Edith Piaf, 3772


Edith Gassion better known as Edith Piaf  was born to a contortionist and a street singer in 1915 died in 1963 as an icon of France.

Saint or prostitute? Some call this names society archetypes some other stereotypes nevertheless Piaff was identified with both because of her gut-wrenching voice and because of her life vicissitudes.

Untrained singer she began her career as an interpreter of la chanson realiste, stories about the downtrodden, the life of the working class, which in 1933 counted 1.3 million of unemployed.

ah! le petit vin blanc

with the Second World War and France occupied by Nazi forces her style changed: no more songs about the hardship of real life but music aimed at inspire the imagination to rise beyond constraints.  At first Nazi prohibited all forms of entertainment but after a while to maintain an air of normality cinemas, cabaret and radio stations were allowed to reopen under the supervision of  the Propaganda Staffel (censor). Her career proceeded relatively undisturbed even if Edith was ordered by the Nazi to take out of her repertoire 3 songs (Le Fanion, Mon Legionnaire, L’Accordnoiste) for their references to the French Army and because one of them was written by a Jew.

In a Paris swept by Nazi  raids against Jewish population, Edith Piaff herself after starring in the movie Monmartre sur Seine with Jewish artists, became for Pro-Nazi the personification of nonaryaness.

One of her most famous song is la vie en rose written for celebrating the end of the war and the freedom found again in France.

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Hillary Clinton: She is the real deal.

No woman could succeed as president anymore than could any man who did not have the trust and confidence of the majority of the nation for this is a democracy and governed by majority rule […] someday a woman maybe a president but I hope it will not be while we speak of a “woman’s vote” I hope it will only become a reality when she is elected as an individual because of her capacity and the trust which the majority of the people have in her integrity and ability as a person
Eleonor Roosvelt (1920)

Many thought Hillary Clinton was perfect to become the first woman american president. But in 2008 election she   opposed another novelty in the landscape of America’s presidential campaigns and failed in her intent. However hers is a lifetime of major accomplishments and political dedication.

Rated one of the most powerful lawyers by the end of the 70’s Hillary Clinton made her way to top governmental positions  in the coming 3 decades.

 Never happened previously in America’s history as a First Lady (spouse of Bill Clinton 42nd US President 1993-2001) she took on an active political role. She drafted a reform of the Health System which failed to pass the Congress vote because  labelled as socialized medicine but then succeeded in other initiatives concerning foster care, orphaned children, and above all the Children Health Insurance Program which would guarantee support for children whose families were unable to pay for their health coverage. As Senator for New York (2001-2009) one of her most cherished accomplishments was to secure money for the redevelopment of the area wreaked by the terrorist attacks of September 11 2011 along with an health coverage for those who suffered the consequences of those same attacks. As a Secretary of State (2009-ongoing)  her primary concern with foreign relations is the war on terror calling mainly on diplomacy as the most effective weapon to secure peace and stability, but also a tough stance whenever the US or its allies interests are put in danger.

Throughout her political carrier, Clinton has developing a “shadow agenda” about a global gender equity centered around the motto “Women rights are human rights” coined for 1995 conference in Beijing.

Madonna, into the groove

All you need is your own imagination
So use it that’s what it’s for

Born in 1958, Madonna is the most successful female artist of the XX century. Her success was due certainly to her catchy songs as well as the controversy her music many a times prompted.

What’s  in a name.

The witty link between religion and a very affirmative sexual bias her image embodied set the world on fire in the mid 80s. Songs and  music video such as ” like a prayer” or “like a virgin” pushed the buttons of many in the established churches all over the world together with pushing the edges of public acceptance of a pragmatic woman free from obsolete moral restrictions.

She pushed not crashed cultural boundaries. Madonna has always tied her personal and public life to important causes. For instance gay rights and Aids Awareness. In a moment of world history when just about nothing was known about this illness she would have herself seen  kissing on the lips with individuals who caught Aids or eating from where they were eating or she would have giant screens at her concerts  flashing messages about safe sex.

Today Madonna is revolutionizing the idea of a middle aged woman. Again she uses her body to shape a new concept: age is a number.

GLORIANA, Eliza Triumphant

I am assured that God hath revealed  to some in this our age that is more than a monster in nature that a woman should reign and bear empire over man

John Knox

On the morning of 17 November 1558 Elizabeth Tudor set to rule England for the next 50 years.

The country she inherited was stricken by poverty, illnesses and religious differences worsen by the government of the former catholic queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) who persecuted protestants and because of disgraceful allegiances she ended up draining the Treasury.  At her coronation Elizabeth vowed to her people “…persuade yourself that for the safety and quietness of you all, I will not spare, if need be, to spend my blood. God thank you all“.
When she died in 1603 England had strengthen her sense of national identity by becoming the most powerful nation on Earth after defeating in 1588  the tentative of invasion by the Spanish Armada the military army of the European Catholic powers which viewed Protestant England as a threat. In the face of peril Queen Elizabeth left her palace and reached her small army at Tilbury to which delivered her most famous speech “I know that I have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think it foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm, to which rather than any dishonor shall grow by me I myself will take up arms, I myself shall be your general, judge, and rewarder of everyone of your virtues“.

Elizabeth brought the country to expand its boundaries in the New World. London the capital City, during her reign was a thriving commercial and cultural center.  This was the era of Shakespearian drama, the poetry of Edmund Spenser and Sir Walter Raleigh.

However at the time of her accession many doubted the Queen’s capabilities to rule. She was considered a bastard because born from Anne Boleyn the second wife of Henry VIII. She was a woman: in a patriarchal society it was against the laws of Nature and God for a woman to govern over man because women were simply seen as inferior. Pressed by society to marry, the Queen put off the proposals of severals. She would reign by good counsel but would not share her power. That’s why while entertaining numerous flirtations she promoted the image of the Virgin Queen. Poets and writers referred to her as Gloriana, Cynthia or Diana, the virgin huntress.

She was called Pandora, Oriana, England’s Astrea, Albion shining sun. The Protestants saw her as Judith or Deborah. No other monarch captured the imagination of its country.

With caution, intuition and determination Elizabeth defeated every doubts.