U. S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a leader in the fight for equal rights for women, recently sent a note about The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World: “Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your book The Secret Life of Lady Liberty. I look forward to learning more about the iconic symbol of our nation. Your book looks beautiful, filled with fascinating pictures and historical detail. Many thanks for sending it to me.”
Flexibility is Strength. During this election year, focusing on the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty can help us navigate the debate over the need to vote more women into positions of power. The Statue of Liberty has been cloaked in layers of propaganda and mythic assumptions over the decades, and unpinning them is the first step in understanding her symbolic message. Underneath, pure and simple, Lady Liberty is a woman confident in her own power. The brilliance of her wisdom shines forth visibly from her crown. Remembering that the Statue of Liberty is strong because she is flexible can teach us to change our perceptions of what we value as strength.
Physical engineers will tell you the Statue of Liberty’s strength is due to her literal flexibility, allowing her to withstand hurricane winds by swaying gently in the gales. But symbolically as well, Lady Liberty has shown an amazingly flexibility in interpretation by appealing to widely different classes of people, even those with opposing viewpoints, over the past 130 years. Her ability to change and adapt to represent a changing “America” has only strengthened her identity as our nation’s conscience. Continue reading
by Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D. and Laura E. Cortner
Co-authors of the forthcoming The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World
Sarah Palin represents an extremist Christian mindset that is just as dangerous and potentially violent as the extremist Islamic mindset. It’s called the New Apostolic Reformation, and because their claims are so outrageous to seem almost silly to the American intelligentsia, the media’s underreporting on this growing movement means we have ignored this fundamentalist mindset at our own peril. The mania that is currently manifesting as growing support for a madman like Donald Trump is fueled by people who love conspiracies where they can blame “the other” for all that is wrong with the world. Hatred of “the other” has led to horrifying genocides in history, but blaming some other group remains perennially attractive because it is easier than taking responsibility for oneself to fix what is wrong with the world.
The media needs to be asking candidates where they stand on the separation of church and state. The arch-conservatives are aligning themselves with this Dominionist philosophy where hate speech against women’s rights, immigrants, and all non-Protestant “Bible Christians” is preached to huge voting blocs in mega-churches across the country. Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal have all proclaimed their socially conservative values in front of these evangelical crowds, and have received their financial backing in return.
by Laura E. Cortner and Dr. Bob Hieronimus of 21st Century Radio®
Co-authors of The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World
We were very excited when we first heard that Meryl Streep was playing the role of British suffrage leader Emmeline Pankhurst in a new film released today entitled “Suffragette.” We assumed the film would be about the powerhouse Pankhurst mother and daughters family who led British women to the vote at the turn of the 20th century, and also hugely impacted the movement in the United States to focus on “deeds, not words.” The controversial militant approach advocated by the Pankhursts to use violent demonstrations, followed by hunger strikes when jailed, was effectively documented in the moving 2004 film “Iron Jawed Angels,” the story of the American leaders, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who imported these tactics and slogans to American woman suffragists.
In researching our book The Secret Life of Lady Liberty: Goddess in the New World we focused on the symbolism and imagery used by the various groups fighting for women’s rights over the long history of suffrage activism, much of which was originally conceived of by Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst, two of Emmeline’s daughters. From what we learned about this British family of extraordinary women and their highly dramatic life story, we knew a historical drama telling their personal struggles would be a good one, and the tag line on the movie poster is “Mothers. Daughters. Rebels.” so you can see why we assumed that would be the plot of the movie.