The London Times lists the 20 most controversial women in history. Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are among them. Well I’ve met these women in history reading and have my own take on them, so here we go–a short rundown: 1 Messalina (licentious wife of stuttering Emperor Claudius, early first century), 2 Boudicca (female warrior, sort of like Xena but not so much leather and no Gabrielle sidekick-mid first century), 3 Joan of Arc (hot religious fanatic, she killed for god, country and insanity–seemed to relish being burned at the stake: “Hold the cross high so I may see it through the flames!”), 4 Lucrezia Borgia (a girl with a bad reputation, like Lohan after her, attended decadent parties–and to think her father was a Pope; no wonder Buffalo Bill named his shootin’ rifle after her), 5 Elizabeth (queen who used only her first name, like Madonna or Cher), 6 Mary (known as Bloody Mary to her friends–I mean enemies–another queen with first name ego), 7 Marie Antoninette (the Spears-Lohan of her generation–eighteenth century, let them eat cake–finally beheaded by creepy pre-Marxist sadists), 8 Catherine the Great (great in bed that is, had her maids first test potential lovers, then report back with the details), 9 Queen Ranavalona (nicknamed the Bloody Mary of Madagascar–one sick bimbo, “had Christians trussed up like chickens and repeatedly thrown off cliffs or placed in pits which slowly filled with boiling water ” –real nice lady–and I use the word “lady” very loosely), 10 Tsaritsa Alexandra (hung out with that wild bearded Rasputin–enough said), 11 Jiang Qing (the blushing gang-of-four cultural revolutionary wife of brutal mass killer and Humpty-Dumpty lookalike Chairman Mao–yeas later she had the decency to hang herself in a bathroom), 12 Indira Gandhi (great personal style, also authortarian excess, thought to be a nasty political cheater like all other politicians in the world), 13 Eva Peron (Argentine politician called Evita, played by Madonna in movie, and now entered into cult status), 14 Maggie Thatcher (a woman hated by the left, once invaded a windswept nearly deserted useless island to show that Britain was still mighty, and now like all politicians in or out of office suffering from bouts of dementia–often compared to Ronald Reagan but without the Brylcream), 15 Winnie Mandela (brutal wife of terrorist Nelson), 16 Benazir Bhutto (lovely Pakistani politician who covered her luxuriously flowing gorgeous dark hair with a damned headscarf), 17 Imelda Marcos (leading figure of the shoe power movement in the Philippines), 18 Carla Bruni (French president Sarkozy’s wife…her conquests include Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, among many others of course–not that there’s anything wrong with that). Finally we get to the crux of the list: 19 Hillary Clinton (refused to kick Bill out after he had affair with that other woman, the one he didn’t have sex with because it really wasn’t sex–now there was her chance to be president), and finally 20 Sarah Palin (self-described pitbull with lipstick, beautiful bespectacled Alaskan mother, governor and VP candidate–hunts and kills her own mooseburgers).
NOTE: If controversy is the keyword than this list neglects many names. Among the ancients what about Cleopatra? What about Florence Nightingale, who uprooted the entire Brit army medical establishment? Then there’s Charlotte Corday, who dutifully murdered French revolutionary and advocate of the Reign of Terror, Jean-Paul Marat as he steeped in his bath and then bravely went to the guillotine for it. It’s been observed that she had been so calm and collected before dying that she even asked about the deadly contraption’s construction. “I have killed one man to save a hundred thousand,” she said (hey, I really like this woman). And what of Victoria Woodhull, who ran for President of the United States in 1872? Her platform? Free love. I also can’t understand why Palin and Clinton are on the list of “controversial” women. What’s controversial about them exactly–that one wears pants suits and the other hunts and fishes? …Oh, yeah, and what about Pope Joan?
One more example. Controversy cuts three ways–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Here’s another woman not on the list above who was certainly controversial: Marie Stopes , described as a feminist”…best remembered for opening the first family planning clinic in Britain in 1921. But she is also a controversial figure who was accused of being racist and anti-Semitic and advocated eugenics – even disapproving of her own son’s choice of wife because she was short-sighted and wore glasses. She also once sent a loving letter and book of her poems to Adolf Hitler…” Curiously, she held very similar views to American Susan B. Anthony as far a eugenics were concerned.