Fonda’s maps were missing

I was 63 last month. For 30 years, I have been a radical feminist who has worked with native societies and studied cultures that respect the roles of old women. I have also watched my own culture (European-American) go through whatever in its striving for eternal youth.

When I first saw the picture of a 70-year-old Jane Fonda [“Jane Fonda to Give Keynote Address,” Xpress, June 11], I thought: “How sad! This is a picture of female empowerment? This is a picture of a woman who stopped development at a very early age and has all the money in the world to attempt to capture that moment.”

The idea that Jane Fonda was to be a “role model” for empowering women is a denial of the opportunities offered to all of us as we go through the different stages of life—maiden, mother and crone. My goal has always been to move beyond the deliberate immaturity of my culture’s definitions of old women, [and progress] from grudging acceptance to enthusiastic embracing of what’s possible in the third phase of the Triple Goddess (56 to 84 years old). Although many women find “meaning” privately as they age, my focus is a more public stance of respect and appreciation for the wisdom inherent in old women’s unique perspectives. All those wrinkles, gray hair etc. mean something! They are maps of our lives and adventures to be read by everyone we meet!

What does it say about our culture and Fonda’s “empowering” visage that we celebrate no lines, no maps, only the smooth faces of young women (or old women trying to look young by hiding their experiences)? Same old, same old.

Black Mountain

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7 thoughts on “Fonda’s maps were missing

  1. travelah

    Attractive women are not good gender role models? Surely you are not serious???

  2. lumina

    travelah, jane fonda would be much more attractive if she were not made of plastic!

    i’ve always wondered what qualified her to be the spokeswoman of feminism as she has annointed herself. that she was born to a wealthy actor? that she made a living on rich husbands and exercise videos? she doesn’t represent me, nor most women i know, in her views or her methods of expressing them. and she gives a plastic face to the real issues that face women of all ages and backgrounds.

  3. travelah

    lumina, I was really jesting with the letter writer. I am not a fan of Jane Fonda. I was simply amused by the letter.

  4. who

    I am for human rights, womens’ rights, and mens’ rights. I wish though, that some women would stop referring to themselves as goddesses. Not out of any religious sentiment, it is just irritating. Before we know it, some men will start referring to themselves as gods. And then we will see just how ridiculous the term is.

  5. david

    Whats wrong with men knowing they are made in the image of God? Perhaps we would then begin to act like Men and not Children. In my opinion, Men are Gods, and women are Godesses. Or, at least, we should all strive to be. Of course, I dont know about all this trans-gendered stuff, but there are plenty of dieties to go around. I’m sure there are quite a few multi-sexed dieties in the world, as well.

    And I really appreciate redmoonsong’s letter. I have had the pleasure of many conversations with this Wise Woman, and it’s great to see her opinion’s getting a little conversation stirring here at MX!

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