A Toothbrush, a Typewriter and a Revolver

January 11, 2017

RIP Claire Hollingworth, who died yesterday at 105.

Am I searching for empowerment/strong women/examples of heroism/of female guts and power ? You bet.

Clare Hollingworth is credited with achieving perhaps the most important journalistic scoop ever: managing with a keen eye to notice a large build up of arms in a German valley on the border of Poland (Aug 28, 1939). She phoned the story into her editor, and that is how the world learned of Hitler’s impending invasion and the start of WWII.

Reading about Hollingworth’s life this morning reminded me how we (women) are too frequently  hampered by expectations, criticism, duty and the limits set for us by others, not to mention ourselves. Some women are better at ignoring these; Clare Hollingworth was such a woman. It’s true, her husband left her because, in her words: “When I’m on a story, I’m on a story–to hell with husband, family, anyone else.” (The Guardian 2004) But that single-mindedness, that driven quality we associate more with men, served her and her country and the world. Even if, as she was addressed by her editor as ‘old girl,’ no loss of power seemed to accrue–the respect she achieved was insurance against that being misconstrued! She thrived in dangerous war zones. It had to have been tough, though her obituaries won’t necessarily reveal those struggles. Show me a woman who isn’t swept away by a story of such bravery and unflagging grit?

Let’s get out there.  MARCH, PROTEST, RESIST.

Read “Clare Hollingworth, Reporter Who Broke News of World War II, Dies at 105” by Margalit Fox, The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2017.  http://nyti.ms/2jqTKQ1

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1 Comment

  • Reply Muriel Murch January 12, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Thank yuo. This is a beautiful story and one we need to inspire us all – at this difficult time

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