Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ten Women I Have a Heart On for This Valentine's Day

10. Aung Yan Suu Kyi.
Pro-democracy activist and leader of Burma's National League of Democracy, elected Prime Minister in 1990 but forcibly not allowed to take the role by the military junta, who've kept her in detention ever since. Advocate of non-violent resistance, and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

9. Fatima Bhutto. Poet, writer, activist. Intelligent, conscientious, progressive, and gorgeous. And it doesn't even matter that she's Benazir's niece.

8. Wanda Sykes. Brilliant, perceptive, and absolutely hilarious stand-up comic and actor. I've had a crush on her for years.

7. Angelina Jolie. Everything she touches turns to gold, from her work as an actor to her humanitarian work everywhere in the world, from the Congo and Sudan to Afghanistan and Cambodia. She's super hot as hell, and she'll be as sexy thirty years from now as she is today.

6. Melissa Harris Lacewell. Associate Professor of Politics and African-American Studies at Princeton University. One of the most intelligent, articulate commentators on gender issues, racial issues, and politics today.

5. Ani DiFranco. Incredible poet, singer, songwriter, and guitar player. Super-smart feminist icon who is a role model for women - and men - worldwide.

4. Mukhtar Mai. One of thousands of women who are victims of the tribal practice of "honor revenge" every year - in her case, a brutal gang rape in the village of Meerwala, Pakistan. What differentiates her from the others is that she spoke out, wrote a book, and became a voice for millions, something virtually unheard of among rape victims in her country.

3. Tina Fey. She should be sent flowers every day of her life - not only for her brilliant writing on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock - but for playing such an invaluable role in preventing the obliteration of at least half a century of struggle for women's rights by helping to expose and defeat patriarchy's most prominent poster woman since Phyllis Schlafly: Sarah Palin.

2. Taslima Nasrin. Bangladeshi physician, author, activist, feminist, and secular humanist who risked her life to expose the truth about the status given to women by most religions. A woman ahead of her time. Thankfully, the world is catching up.

1. Helen Thomas. Eighty eight years old this year, this presidential correspondent has continued to help keep all US presidents since Kennedy accountable to the people, and continues to be a beacon for journalistic integrity. When President Obama called on her at his first major prime-time press conference, he said, "Helen, I'm excited. This is my inaugural moment." In a conference that had been going well for him so far, she hit him with the ultimate presidential foreign policy litmus test, asking if he knew of any countries in the Middle East that possessed nuclear weapons. Obama failed her test, refusing to give her the answer that both of them knew was the right one: Israel. Simple question, massive impact. And... Bill O'Reilly said she sounded like the Wicked Witch of the East - that alone is enough to put her at the top of my list of women that I have a huge heart on for this year.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Honorable mentions: Rachel Maddow, Christiane Amanpour, M.I.A., Shirin Ebadi, Kerry Washington, Hillary Clinton, Naomi Klein, Kate Winslet, Janeane Garofalo, Michelle Obama, and Amy Poehler.


Kiran said...

Ditto times 10!
Good list, Ali. :)

Maha said...

Super cute. :)

Anonymous said...

Lol whoever wrote this is an idiot. Everything A. Jolie touches turns to gold? Half of her movies have been flops, both commercially and critically. Off the top of my head, Wanted, Changeling, Mr and Mrs Smith, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Taking Lives, Gone In Sixty Seconds... Also would be delighted to hear the author's explanation (though I already have heard the rhetoric that will be used) on how Sarah Palin being elected as the first woman vice president in the history of the country would have destroyed 50 years of women's lib. Sounds like the culmination of women's lib to me.

viagra online said...

Angelina Jolie is a a very complete person because she is beautiful fom inside to outside! I think it would be great to meet someone like her, but that's very unlikely to happen

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You have a good taste! To me Angelina Jolie is an idol.

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Angelina Jolie is a a very complete person because she is beautiful fom inside to outside!