word. I’m not much of a cheerleader for her these days, but she doesn’t need me anyway – she’s got all of you faithful viewers out there! But Oprah saved my life when I was young and she was still fat (sic, overweight) and had giant flatironed hair. Her rescue came into my living room after school. She told the world that she had been molested by a relative in her own childhood. And while I was shedding the remnants of my own childish years, she gave words to my plight and helped me to talk about what happened to me. Much to my family’s chagrin, she helped me to tell too. And though I am not a church of Oprah follower anymore, she fundamentally changed me.
And lastly, but never least of all the inspiring women I know of, I am privileged to share the company of Bee. Bee and I are friends. I am lucky to call her so. She has overcome significant adversity and worked hard to accomplish her personal goals, everyday acting as a remarkable exemplar of what a strong independent woman can achieve. She is successful in just about every endeavor she tries through dogged effort and intellectual can-do. Her only failing might be in swinging a hammer! …but I am sure that the trappings of home-repair will not allude her for long. Bee is the positive force that everyone wants to know and has good enough boundaries to keep the soul-suckers out. She shines with joy for life and encourages everyone around her to appreciate the best in themselves.