“Reflecting their role in society, women in literature are often portrayed in a position that is dominated by men. Especially in the nineteenth century, women were repressed and controlled by their husbands as well as other male influences.” An excerpt from Liselle Sant’s, “The Yellow Wall-Paper” this excerpt only states that ever since, women are constrained from doing what they can to contribute in the society just because they’re women—a symbol of frailty.

Despite of being depicted as weak and evil in the 19th century, these women has proven the contrary and have shown significant behaviors that only imply each of their uniqueness and strengths. These women have been such a great inspiration to some and I hope you could also view them as a role model to women nowadays.

 

JIANG QING

She was a Chinese Revolutionary and also known as “Madame Mao” as she was the wife of Mao Zedong, the founding father of People’s Republic of China. Qing with her three allies, Zhang Chungjao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen formed a political faction which they named as “The Gang of Four”. Scholars said that it was only after the death of Mao Zedong that his wife, Qing took over and led the attack on traditional Chinese culture during the Great Prolitarian Cultural Revolution in the People’s Republic of China which had resulted to deaths of 34,375 people, due to her attempts to succeed her husband as the leader of China. Jiang Qing and the rest of The Gang of Four were arrested by Hua Guofeng, the successor of Mao Zedong after his death.

Jiang Qing was born in March 1914 into a poor family in Chucheng County, Shantung Province. When she was 15, her parents tried to marry her off to a rich merchant. She resisted and eventually was placed in the care of the county government, which sent her to an opera school in Tsinan. While there, she made contact with the Communist Party. Then, she made her way to Shanghai, where she joined a repertory company.jiang qing

The theater had become the vehicle for a progressive struggle against feudal reaction and imperialist aggression, and was viewed with scorn and hypocrisy by the conservative elements. Eventually she left Shanghai for the long and tortuous road to Yanan, where the Communists had their headquarters.

The capitalist media depict her as nothing but a spiteful and power-hungry woman who took advantage of the position of her husband, Mao Zedong. This crude recourse to sexist stereotyping seeks to eradicate her long revolutionary history, particularly in the field of culture.

Jiang Qing didn’t come out of the blue as a leader of the Cultural Revolution. She was part of a continuum of great cultural personalities who challenged the views of the old order. She was influenced by several generations of writers and artists who prepared the masses for struggle.

You may want to ask why Jiang Qing made it on my list as one of my role models among women despite of her crude history. Well, I am looking on the lighter side or let’s say her outstanding qualities to stand out to get what she desire. I don’t see anything wrong from being ambitious as long as you’re taking the right path. Yes, she did kill innocent people to overthrow the power that was given to her but that’s all it and it happened. She has been blinded by power and authority. That, I think, is what we should not adapt and redo. Don’t.

 

IMELDA MARCOS

Imelda Marcos is one of the controversial personalities in the Philippine History. She is a  Filipino politician and widow of the late president, Ferdinand Marcos. She’s known for her flamboyant lifestyle and also took an active role in the political life of her husband.

The Marcos used their political supremacy to accrue private wealth by corruptly tapping external aid, loans and the profits of private companies into their bank accounts. She, along with her husband, fled to Hawaii after a coupe in 1986. Her husband Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in 1989 and Imelda returned to the Philippines contested for presidency in 1992. Predictably, she won a very small percentage of the vote. During her time as the first lady, she journeyed around the world, spent extravagantly and was elected to the national congress. She became infamous for her wasteful ways and came to be known for her large and ostentatious collection of jewelry, property, shoes, clothes and other luxurious items. While millions of countrymen suffered in poverty, the Marcos’ lived a hedonistic, over-the-top life, which not only affected their public image but also led to various corruption-related charges. imee

She funded a number of social programs such as the Manila Film Center, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Heart Center.

While every Filipinos suffering in poverty, Imelda Marcos was extravagantly spending money to her most possession. Yes, she did contribute for the economy but her whole history revolves around her unwanted desires or should I say personal fancies. So no matter how responsible she thought she was, it wasn’t that obvious because of her personality.

Fanciful and indeed, an extravagant woman, that’s Imelda Marcos but looking at her achievements and contribution to the Philippine History, I may say that she handled herself well. We all have our own hedonistic attitude; it is just that like Imelda Marcos, we know when enough is enough. Though  she’s extremely rich compared to us.

 

EVA PERON

Eva Peron used her position as the first lady of Argentina to fight for women’s suffrage and improving the lives of the poor. She then became a legendary figure in Argentine politics. Eva Perón was born on May 7, 1919, in Los Toldos, Argentina.  One of her dream is to be an actress, after moving to Buenos Aires in the 1930s, she had some success as an actress. In 1945, she married Juan Perón, a colonel and government official who became president of Argentina the following year. \

His wife proved to be a powerful political influence, fighting for causes she believed in including her desire to address poverty that led her to unofficially run the ministries of health and labor in her husband’s government. peron

Perónis a skilled speaker, adored by the poor she worked hard to help. Despite of all her good deeds, she was not without any critics and detractors. . She was asked to run as vice president with her husband in 1951 which resulted to an opposition by the army. Peron turned down the post—possibly due to health issues she was battling around this time, stemming from cervical cancer. June 1952 was Peron’s last public appearance, the following month, she yield to her illness and died in Buenos Aires on July 26, 1952. Her people showed public support along the funeral fit for a head of a state that was given to her.

Eva Peron has been an inspiration to some writers. Her life was even portrayed in such plays or films.

 

MICHELE BENNETT

Michele Bennett was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1950. She is the daughter of Aurore Ligonde and Ernest Bennett, a Haitian businessman and descendant of King Henry I of Haiti. Her father owned more than 50,000 acres (20,000 ha) of land, growing mostly coffee, and employing 1,600 estate workers in addition to 900 more in his business. Her uncle was Haiti’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Monsignor François-Wolff Ligondé. The Bennetts are light-skinned mulattoes (of mixed race) from a largely black country.

At the age of 15, Bennett moved to rural New York State, where she was educated at St. Mary’s School in Peekskill. She went on to work as a secretary at a slipper company in New York City’s Garment District. In 1973, she married Alix Pasquet, the son of Captain Alix Pasquet, a well-known mulatto officer and Tuskegee Airman who in 1958 led a coup attempt against François Duvalier. By Pasquet she had two children, Alix Jr. and Sacha. After her 1978 divorce from Pasquet, she had a career in public relations for Habitation Leclerc, an upscale hotel in Port-au-Prince.

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In regards to Bennett’s marriage, although she met Jean‑Claude Duvalier in high school, they did not become romantically engaged until ten years later. In 1980, she married President Duvalier. Their wedding became known as Haiti’s social event of the decade, cost an unknown US$ 2 million and was received enthusiastically by the majority of Haitians. Mrs. Duvalier at first endeared herself to the population by distributing clothes and food to the needy as well as opening several medical clinics and schools for the poor. In the six weeks following the wedding, Michèle and Jean‑Claude toured Haiti, turning up unannounced at meetings, marketplaces, and other gathering places, which garnered “approving glances and words most everywhere”. On their visit to Haiti, Mother Teresa remarked that she had “never seen the poor people being so familiar with their head of state as they were with Michelle”. With Jean‑Claude, Bennett had her third and fourth children: Nicolas and Anya.

The marriage represented a symbolic alliance with the mulatto elite—the very families Jean‑Claude’s father had opposed. This resulted in her husband’s mother, Simone Duvalier, who opposed the match, being sidelined politically, which in turn created new factional alliances within the ruling group since the Duvalierist Old Guard suggested that the new First Lady’s power appeared to exceed her husband’s. While Jean‑Claude often dozed through Cabinet meetings, his wife, frustrated at his political ineptitude, reprimanded ministers herself.

Accusations of or associations with corruption plagued the Duvalier-Bennett marriage. Michelle’s father, Ernest Bennett, took advantage of his presidential connection to extend interests into his businesses, from his BMW dealership, to his coffee and cocoa export concerns, to Air Haiti, in whose planes Bennett was rumored to be transporting drugs. In 1982, Frantz Bennett, Michelle’s brother, was arrested in Puerto Rico for drug trafficking, and began a three-year jail term.

Mrs. Duvalier’s family amassed wealth during the latter part of Jean‑Claude’s dictatorship. By the end of his fifteen-year rule, Duvalier and his wife had become famous for their corruption. The National Palace became the scene of opulent costume parties, where the young President once appeared dressed as a Turkish sultan to dole out ten-thousand-dollar jewels as door prizes.

While on a visit to Haiti in 1983, Pope John Paul II declared that “things must change in Haiti”, and he called on “all those who have power, riches and culture so that they can understand the serious and urgent responsibility to help their brothers and sisters”. Popular rebellion against the regime began soon after that. Duvalier responded with a 10% reduction in staple food prices, the closing of independent radio stations, a cabinet reshuffle, and a crackdown by police and army units, but these moves failed to dampen the momentum of the popular uprising. Jean‑Claude’s wife and advisers urged him to put down the rebellion in order to remain in office. In response to widening opposition to 28 years of Duvalier rule, on February7, 1986, the Duvaliers fled the rioting country in an American plane accompanied by 19 other people.

The Duvalier family was in exile in response to their controversy. The governments of Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Gabon and Morocco all refused the Duvalier family’s requests for asylum. France agreed to give the Duvaliers temporary entry but also denied them asylum. Soon after their arrival in France, their home was raided as part of an investigation into plundering Haiti’s treasury. They found her trying to flush documentation down a toilet. Her papers documented recent spending including US$ 168,780 for Givenchy clothing, US$ 270,200 for Boucheron jewelry and US$ 9,752 for two children’s horse saddles at Hermès. In 1987, a French civil court dismissed Haiti’s lawsuit against the Duvaliers, which sought to have the Duvaliers held responsible to repay money to Haiti.

In 1990, Jean‑Claude Duvalier filed for divorce from Bennett in the Dominican Republic, accusing her of immoral acts. Bennett, who was living with another man in Cannes at the time, contested the decision, flying to the Dominican Republic to obtain a reversal before her husband prevailed in a third court. She was awarded alimony and child support.

In the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Bennett returned to Haiti and joined a search-and-rescue team to look for her brother Rudy Bennett in the rubble of the Hôtel Montana. Michelle returned to Haiti for Jean‑Claude Duvalier’s funeral on 11 October 2014. She attended with her two children from their marriage, at a chapel on the grounds of the Saint-Louis de Gonzague School in the Delmas district of Port-au-Prince.

According to Ron Paul, an American politician and an author as well, “When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads”. Sometimes no matter how or clean is your intention to serve the nation once an incident happened in regards to the economy, all the individuals involved in the government will be the nation’s suspect.  Therefore, it is much important to have yourself wary ofthe art of discipline and master the termination of temptation for you to be able to serve the nation clean and without any other agenda.

 

FARA DIBA

Fara Diba or Fara Pahlavi was born on October 14, 1938 in the Iranian capital Tehran and was the only child of Captain Sohrab Diba and his wife, Farideh Ghotbi. Farah enjoyed an extremely close bond with her father and his unexpected death in 1948 deeply affected her. This situation furthermore left the young family in a difficult financial state. In these reduced circumstances, they were forced to move from their large family villa in northern Tehran into a shared apartment with one of Farideh Ghotbi’s brothers.

At the age of 21, Diba married Shah Mohammed Reza on 20 December 1959. The young Queen of Iran (as she was styled at the time) was the object of much curiosity and her wedding garnered worldwide press attention. Her gown was by Yves Saint Laurent, then a designer at the house of Dior, and she wore the newly commissioned Noor-ol-Ain Diamond tiara. 2017-1106-farah.png

After the pomp and celebrations associated with the royal wedding, the success of this union became contingent upon the Queen’s ability to produce a male heir. Although he had been married twice before, the Shah’s previous marriages had given him only a daughter who, under agnatic primogeniture, could not inherit the throne. The pressure for the young queen was acute. The Shah himself was deeply anxious to have a male heir as were the members of his government. Furthermore, it was known that the dissolution of the Shah’s previous marriage to Queen Soraya had been due to her infertility.

From the beginning of her reign, Diba took an active interest in promoting culture and the arts in Iran. Through her patronage, numerous organizations were created and fostered to further her ambition of bringing historical and contemporary Iranian Art to prominence both inside Iran and in the Western world.

In addition to her own efforts, the Empress sought to achieve this goal with the assistance of various foundations and advisers. Her ministry encouraged many forms of artistic expression, including traditional Iranian arts (such as weaving, singing, and poetry recital) as well as Western theatre. Her most recognized endeavor supporting the performing arts was her patronage of the Shiraz Arts Festival. This occasionally controversial event was held annually from 1967 until 1977 and featured live performances by both Iranian and Western artists.

The majority of her time, however, went into the creation of museums and the building of their collections.

Empress Fara Diba encountered hindrances while she was reigning. Mohammad Reza and the empress decided to leave Iran in response of the revolution. They’ve been criticized and once became one of the topics in some debates due to their departure.

After leaving Egypt the Sha Reza’s health began a rapid decline due to a long-term battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The seriousness of that illness brought the now exiled Imperial couple briefly to the United States in search of medical treatment. The couple’s presence in the United States further inflamed the already tense relations between Washington and the revolutionaries in Tehran. The Shah’s stay in the US, although for genuine medical purposes, became the tipping point for renewed hostilities between the two nations. These events ultimately led to the attack and takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in what became known as the Iran hostage crisis.

By now, the Empress and the Sha viewed the Carter Administration with some antipathy in response to a lack of support and were initially pleased to leave. That attitude, however soured as speculation arose that the Panamanian Government was seeking to arrest the Shah in preparation for extradition to Iran. Under these conditions the Shah and Empress again made an appeal to President Anwar El Sadat to return to Egypt. Their request was granted and they returned to Egypt in March 1980, where they remained until the Shah’s death four months later on July 27, 1980. After the Sha’s death, she stayed in Egypt for nearly two years and was also offered by President Sadat to stay in Koubbeh Palace in Cairo. The empress was also informed by the US President Ronald Reagan that she was welcome in the United States.

Women are not a symbol of frailty not even any woman you encounter each day. The Al Anon, a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics said “If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor.”  Prove something and be that woman who this futile society needs.

 

 

 

 

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