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(5) Women I admire

Posted in Things We Love

I am ridiculously shameless when it comes to my birthday. I think it’s because, until I was an adult, my birthdays were low-key affairs: school was out, I was typically in the countryside, most of my friends away on their own adventures. I am still making up for it by stretching the proceedings as long as I can. Last year, I hosted a potluck of just girls. It was so much fun I am repeating it this year, with a slightly different mix of women – July is still the time when many take time off. Very often, women I know, women I meet briefly and women who will never join my circle are a big source of inspiration, comfort and motivation. Here are some who came to mind just this week.

One. The name Simone Veil might not be very familiar to most Americans but she was a towering figure in France and the face of feminism in Europe. Impossible to sum her up in a few lines but Simone, a Holocaust survivor, went on to become a lawyer, a Health Minister who shepherded abortion law in France in 1974 and the first female President of the European Union (where she worked tirelessly for women’s rights). She is also one of the few politicians elected to the Academie Francaise and now that, at 89, she is dead, she will be laid to rest in the Pantheon.

Two. The junior Senator from California, Kamala Harris, arrived in Washington on the same day as Donald Trump and now she has become the (very telegenic) face of the opposition. A former prosecutor and California’s attorney general, she is smart, vocal, hard-working and doesn’t take any bullshit (watch her during the Senate hearings on Russia). She also has a potty mouth that makes her even more endearing to me. She is talked about for a possible candidacy to the Presidency. Still early days. For now, I am glad she has my back.

Three. Lucinda Chmabers might be an odd pick. The former fashion director for British Vogue, unceremoniously dumped by the new editor in chief, recently gave an interview, frankly speaking about the irrelevance of publications like Vogue, about the corporate pressure that influences features and the power of advertisers. She also let it drop that she hadn’t read Vogue in years, that is how boring it has become. Sounds like revenge? Absolutely. But it still takes guts to voice the truth (the original interview I am linking here has now been amended following threats of legal action on the part of Conde Nast).

Four. I cannot possibly speculate on the veracity of Kesha’s lawsuit against her former producer Dr. Luke, for physical and emotional abuse. So far, the courts haven’t been on her side. But she hasn’t backed off, despite her career suffering, as she was prevented from releasing new material until she was finally released from her contract with Dr. Luke. In the face of adversity and addiction, this girl has found a way to stand up for herself and dig herself out of a hole.

The two of us, in our 20s

Five. My girlfriends. Sofagirl in particular. They listen to my bullshit, they call it out, they make me laugh, they pick me up and they never forget my birthday. I would be a vastly different person without you.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Just reading this now (as I go through my inbox). Happy belated Birthday!

    I know what you mean about everyone being out of town when you were growing up. My birthday is in late August.

    August 18, 2017
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  2. Auguri comunque, anche se in grandissimo ritardo! Conosco solo la prima delle donne da ammirare, ma non fatico a capire il perchè delle altre. Che meraviglia un’amicizia così solida e che continua da tanti anni! Ho lo stesso privilegio, per questo apprezzo 🙂

    August 3, 2017
    |Reply
  3. Nice dinner party guest list you have there, Happy belated birthday to you! And I’m loving that flash of purple silk satin!

    July 13, 2017
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    • I think it was a Max Mara top….actually it might still be living at the bottom of my wardrobe.

      July 13, 2017
      |Reply
  4. sofagirl
    sofagirl

    I would be terrified to forget your birthday. God forbid!!! Well – all I can say is we made it through another year. love you lots xx

    July 10, 2017
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  5. Happy, happy birthday, Claudia! May all women you admire be with you on your special day, in person or in your heart. Party hard!

    July 9, 2017
    |Reply
  6. ♪ღ♪░H░A░P░P░Y░ B░I░R░T░H░D░A░Y░░♪ღ♪ dear Claudia! Hope your day, week, month all make you smile with celebrations. ❤︎

    July 9, 2017
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    • Thank you thank you! Monday, and I am still celebrating!

      July 10, 2017
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  7. Thanks for the heads up about the Liz Chambers interview – I completely missed that piece of news, and am going to find whatever is left online of the interview 😉 Happy birthday!!!

    July 8, 2017
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    • Not quite sure what they thought was legally objectionable. It couldn’t have been her opinion of Vogue.

      July 9, 2017
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  8. Winston Moreton
    Winston Moreton

    Terrible to have to admit this; but today I did not remember my wife’s birthday until mid morning. Plenty of excuses but I’m not pleading them. We splurged on an indulgent leisurely lunch. Won’t happen again. Forgetting I mean.

    July 8, 2017
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    • See? There is an upside to start touting one’s birthaday two weeks in advance. No chance of my husband forgetting (hope your wife didn’t put you in the doghouse).

      July 9, 2017
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  9. When I saw the title of this post on my WordPress feed, I already knew it’d be good. And because shameless flattery is ok on one’s birthday, you should know that you’re someone I admire 🙂
    Happy birthday! Enjoy your celebrations!

    July 8, 2017
    |Reply

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