Tag Archives: grandmothers

She’s Doing It: Jane Fonda Rocks the Power of Grandmothers at Women’s Media Center Event

“Making women visible and powerful in the media,” the mission of the nonprofit New york and D.C. based Women’s Media Center http://www.womensmediacenter.com/, was on full display Monday night June 4. The evening’s centerpiece was the premiere of “Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding,” starring the incomparable Jane Fonda as a marijuana-growing and selling, tie-dye-wearing, sexuality-embracing, moon-howling grandmother who never left the 1960′s.

The incomparable gossip columnist Liz Smith

Jane Fonda, Amy Litzenberger, Christy Smith

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Ma McDonough Was No Ordinary Woman

Another great guest post. All of them have made this my best WHM series ever. Today’s post is from Liz O’Donnell from Hello Ladies. I hope you enjoy reading about her great-grandmother as much as I do.

I live in the house where I was raised. Some may think of me as a “townie,” one of those New England creatures who never leaves home. And when they look at my house, I’m sure they see a place that needs lots of work. The yard needs landscaping, the upstairs bathroom needs plumbing, and the kitchen has a gaping hole in the ceiling over the sink (see upstairs bathroom). But what they can’t see is the foundation. Not the cement that supports the frame of the house, but the history that holds me up.

This Women’s History Month. While I honor the women who have, should or will make the history books – Rosa Parks, Lilly Ledbetter, Hillary Clinton and so many others, I find myself thinking about my personal history and one of the women who shaped my life. The National Women’s History Project writes, “Learning about women’s tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremendous source of strength.” I know this is true.

Eighty years ago, my great-grandmother Ma McDonough bought the house where I live. At that time, women didn’t purchase property, but Ma McDonough was no ordinary woman.

My great-grandmother came from a well-to-do family in Ireland. As was the tradition then, her older brother was set to inherit the family farm and she would inherit nothing. So Ma McDonough left for Boston, rather than be dependent on someone else. She married, raised four children and somehow managed to save money. When her husband died, she moved out of the city and bought herself and three of her then adult children a new house in the suburbs. It was the Great Depression and the builder had run out of money. Ma McDonough had cash and moved in.

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Copyright 2010 Gloria Feldt