O’ how felicitous that this honour be bestowed in the month of our glorious Emperor! Of course had our Gregorian brothers not been so chaste, our calendar could have remained by the name of Sextilus, no doubt it would have been a misfortune. Adelaide Potgieter honours great women.
Your lineage, the salt of the earth. Your beatitudes, the August of the world. And as we prepare to lay you down for a year’s rest, we realise that upon spring’s first bloom, you shall be a ‘woman much missed’. How shall we endure the barren womb of cavemen in stilettos?
These sad antonyms who think only with Bic pens! All is not lost though, thank God for Caitlyn.
But before we allow ourselves to slip into intoxicated sombreness, let’s reflect on your muliebrous character, your sanguine persona, and your voluptuous sagacity.
‘For too many years the jury was hung on our judiciary capacities,
but our Day in court eventuated through an O’Connor.
Just as brave hearts wore kilts, so Hilda took us to the sky,
And Amelia across the Atlantic long before Virgin.
Emmeline had the vision to know we could outwork any gun slinger,
We have Florence as our own Nightingale in lamping armour,
Miriam sang and clicked to a better future,
Rosa sat for our rights and for a better world,
While Junko climbed the mountains and reached its peak!
Frida freed us from Pablo’s cubes,
Mona Lisa’s smile still baffles both critic and admirer,
Whilst the Venus de Milo leaves us all weak in knees.
Grace took to the stage to silence a chauvinist in his tanks,
Hatshepsut proved an illustrious Pharaoh,
Cleopatra ruled the mummies as our queen,
Whilst Elizabeth remains steadfast to have us crowned in glory,
And where exactly would John Smith be were it not for Pocahontas.
Our Iron Lady Margaret silenced prince, pauper and Tories,
while our dearest Hillary pulled up the pants of a nation’s sordid political past.
And Argentina is still crying for the extraordinary Eva.
Louisa brought to the fore the potential of us little women,
Edith gifted us with a Pulitzer,
Harper warned us not to kill a mocking bird,
the Bronte sisters took us to Wuthering Heights,
While Jane showed us a comedy of manners,
And JK made the first wizard-billionaire.
The gallant Joan proved far more heroic, than a man in a red cape to marvel at
Miley twerked the Biebs off billboard,
Catwoman whipped Batman,
And dazzling Barbie nearly toppled the Bible
Coco spun us out of our corsets so we could breathe,
Schiaparelli got us stitched to avant-garde jackets,
After Vera there is no more Wang-bam-thank-u-man,
And could we be PRADA of Luisa and Miuccia – shoely not!
Could any honeyed words do Marilyn in that white dress justice?
Charlize showed we ain’t no monsters and even charmed King Kong,
Queen B chanted “who runs the world”,
Lady G masterfully showcased that we are not pieces of meat!
So our passionate Angelina is an activist pro-Bono.
Billy Jean served an ace to prove she’s the King,
Janet lapped the gents as she raced us around the track,
Jackie soared over all those hurdles placed before her,
While the Williams sisters keep smashing records.
With the charity of her gracious gifts, our own Oprah out-foxed the ABC’s, Aretha got us into the Hall of Fame
And Kathryn directed us to an Oscar
Unfortunately EL got us hand-cuffed in the red room
So much for man on the moon, Valentina showed us the celestial beauty of space,
Under the microscope we are seeing things differently thanks to Marie,
Grace Murray opened the gates to a future starting with a different apple,
And our great mother Theresa is guarding the streets looking for her lost children.’
And so as we gather here to laude your achievements our diva, our goddess of the feminine, the curvaceousness of your artistry, the inspiration that flows from your bosom, what good could the world come to without you? A calendar month hardly begins to shed light on either your genus or your genius.
We are grateful to your flock, we celebrate your existence, and we offer this salutation to all the names by which you have been so described, but none more so than WOMAN!
Adelaide Potgieter is the founder of Mad World.
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