Samantha Gailey Geimer

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Samantha Geimer was raped by Roman Polanski when she was 13 in 1977. I can say rape because she was under 18 and under California law someone under 18 can not legally consent. I can also avoid words like accused or allegedly because he plead guilty for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.  She wrote a new book that will be released in September called “The Girl, A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski” ,

Roman Polanski is a famed film director who directed Rosemary’s Baby in 1968. He was nominated this year to win a lifetime achievement award in film and has a harrowing past. His second wife was pregnant when she was murdered by the Manson Family. He is a Polish Jew that survived the holocaust. But, he is also a man who escaped a jail sentence by fleeing to France over 30 years ago.

He married actresses. Young actresses. He took advantage of his protégé. He epitomizes misogyny.

Even I feel badly for the guy. An artist, a tortured artist. A widower. A rapist.

I’ve been reading a lot about this topic. What do inappropriate sexual relationships do to the adolescent mind? Well, I hope Samantha’s book can shed a little more light on transforming from a high profile victim to becoming a happily married mother of three that forgives her attacker.

Rosalind Franklin

Happy Birthday Rosalind

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Rosalind Franklin

The Pioneer of DNA. Yeah that DNA. The kind with the double helix. The  kind we all attribute to our good traits and our bad. Rosalind was born today ninety-three years ago in London and received her degree from Cambridge in 1945. Franklin was in her time regarded by her peers as being incredibly secretive and even “bad tempered and arrogant” by James Watson. Something that her male colleagues probably never had to overcome. She was later given credit for establishing the basis for the double-helix although her life was cut short at the age of 37. My sister will be very upset if I admit that I don’t know all the details of the structure of the DNA molecule and all of it’s scientific importance. But, the fact that this lady was influential, and bull-headed enough to make a difference and receive no (really no) credit while her colleagues were…

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Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. Kate wears a wedding gown by Sarah Burton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kate got her degree in Art History and worked as an Accessories Buyer at Jigsaw. As a young child she lived for a time with her parents in Amman, Jordan. They were both flight attendants at the time and shortly after their return to England they started a mail order party supply company called Party Pieces that is now valued at over 30 Million pounds. Her parents were not aristocrats or royals but they were wealthy and they clearly taught her manners and above all else, charity.   She volunteered in Chile before she went to college and together with Prince William and Prince Harry started a foundation The Royal Wedding Charity Fund that raised over $1.6 Million and gave to 26 charities that are important to the couple. They met in college had a fairy tale wedding and are now expecting their first baby any minute.  I am looking forward to watching this young woman become a mother with they style and grace she has shown throughout the media firestorm over the last 5 years.

Elena Kagan

 

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Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was the first female dean of Harvard Law School (2003) and was nominated by President Obama to serve in the highest court in the land and was confirmed by the Senate in August of 2010.  She grew up in New York City and while her brothers became teachers like their mom she followed her father into law. She seemed destined to be a judge and was photographed in a robe and gavel before graduation. A girl who at 13 battled with her rabbi about her bat mitzvah, she negotiated her way into having a ceremony similar to that of her brothers. Elena seems at home with battling against tradition. She is only the 4th woman elected to the court of an all told number of 112 justices. Elena was nicknamed “Shorty” by Thurgood Marshall for whom she clerked and her 5 foot 3 inch stature surely didn’t slow her down. She advised President Clinton and was elected the 45th Solicitor General of the United States by the Obama Administration. Elena was never married and has no children. SCOTUS is dealing with some pretty flammable issues and will continue to do so. I believe we have a wonderful (s)hero and look forward to hearing more of her opinions.

 

 

 

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Day July 12

Today is Malala’s 16th birthday. Today she is also addressing the UN on the problem of education and her mission, A World at School. Malala was shot last October by the Pakistani Taliban for wanting an education.  She wants simple things. She is asking world leaders today help by funding teachers and schools and to end child labour, child marriage and child trafficking so that by December 2015 every boy and girl can be at school.  Here is a link to a petition to STAND WITH MALALA.

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Marion Bartoli

Bartoli

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi said. Marion Bartoli’s role model off the court is Mahatma Gandhi and they share the same birthday, October 2nd.  Today she won her first Wimbledon. This French young lady began competing at 16 and was coached by her father, Walter, until recently they decided that she should find another coach. She is 28 and lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She’s won over $8M in prize money while competing but I’m sure this win is the most important to her. She’s known for using a two-handed style like Monica Seles. Her parents were both in medicine and her brother is serving in the French Military. She loves animals, especially her cat Calinette.

Georgia O’Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe photographed by Steiglitz

My senior thesis in college was based on this photo of O’Keefe photographed by her lover, Alfred Steiglitz. I was always captivated by her paintings and I believe her depiction of clouds hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago (where she studied painting briefly) and took my breath away when I last visited. You probably know her paintings. You may even know them well. Lilies, White Lilies, Orange and very vaginal flowers.

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Her hands are what captivated me. I choreographed a dance with lovely dancers throwing their hands against a wall to try and depict this scene. Her hands held so much emotion, grace, knowledge, trust.

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It was not a successful piece, but I graduated and I don’t believe there is video of it but I bet the dancers remembering rehearsals when I made them silently laugh and cry simultaneously. (?)

Georgia O’Keefe lived to be 98 years old. She was the daughter of dairy farmers and married Alfred Stieglitz, suffered from depression and anxiety.  President Gerald Ford awarded her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Not that this is anything to cry home about, but the 2009 lifetime movie about her is pretty great and also stars Kathy Bates.