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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

“A history of the world in 21 women”/"Povijest svijeta kroz 21 ženu"

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

In one of my previous posts, I initially wrote: “I am not a feminist…”. When my daughter read this she shouted at me; “Mum, how could you write that you are not a feminist? Of, course you are a feminist, Dad is a feminist. What it means to be a feminist? Equality! And what is the opposite of feminist? Sexist!” So, after my daughter educated me, I can say that I am a devoted feminist and I recently read a book by a British feminist, journalist and broadcaster Jenni Murray: “A history of the world in 21 women.” I find this book very entertaining and educative and would like to share a few segments with you. I picked three women, out of 21 that Jenny wrote about, just as an introduction to this great book.


Angela Markel (1954-present)

Angela has been Germany’s Chancellor since 2005; the youngest person to hold the post and, of course, the first woman.

As she was fluent in Russian, as a politician she was sent to Moscow to negotiate German reunification. She had been afraid of dogs, as she was bitten by one in the past. At one of her first visits to Russia, where she met President Putin, he brought his huge black Labrador Connie to the meeting with her. He knew of her phobia and wanted to intimidate her. The dog was sitting at her feet, and she was very uncomfortable. Still, she did not complain and when Putin asked her if the dog bothered her, Merkel replied: “No, she doesn’t eat journalists after all.” He couldn’t bully her; she is now reported to be the only European leader who can deal with him.

She was born in Hamburg, West Germany, but when she was very young, she moved to East Germany. From 1973 until 1978 she studied physics at Karl Marx University in Leipzig. In 1977 she married a fellow physics student, Ulrich Merkel and, even though the marriage lasted only five years, she has kept his surname. When asked about this marriage, Angela said: “We got married because everyone else got married. This may seem stupid today, but I don’t think we had thought seriously enough about it.” In 1984 she met a fellow scientist Dr Joachim Sauer on a scientific trip to Prague. He was still married at the time, and they started to live together two years before his divorce was finalised. For 9 years they were happily unmarried but because of her political carrier they had to marry. She achieved her doctorate, for a thesis on quantum chemistry, in 1986.


Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916-2000)

Sirimavo was the first woman in the world to become Prime Minister. Her name was originally Sirima and the “vo” was added to her first name as she rose to power, as a mark of respect.

She was born in 1916 in the British colony of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to a family of aristocrats. In 1940 Sirima married an Oxford-educated colonial government minister Solomon (Solla) West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. They had three kids and her husband’s biographer points to Solla’s sexism as the main issue in their marriage. Although he was sexist in front of his colleagues, he was aware of her deep knowledge of the needs of the Sinhalese population. When Solla formed his own party, for the first time Sirima entered into the public life of an active politicians wife. He became Prime Minister in 1956, but in 1959 was assassinated. Shortly after his death, Sirima took over leadership of her husband’s party and won the elections in 1960 becoming the world’s first female Prime Minister.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike became one of the developing world’s best-known leaders, rubbing shoulders with Indira Gandy, Marshal Tito and others. In mid-1970 she became a chair of the Non-Aligned Movement – the group of states, established in Yugoslavia in 1961. This group was formed as a third separate group, unaligned from either the east or west involved in the Cold War.


Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971)

She was the woman who created some of the most exquisite and expensive garments ever worn. She gave us the most hankered-after perfume in the world, Chanel 5. She introduced the little black dress, and she scandalised the world in 1920 when she introduced women to trousers.

She was born in 1883 in the Saumur in the Loire Valley as Gabrielle Chanel. Her mother died when she was 12 years old, and her father was not prepared to take care of his kids, so Coco was left in an orphanage run by nuns. She spent 6 years in this orphanage, where she learned to sew. At the age of 18 she had her first job as a shop assistant.

Her first lover was Etienne Balsan who introduced her to a luxurious lifestyle and with whom she remined friends with until his death. In 1909, at the age of 26, she chose to move to Paris with her second lover, Arthur Capel, known as Boy, an accomplished polo player. Both her lovers helped her to financially establish herself as a designer in Paris where she first introduced her new style of hats for women. These were against the fashion of the time, simpler and more elegant as was her own style. She liked to dress herself as a boy or a schoolgirl, saying: “Nothing makes a woman look older than obvious expensiveness, ornateness, complications.” Parisian actresses loved her work and where they led, others followed. Soon it was clear that Coco was not only a designer and a seamstress but also a businesswoman. By 1935 she has built a hugely lucrative enterprise employing 4000 people.

During the war she had an affair with a charming and handsome German officer which brought her a lot of criticism after the war. She was even accused of being a Nazi spy and it seems that documents have been uncovered that she worked closely with the Nazi regime. She was interrogated by the police until Winston Churchill intervened for her. She lived in Switzerland for some time and in 1954 she returned to Paris and re-opened her business.


Kristina

Sunday, June 27th, 2021.



"Povijest svijeta kroz 21 ženu"




U jednom od svojih prethodnih članaka, u početku sam napisala: "Nisam feministica ...". Kad je moja kći ovo pročitala, doslovno je vikala na mene; “Mama, kako si mogla napisati da nisi feministica? Naravno da jesi, ti si feminist, tata je feminist. Što to feminizam? Jednakost! A što je suprotno od feminističko? Seksističko! " Dakle, nakon što me kći obrazovala, mogu reći da sam predana feministkinja i nedavno sam pročitala knjigu britanske feministkinje, novinarke Jenni Murray "Povijest svijeta kroz 21 ženu". Smatram da je ova knjiga vrlo zabavna i edukativna te bih volila podijeliti nekoliko dijelova sa vama. Odabrala sam tri žene od 21 o kojima je Jenny pisala, samo kao uvod u ovu sjajnu knjigu.


Angela Markel (1954. - )

Angela je njemačka kancelarka od 2005; najmlađa osoba na toj funkciji i, naravno, prva žena.

Kako je tečno govori ruski, bila je političarka poslana u Moskvu da pregovara o ponovnom ujedinjenju Njemačke. Ima strah se pasa jer ju je jednom ugrizao pas. Tijekom jednog od njezinih prvih posjeta Rusiji, gdje je upoznala predsjednika Putina, na sastanak je sa njom doveo je svog ogromnog crnog labradora Connieja. Znao je za njezinu fobiju i želio ju je zastrašiti. Pas joj je sjedio na stopalima i bilo joj je vrlo neugodno. Ipak, nije se žalila, a kada ju je Putin pitao smeta li joj pas, Merkel je odgovorila: "Ne, ona ipak ne jede novinare." Nije je mogao maltretirati; sada se navodi da je ona jedini europski čelnik koji se može nositi s njim.

Rođena je u Hamburgu u zapadnoj Njemačkoj, ali kad je bila vrlo mlada, preselila se u Istočnu Njemačku. Od 1973. do 1978. studirala je fiziku na Sveučilištu Karl Marx u Leipzigu. 1977. udala se za kolegu studenta fizike Ulricha Merkela i, iako je brak trajao samo pet godina, zadržala je njegovo prezime. Na pitanje o ovom braku, Angela je rekla: „Vjenčali smo se jer su se svi ostali vjenčali. Ovo se danas može činiti glupo, ali mislim da nismo dovoljno ozbiljno razmišljali o tome." 1984. upoznala je kolegu znanstvenika dr. Joachima Sauera na znanstvenom putovanju u Prag. U to je vrijeme još bio oženjen i počeli su živjeti zajedno dvije godine prije nego što je njegov razvod finaliziran. 9 godina bili su sretno nevjenčani, ali zbog njenog političkog nositelja morali su se vjenčati. Doktorirala je na tezi iz kvantne kemije 1986. godine.


Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916.-2000.)

Sirimavo je bila prva žena na svijetu koja je postala premijerka. Njezino je ime bilo Sirima, a "vo" je dodano njezinom imenu kao znak poštovanja.

Rođena je 1916. u britanskoj koloniji Cejlon, danas Šri Lanka u obitelji aristokrata. 1940. Sirima se udala za ministra kolonijalne vlade obrazovanog u Oxfordu Salomona (Solla) West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. Imali su troje djece, a biograf njezinog supruga ukazuje na Solin seksizam kao glavni problem u njihovom braku. Iako je bio seksistički nastrojen pred svojim kolegama, bio je svjestan njezinog dubokog poznavanja potreba sinhaleške populacije. Kada je Solla osnovao vlastitu stranku, Sirima je prvi put ušla u javni život kao aktivna politička supruga. Solla je postao premijer 1956, ali je vec 1959 na njega izvršen atentat u kojem je preminuo. Ubrzo nakon njegove smrti, Sirima je preuzela vodstvo stranke svog supruga i pobijedila na izborima 1960. godine i postala prva žena premijer na svijetu.

Gospođa Bandaranaike postala je jedna od najpoznatijih vođa zemalja u razvoju, rame uz rame se s Indirom Gandy, maršalom Titom i drugima. Sredinom 1970. postala je predsjedateljicom Pokreta nesvrstanih - skupine država osnovane u Jugoslaviji 1961.


Coco Chanel (1883. - 1971.)

Bila je to žena koja je stvorila neke od najfinijih i najskupljih odjevnih predmeta koji su se ikad nosili. Dala nam je najpoznatiji parfem na svijetu Chanel 5. Predstavila je malu crnu haljinu i skandalizirala svijet 1920. godine kada je predstavila hlače na ženama.

Rođena je 1883. godine u Saumuru u dolini Loire kao Gabrielle Chanel. Njezina je mama umrla kad je imala 12 godina, a njezin otac nije bio spreman brinuti se o svojoj djeci, a Coco je ostala u sirotištu koje su vodile časne sestre. 6 godina provela je u jednom sirotištu gdje je naučila šivati. S 18 godina imala je prvo radno mjesto prodavačice.

Njezin prvi ljubavnik bio je Etienne Balsan koji ju je uveo u luksuzni način života i s kojim je ostala prijatelj sve do njegove smrti. 1909. godine, kada je imala 26 godina, odlučila je preseliti se u Pariz sa svojim drugim ljubavnikom, Arthurom Capelom, poznatim pod nazivom “Djecak”, izvrsnim polo igračem. Oboje ljubavnika financijski su joj pomogli da se etablira kao dizajnerica u Parizu gdje je prvi put predstavila novi stil šešira za žene. Voljela se oblačiti kao dječak ili školarka, govoreći: "Ništa ne čini ženu starijom od očite skupoće, kićenosti, komplikacija." Pariške glumice voljele su njezin rad, a njih su slijedile su ih i druge žene. Ubrzo je postalo jasno da Coco nije samo dizajnerica i krojačica već i poslovna žena. Do 1935. godine izgradila je izuzetno unosno poduzeće koje je zapošljavalo 4000 ljudi.

Tijekom rata imala je vezu sa šarmantnim i zgodnim njemačkim časnikom i to joj je donijelo puno kritika nakon rata. Čak su je optuživali da je bila nacistička spijunka, a neki novo otkriveni dokumenti sugeriraju da je uistinu surađivala sa nacističkim režimom. Ispitivala ju je I policija, a Winston Churchill je osobno intervenirao za nju. Neko je vrijeme živjela u Švicarskoj, a 1954. vratila se u Pariz i ponovno otvorila svoj posao.


Kristina

Nedelja, 27. lipnja 2021.


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