I started to write a blog about my grandson’s beautiful high school graduation from The Putney School in Vermont; another about seeing “The Doll’s House II” with journalist Laura Flanders (it was fantastic); several blogs about the 4th season of “Grace & Frankie” and about the new movie I will start in August, “The Book Club” with Diane Keaton, Candy Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.
I didn’t do any of it because it all felt too normal, even picayune. Personally, I don’t feel normal at all. How can I write any of the daily comings and goings of my life when the foundations of our Democracy are being challenged? It’s no longer a fear of what the future holds. The future is now and we are smack dab in the midst of what it looks and feels like to have an oligarchic, greedy, misogynistic, lying, bought-off, bullying administration. Piece by piece, everything that we’ve achieved in my almost- 80-years that is humane, caring, earth-friendly, decent and fair is being dismantled under our noses.
Before we began shooting season 4 of G&F almost 4 months ago I was speaking at rallies, and raising money for the movements I think can make a difference. Now, because of work, I can’t do that because there’s no time and while that hurts, I’m grateful for the work on this wonderful series that clearly means so much to so many people of all ages and genders. (SPOILER ALERT!! Season 4 is shaping up to be really fun and funny).
Saturday night I watched “All the Presidents Men Revisited” on MSNBC. It was a perfect way to remember (or learn, for those who didn’t live through it) the process that brought Nixon down. At the time, it also felt as if our Democracy was being threatened. But looking back, that 3rd rate burglary and the brief snippet of tape that exposed Nixon’s cover up seem like small potatoes next to what we’re facing today: The Russians successfully hacking into our electoral process on a level that appears to have been potentially more damaging to this country than many realize; what appears to be deep financial relationships between members of this administration and unfriendly foreign countries including massive debts owed to those countries by the President, the potential for blackmail of the President, money laundering, pay offs…it’s jaw-dropping, degrading and so worrisome that many think it’s fake news.
But here’s the important lesson that was brought out at the end of “All the Presidents Men Revisited”: Nixon would have gotten away with his reckless abuse of power, and lying to the American people if not for brave journalism, persistent public pressure, and a refusal by Americans on both sides of the aisle to normalize the Presidents misdeeds. The American public spoke out, acted out, and DEMANDED that he not be let off the hook! That’s the lesson we need to embrace today. Without violence, without demonizing those who don’t agree, in the name of Democracy, we must do all that we can to make sure the truth comes out, that “they” don’t get away with it.
We must also do what we can to protect women’s health by helping Planned Parenthood keep their clinics open and we must refuse Trumpcare. Write, call, Text, speak out and make your elected officials know you demand they not allow this to happen. Support every local effort you can find that is moving ahead with the goals of the Paris Climate Summit. More and more drilling, extractions, pipelines, leaks, are happening across the country. When filming is done, I plan on going to as many sites as I can, here and in Canada, to protest.
In the meantime:
“No is Not Enough” – by Naomi Klein, for what to do now.
“Strangers In Their Own Land” – by Arlie Russell Hochschild, to understand and empathize with those who appear to vote against their own interests. We must reach out beyond our bubbles and get to know and care about the people who are suffering, hurt, angry and abandoned. They are part of the fabric of our country and we must heal together if we to survive in any meaningful way.
Get to know your local officials to determine if they are truly representing your interests and, if not, get them replaced.
ESCAPE WITH A GOOD FILM OR TV SHOW
Because it’s the time when members of the TV Academy vote for the EMMYS, I have been watching everything. I just discovered an amazing series, “Better Things” on FX created by Pamela Adlon and Lewis CK and starring Pam Adlon. Check it out. Also, I am riveted by “Genius,” the National Geographic limited series about Einstein. It’s wonderful filming and all the actors are extraordinary. “Feud” and “Big Little Lies” are also terrific.
I want to apologize for not blogging more regularly. I promise to do my best while making sure things don’t appear normal. They’re not. We are facing an existential crisis unlike any we have faced before. Let’s show the world we won’t take it sitting down.
Norma Jean Vasquez
I am a Hispanic Lesbian in an interracial relationship living in Hawaii. Yes this is paradise, but the homeless, poverty, overtaxed, too-much-government issues here are evidence that the Democrat Liberal Far-Left policies can literally kill paradise. If you look at the demographics of which I’m a part of, you will see that I started out on the Left end of the spectrum. However, after working three jobs to pay for my college education, I realized that I was not entitled to anything. I realized that if I was to succeed, I would have to EARN it. So I ended up on the far Right of the spectrum. And that is why I am an ardent Trumpist. He represents someone totally outside of Hollywood and Washington (I am a retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer). My mother told me that she brought us to this great land (from Mexico) because here, her children were on the same level as any rich kid. And I, along with my spouse, have succeeded in every way. As Conservative Republicans, we are happy and filled with love. Every Democrat friend we have is angry and filled with hatred. And that is not sustainable.
As I read your picayune blog, I realized that you would not understand where I come from and from where I write this. Please understand, you have become the Elite, and the Consertvative Republicans, are the New Radicals. Aloha.
Dear Norma Jean, for me paradise is a place where every person feels save. Where every person has equal rights and chances. Where we all have a home and can become the medical treatment we need. Where we don’t have to worry if an unstable person is starting a world war. Where we can be sure the earth in all her beauty can survive. The earth is giving enough for all of us. Every single person could have a home and enough to eat an be happy. From my point of view I could also say Jane is the Elite and other people could see me as the Elite and so on. And we can do the same by politically labeling each other and go home closing our door for all “the other ones”. But that is not paradise. Real happiness comes from a warm and open heart and from feeling connected. My understanding of Jane is that she is really trying hard to be a giving loving person and she wants to be connected. At that point we are all human and being rich or famous or having better chances in life doesn’t make a difference. To be happy, to be successful as human beings we need each other and we need to trust each other. Trusting other people is not easy. We have all been hurt and disappointed but wenn I am not able to trust you, trust Jane, trust my neighbor, trust the refugee, trust the homeless on the street, trust life itself, I am not in paradise. So I trie to understand me, you and everyone on my path and keep my heart open to all of you. Let’s make this world a better place!
Nancy Bos-de Visser
Hi Norma Jean, I understand what you are saying and thanks for sharing. Warmest regards, Nancy
I am sure both sides, Republican and Democrat, have many who are happy and filled with love. I am also sure both sides have those who are filled with anger and hatred. Maybe it’s time that we step away from these labels and find common ground of what we all want as Americans. I am sure you don’t like to see people homeless any more than I do. So how can we solve the problem? How can we help them get the jobs they need? How can we help them get the proper clothing, address, and transportation to get them to that job interview? How can we make sure that everyone gets the proper equal education to get them that job? Let’s work on solutions, not always simply pointing out the problems. Let’s not always jump to conclusions about each other. Let’s talk to each other. Let’s talk to the most elite. Let’s talk to that homeless person. Let’s find solutions to our problems.
here here, Susan!!!
YES ✨WE ✨CAN!
So glad to hear you say this, Susan. You know, I’m on Facebook ( like ALOT) and lately it just seems as though people are so angry, upset, and discouraged that the comments section has become a dumping ground for rage and cynicism. Well okay, I get it. Do you know the definition of a cynic? A cynic is a disappointed idealist. I like that alot. Cynics are vulnerable humans who somewhere along the line got their dreams crushed. It’s someone who has given up hope and become bitter amd hardened. It’s hard to conceive of a hopeful resolution when the problem seems unsurmountable. I think that’s where alot of people in this country are. And how we got into this mess. We are all, so many millions of us, horrified at what we’re witnessing and are now being subjected to on a daily basis. It’s overwhelming. I mean the whole COUNTRY’S in a state of anxiety. We need a nationwide ALANON MEETING! I wish we could all hold hands and say the Serenity Prayer.
But blaming and complaining are not going to change anything. Today, every time I read a negative comment, I wrote that person back and said, ” Well what are we going to do about it ?” Or, ” Yes, okay, but what is the solution here? What can be done? How can we change things?”
“i’ve fallen and I can’t get up” can not be our mantra ( and believe me, I feel that way some days). Our battle cry must be, YES ✨WE ✨CAN!! The other night I rode my bike downtown to hear Marianne Williamson give a talk on July 4th, or what I like to call ” Interdependence Day”. She spoke about our Founding Fathers and gave us a crash course on the principles upon which our nation was founded.
These men..like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Madison, Hamilton etc were Visionaries… Cluster Genius! and they were RADICAL LIBERALS!! It inspired me and I went home and read the Declaration of Indepedence. Now THAT is a RADICAL DOCUMENT. It seems to me that in addition to making calls, keeping up on all the issues and threats to our Democracy, signing petitions, organizing, STANDING, MARCHING and protesting the crap out of these abominations it is a very good idea to read and familiarize ourselves with our Constitution, Bill of Rights and what the Framers had in mind back in 1776. I am finding it both inspiring and empowering. This highlights bombast of Faux News Liberal bashing even more; because it proves how out of touch they are with what it truly means to be a patriot. I loved what Marianne Williamson said:
” A true Patriot is someone who is willing to stand up and say ” HELL NO!” to tyranny. ”
SO BE IT!
LET’S GET GOING !
Love to All.
I agree Susan. It’s important to form a connection with everyone in order to be understanding and understood. We must take the time to listen to each others perspectives in order to build from there.
First & Foremost blessings in your health, family and amazing work.
Politics these days has so much deception you really don’t know what’s going or coming.
Trump is a capitalist and you first have to ask Why did he run for Potus? and Why?? Russia to me is an easy target for war and CIA manipulation. Yes.. I do believe they spy and hack but Hilary lost that election from the inside. My opinion based on disgruntled campaign members and her emails.
Anyway.. we all can debate..but most important I hope we all stop the inner bickering. Focus on real issues like.. Taking care of our Planet, War on poverty… GOP “Fuck You Care” their brand of Healthcare. Getting more Women in positions of power to represent their own interest.
Anybody who understands the needs of everyday people need to all be supported to run for all branches of govt.
Signing up unregistered voters to vote in every election not just for potus.
I def want to do my part while balancing work livelihood.
Trump.. I didn’t vote for him.. and I respect the feelings on election hacking. Our govt has been guilty as well with turning elections and regime change. Many don’t want to hear that side but it’s facts.
Anyway.. I hope that everybody just focus on the core issues and not get distracted by Donald Trump.. that’s not gonna win elections.
The money pored by the DNC in GA & SC elections could have been used to help the people who need water in Flint, Michigan
It’s like all I see 4 years of Good guy vs. Bad guy media coverage.. everyday people here are suffering daily.
America needs to fix herself from within before we even focus on the Russians.. last thing we need is another WW. We all know War is greed and only benefits the 1%.
Trump family has business ties that conflict and its all being exposed but money has become the ruler of political officials anyway.
The same people talking Russia has accepted money from them as well..
I’m not anti capitalism.. it can work but too much greed and corruption in politics.
You choose your orgs wisely..but the party politics is killing this country.
I can go on and on.. I sometimes feel helpless because I know there is more to do. You don’t have to be famous or rich to do it. It helps but it’s gonna take a group effort in this marathon fight against injustice.
I disagree with some of your views but I always know you mean well and intentions are good.
Last thing.. I hope all of Hollywood and Tech America use their resources in organizing new voices with new ideas.
I’m a huge supporter of Tulsi Gabbard Dem Congresswoman out of Hawaii.. she’s a military veteran who know the effects of war and has a genuine heart for helping people.
Check out her work if you haven’t already. If not potus we need more representatives on the local level.. and get more people signed up to vote.
I’m done with the party politics.. I just want to focus on real individuals who I can support to create solutions. Support ideas, that can help fix everyday problems. We need to focus on winning elections to even the numbers against oligarchy corruption.
Thanks for the suggestions in tv and books. Keep up the great work on “Grace & Frankie” as well as new projects.
Love & Blessings Goddess*
I hear you loud and clear, Hasani!
Dear Jane, very happy with this posting . Thanks!!! I am always thinking about the choices we make and why. We never know how much lifetime is left. If I could decide for you, you wouldn’t make a film and you would be politically “on the road” all the time. I want you to be the Amazon I am not willing to be 😀 I think I should be politically more active but that is just thinking. My talent, the purpose of my life lies somewhere else. Life itself was a present to us. We didn’t earn it or made it. On the one hand we have the obligation to use the present well and become happy ourselves and on the other hand we have the obligation to give the world from our being and talents. How to be happy, how to give…..there are as many ways as there are people in the world.
Dear Jane, i think i speak for all of us, when i say that we completely understand your state of mind. I truly believe we all feel the same, and i’m not even american, as you probably know by now. These are terrible times.. I’m 45 years old now, and i never thought i would live to witness this dark ages. But you always taught us to fight and be strong, so this is my message to you: keep fighting Jane, keep going to the barricades. You make a difference, you always have. I’ve followed you through the years, and always looked up to you as my shero and my rolemodel. Stay strong my dear, we need you.
Congratulations to your grandson. He is such a handsome young man 🙂 I saw his graduation picture on Vanessa’s Instagram account, which i follow, and it was so sweet the way he and Viva embraced. This are the ‘things’, those the PEOPLE, worth fighting for. I have no children of my own, but i have 2 nieces and a 7 year old nephew and they deserved the most beautiful place in this world.
Stay strong, we love you.
Love always and always with you.
Thank you, Isabel. xx
Thank YOU, Jane 🙂
It seems like if we all feel the same way that we could change things but it is difficult to wake up everyday with that lump in my heart. I’m 75 and try to do all you say we should do but I am not in the shape you are in so its harder for me to even stay awake to read. However, I want to recommend a book I heard of recently and have been buying by the gross for friends and family: On Tyranny Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century by Timothy Snyder. It is easy and cheap, $5 from Amazon. We can’t sleep through this one especially if we have grandchildren. Thanks for all your work and all you do. I’ve been a fan since the 70s.
Thanks so much, Constance!!
Thank you so much for your insightful and heartfelt words. You have written precisely what has been on my mind and my heart since November 9, 2016. That was such a dark day for so many; as you stated, the unfortunate outcome of the election and its aftermath have been particularly detrimental to women in America- indeed, women worldwide. I have struggled to find my place in this chaos, to choose the best direction to focus my time, energy, and skills in order to make a difference at this crucial time in our history.
A significant opportunity to do just that presented itself several weeks ago when I became aware of the egregious nature of the sexual education curriculum in my local school system (Gwinnett county, Northeast of Atlanta). Not only does the state of Georgia mandate by law that all sex ed classes be abstinence based, but the particular publications used in GCPS (and several other metro-Atlanta school systems), entitled “Choosing Your Best,” is filled with misinformation, and in some cases downright lies. The curriculum actually teaches that contraception does NOT work, that young girls are at fault if they are raped while drinking, and that the only acceptable manifestation of sexual activity is in a marriage between a man and a woman. Girls are taught that they are dirty and “used up” if they choose to have sex before marriage, or heaven forbid with more than one oartner. The onus is put exclusively on the female students, with the boys being taught that their only responsibility is to avoid these tainted females.
Worse still is the organization which is approved by the school system to present this hurtful content to young people. The Pregnancy Resource Center of Gwinnett is a crisis pregnancy center whose sole aim is to ensure that every conceived child is carried to term; in fact, that is their official mission statement. The only reason the PRC is interested in sex ed is to spread their ideology to young people, as well as to evangelize and proselytize, as this center is run and sponsored exclusively by evangelical Christian groups. In fact, in order to volunteer as a sexual education presenter for the PRC, you must first sign a document attesting to your salvation in Jesus Christ. As a Christian, I have no problem whatsoever with anyone ‘s belief in Christ; however as a parent with children in a public school system that is one of the most diverse in the state, with each classroom comprised of children from every religion, race, creed, and many different nations of origin, I find it disturbing. And I’ve not even touched on the sincere psychological and emotional damage being inflicted upon LGBT students and children who have experienced sexual abuse or assault prior to sitting in these classrooms. When a student is asked to sign a promise to her future husband that she will save her virginity for him because she is a “good girl,” but she in fact has nothing to pledge because her virginity has already been forceably been taken from her, it leaves a deep scar in her mind and heart that continually repeats what she has already been telling herself: she is not good enough, she is worthless, and no one wants her.
This is why a group of fellow GCPS mothers, as well current and former GCPS students, are now partnering with GCAPP, the wonderful organization you so
Jane – I have always admired your ‘guts’ and intelligence. You speak out and use your voice for causes that benefit all of us – climate change, the health of our environment and the health and well being of the human and animal race (not only Americans).
The first comment made by Norma was particularly disturbing to me, describing why she switched to being a Republican, voting for Trump, all her Democratic friends being full of hate and ‘you’ or you as a Democrat as the elite. I can not speak for this women’s Democratic friends however the Dems I am in contact with are anything but ‘hateful’ . If you look at Mr. Trump’s words and speeches never has there been a POTUS who has spoken and continues to speak with such animosity.
You describe Mr Trump accurately in your blog. Three million Americans did not have their vote count in this election and that is very disturbing. The number of hateful radical/racial attacks have dramatically risen since this man has become POTUS. I could go on referencing the negative changes that have occurred since this man has come into a position of power.
But how anyone can defend this man and his actions as benefiting them or their children (unless they are of course members of the wealthy class of Americans who support and gain financially from this man being in office– the true elitists) is truly baffling. And here I do not refer to all wealthy as there are many, the Buffets, the Gates etc who support the fact they should pay their fair share (and have given millions to charity) unlike Mr Trump. The Democrats I know are compassionate, intelligent, hard working folks and, again I remind Norma, it appears the majority of Americans, (as well as the millions across the globe – recall the protest turnout numbers).
Love Grace and Frankie – keeps getting better and better! I am especially enjoying Stephen Colbert’s take on Mr Trump’s antics in his nightly monologue – laughter lightens the anxiety we are living with. Thanks loads Jane. YOU ARE A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE !! LOVE not money should make the world go round and you are LOVE.
Hi Jane, it’s Alexa. Every word you speak, type, share with us is so influential and inspiring. You’re so smart. You know exactly what to say and make it sound so wise. It’s nice that you apologize for not blogging as much bc we all love it, well I know I do:), but even my 18 year old self knows the world is not,by any means,at its best place. It can be scary hearing about the things happening in this world, in our country. I’m around your grand children’s age, and I’d like to say they have a pretty amazing grandma;) I know you’re a busy lady but if you’re looking for something to see to get your mind off of anything that makes you feel abnormal, you should come and see 9 to 5 at Porthouse Theater in Ohio!! 😉 my friend and I are going to go see it bc we love the movie, I love u and it’s also performed by Kent students! Which we will be attending Kent State this fall! Yay for college, new adventure! But anyways if you wanna go I’d be happy to buy your ticket and sit next to you haha! I wonder if you could bring Tulea! You’re probably thinking no way, I don’t even know you, but hey thought I’d take the risk and ask I just want to meet you so badly!! Maybe someday when you’re doing something with your activism, I could see you. The people that live in London are so unbelievably lucky to get to see you in October! anyways, you’re truly an inspiration to me, keep up with all your hard work, dedication and wonderful doings. The small things make big differences. stay strong, keep moving and try to smile often:) can’t wait for G&F season 4!!! xoxo, Alexa
PS thanks for responding to my comment about our souls at night!! I loved that you took the time to respond, made my entire week! even more excited, starting countdown to thanksgiving!!
Alexa, btw, Our Souls at Night is coming out Thanksgiving weekend… I believe. xx
I am a fifty-five year-old white, gay Christian man. I began my adulthood as a moderate Republican, but I am now proud to state that I am a liberal Democrat, fighting for everything that represents the best that humans have to offer. Free speech; freedom of, and from, religion; the ability to provide for oneself, regardless of background or social status; the basic civil rights for ALL in society, whatever gender, race, sexual preference, etc. – on and on.
The pure hatred from the top, which I am currently witnessing, is in complete opposition to everything that I believe, and to how I was raised.
I sense NO level of elitism in the Democratic Party. It is not excluding huge percentages of the US population based on race, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc. Until recently, we were a nation making huge steps toward a more inclusive, enlightened society. A healthier country, with an increased desire to protect not only our limited borders, but also the environment of the entire planet.
It is not “hatred” that many sense from the progressive population, but despair. Fortunately, it is acting as a galvanizer. We WILL fight for the rights of everyone, and for the best, most inclusive future possible. We WILL protect our environment from businesses which have only their own best interests and income at heart.
I am not willing to stand idly by, and watch the nation become stagnant and exclusionary. I will not passively allow the environment to be destroyed. I will not tolerate the reversal of civil rights, some of which I still do not have access to, as a gay man.
What I have seen surfacing during the past few years, is fear. The fear of change, differing viewpoints, alternate faiths and the everyday challenges of an evolving world.
I strove to educate myself over the decades, and worked hard at my career. I am now seeing my future disappear on a daily basis.
We cannot merely hope that this is simply a temporary anomaly. The time has come to act intelligently, with our voices, our actions, and our votes.
Leighton, If you can, read the book I recommend, “Strangers In Their Own Land.”
Dear Jane, is this book just about the American voters or more general about voters not feeling heard? Things are getting worse in Europe too and I am always interested to understand why things are the way they are. But I am not sure if this book could help me to understand more about Social Democrat Voters now voting for Rightwingpopulists without a programme other than No refugees No muslems.
Luzia, I think the book could help you understand European realities. It’s about American, but the underlying reasons why people who will be the most harmed by what Trump is supporting still vote for him. It is deep—it’s financial, psychological, religious, etc
Dear Jane, thanks! I pre-ordered the translation.
It is off topic but I have found a wonderful therapy for these dreary moments in life….Tracey Ullman on BBC! Her impersonations of Teresa May, Camilla Parker Bowles, Angela Merkel and Judi Dench make me laugh out loud. But why am telling you this is because she is mentioning YOUR FATHER in a Maggie Smith impersonation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sygkz69Vut8
I will certainly explore it. However, I have never lived in a bubble, per se, and I grew up in a more conservative section of the country, with an exposure to both sides of the “fence.” That being said, my teenager years of the 1970s, were a time of liberalism and forward thinking approaches, even in the Bible Belt. A bizarre juxtaposition.
And I’m starting Round THREE with the current season of “Grace & Frankie.” Yes!
Thanks, Jaime, for bringing this specific center to my attention. I will see what I can do. xx
Jane – I like how you give everyone the freedom to express their views regardless if they agree with you or not. That is democracy at work. We don’t need to agree with everything but everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and the right to express it. I have been in a mild state of depression since Trump took office and can’t understand how this clown continues to get away with the lies he tells. Plus the Republicans and their thrist for destroying everything Obama achieved is unpresedented. It saddens me that we are told Obamacare “doesn’t work” yet no one will explain what it is that isn’t working. I could go on but I have truly admired how you have used your celebrity over the years to help others and shed light on some of the more shameful going on in politics. My brother in law hates your guts because of your trip to Vietnam yet he refused to read YOUR SIDE OF THE STORY. He prefers to carry the hate of a long gone era in his heart toward you rather than trying to understand the circumstances of what put us there to begin with. I enjoy your films and your work and your constant hunger for knowledge to help improve life for all humans on this planet. I don’t think asking you to commit to 80 more years is being too selfish,! Keep banging away! We are behind you!
@ norma jean vasquez: So jane fonda is an elite and donald trump is a man of the people? Let me take a minute out of my unsustainable hate filled existance for a good laugh at this zany typical republican perspective.
ms.vasquez do you actually believe the things you are saying? you are clearly not full of love…To come into a jane fonda dicussion board and to start espousing pro trump/fascist views suggests you are full of hostility and provocation.
These frightning fascists are as short sighted when they look out at the world as they are when they attempt to look within.
There are none so blind….
Edward, it’s Jane. let me weigh in here. I don’t recall Norma Jean being so fascist etc etc. From her perspective I am part of the elite. That said, people who are born of privilege are capable of learning why those who have been so badly harmed by the economics of this country feel as they do. I spend a lot of time reading about the folks who voted for Trump in an effort to “climb over the empathy wall,” as Arlie Hochschild says in her book “Strangers In Their Own Land.” I believe it is essential that we try to do this. We mustn’t allow our country to stay so polarized and the only way to do this is to try to hear and understand each others narrative. I need to also say that this problem —of working class people being betrayed—didn’t start with Trump. Make no mistake, this has been a long time coming…like, say, with Reagan and certainly through the Bushes, Clinton and even Obama administrations. The welfare “reform,” the anti-worker trade deals, the cosying up to Wall Street, the trust in anyone from an Ivy League University…all of it has left working families wondering what ever happened to the American Dream. .
I’ve just been reading what you wrote to Edward vis a vis Norma and I have to give you alot of credit. The effort you are putting into “trying to climb over the empathy wall” is commendable and very much needed. If I am honest about my own feelings about what’s been going down in our country I have to say I am at this point quite attached to my Fierce Mama Bear Warrior Goddess positions on things and I’ve been pretty cranked up. My self esteem was so low back in the 60’s and 70’s it never occured to me to protest or to be a Feminist. I never liked “Ms” when that all started and the whole movement sort of went over my head. I realize now this was because all my energies were tied up in trying to be perfect and fit in and that includes bulimia so I was not in my power at all. I was the frozen girl. I felt like a refugeee in my own childhood and a ghost in my own life. It took me many years to wake up to and find my authentic self.
Decades of inner work to get where I am now. I’m not scared anymore and fear no longer paralyzes me. I use my voice today, it’s my most treasured gift. I have a lot to say ( and to sing) and I know that no one will ever shut me up again. There’s so much more I want to be and do to release the ” imprisoned splendor” I kept locked up for so long.
The day after Trump was elected I woke up a Feminist! You better believe I showed up at that Women’s March on Washington! It was as though a Light had been switched on inside of me. A fierce eternal flame of Truth and Love and Justice and Power. This has felt very very good. I’m 64 years old and just beginning to wake up in terms of standing in my power. I feel now the way I should have felt at 17 but didn’t. I wish I had that body! A perfect stunning radiant gorgeous 10+ and I thought I was FAT. I don’t have to tell YOU.
The cool thing about being at the Women’s March was the feeling I had that any one of those women (or men) could have been my friend. I knew that 1.3 Million People had my back and I had theirs. Never before had I experienced such a feeling of solidarity. I got out of a sick bed to drive down there from Hyannis and it almost killed me to make that 9 hr drive but I just knew I had to be there even though I would end up in the hospital with a gall bladder problem when I got home but it was worth the risk. Because for me it was the first time in my life I had ever really truly stood up for myself. It was a seminal moment. And I knew I wasn’t just standing for me. I was standing for my mother, and my grandmother and my aunts and all the good women in my lineage going all the way back who did not have a voice and who could not stand up for themselves. In my case, I grew up a child of privilege much as you did only I had a violent alcoholic father who used my mother’s beautiful face and me as his own personal punching bag. With me it started in the crib. So I was frightened from the get go and walked through the first half of my life pretty much like a shell shocked zombie. I’m someone who’s done a lot of inner work and spiritual walking and I’m proud to say I’ve reclaimed the voice that I had lost. That Woman’s March ignited my voice and my power. Just call me Wonder Woman!
Getting back to what you said, I applaud you for making this effort because we have never been a more polarized country than we are now. A part of me doesn’t give a rat’s ass how the GOP Republican base got that way; I just want them gone! I see it as Old Paradigm/New Paradigm and the old absolutely has to go because it’s impeding progress. The Universe is expanding and we have to expand with it. As my mother used to say when there was a problem, “We can’t go back, we can only go forward”.
I guess it all boils down to Love. Have you seen Wonder Woman? I fell in love with it! We have to to fight yes, to PROTECT LOVE. To PROTECT GOODNESS. But we also have to listen and understand all sides. My friend David says that Self love is often the final frontier for the empath. And the Course in Miracles says,
” There’s only One of us here.”
Thank you for reminding us that these problems we face in this country that seem to have sprung up so suddenly have deep roots. ” Strangers in our own land” sounds like an interesting book. I might have to check it out. Maybe it could help me get past my fixed perceptions. I’m pretty attached to them!
Hey guess what, I’m reading yiur book ” My Life So Far” . I smiled at the title. When I first got it out of the library it was such a big fat book, I was like, ” Hey what is this, WAR and PEACE??” Well it IS!!! And much much more!! I’m really loving it. Truth be told you remind me so much of myself, it’s uncanny. That’s a separate conversation!
Anyway, Jane, thank you for being the incredible soul that you are. You are quite the woman and I love you for having the courage to seek and find and be yourself, hard won as it was. This is the pearl of great price and now it’s yours to share for the rest of your life, which I hope will be long because you are a great light for many and we need you here!
May You Be Blessed.
YES WE CAN!
Beautiful, Martha, sounds like you should write a book about your own journey. xx
I agree we are in some troubling times and the current administration’s actions seem to be wanting to erase all of the amazing progress we’ve made as a nation.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would be so detrimental for so many people. Yesterday at PRIDE NYC my girlfriends and I handed out safe sex kits from Planned Parenthood in support. It was a great day of love and unity.
I also wanted to say although I may be late to the party- I’ve just discovered your book “Being a Teen”‘, and I can’t say how much love I have for it and for the work that you’ve done/do for sex education. I wish I had had this book when I was a teen! (I’m 29 now) I was a bit of a late bloomer and had sooo many questions and feelings and things I needed to talk about-but no one to really talk to until my acting coach became that person. So thank you for that.
Cannot wait for the new season of Grace & Frankie! Your work is terrific as well as Lily’s! I actually met Lily at the TFF-my friend Julia worked with her in the film “Grandma”.
Keep up all of the great work you do- and thank you!
It was wonderful to speak with you in Detroit last month. Here’s my story if you didn’t catch it:
So enjoy your work and point of view. FYI: The house that was Grace’s in Season One ..was my grandparents’ home in Windsor Square. (Irving Blvd.)Built in 1919. My late mother was born there in 1920. The exterior of the home (possibly the interior) used in the funeral scenes in Season One was my great parents’ home in Handcock Park. (Hudson) My parents were married their in 1944!. Marched against the war in 1969. You were there! Can’t wait for Season Four.
Mary D, that’s awesome. Thanks for letting me know. xx
Karina Longworth has a great podcast series she’s been doing called “You Must Remember This” – she has had seasons on the Manson murders, classic blonde actresses, the studio system, HUAC, Joan Crawford —-and it was just announced that her new season is dedicated to Jean Seberg and……YOU.
Tunyves, wow, news to me. xx
Professor Doctor Alan Jeffrey
Hi, Jane. Very interesting, thought-provoking and stirring piece. Whilst the fears and concerns of the American people are, almost daily, becoming evident, it should not go unnoticed that concerns are likewise being expressed across the whole of Europe, especially given the regular disclosures of covert relationships by the US administration with (to a measured extent) hostile nations, failure to answer important questions in an overt manner and, lately, cancellations of important summit meetings with European leadership without probable cause. Yes, we, your ancestral family here in Europe, wish without doubt to express and evidence solidarity with your feelings and attitude to this worrying administration and its clear attempts to reverse the progress of the last thirty or more years.
Jane If ever there was a woman who was able to make a difference and halt this madman of a President Donald Trump and his measures to worsen the climate change crisis it’s you. I still remember your activism and influence during the Vietnam war. You are not only the most alluring and beautiful of female actors (in my view the most beautiful ever!) but your courage, bravery and fearlessness to resist the inevitable right-wing opposition is inevitable, ‘Hanoi Jane’ was just one example of their bitter hatred to your efforts. But you persevered and were an example to all of us who opposed that war. You are a woman of courage and conviction. you showed in the 60s/70s your bold, dauntless, guts and courage. This issue was made for you to resist/oppose. Go for it Jane!
Just read your post.
YES — Jane was and still is a Wayshower. Now is the time for ALL OF US to be activists and for all of us to step into our voices and our power. The American People have been dumbed down for so long in a state of complacency and torpor most of us don’t realize what tremendous power we hold. Yes WE Can!
Did you happen to catch Woody Harrelson’s video the other day ? It was really great.
Here it is and love to ALL !
Hi Jane. Great to converse with you, All the President’s Men… Wow what an experience. On Facebook my favourite film is All The President’s Men followed by The Quiet American. What an experience. It took three years to explode but so exciting, Best years of my life. Jane your influence in that experience, as your contribution in to the ending of the Vietnam war, will never to be underestimated – and, I’m convinced, it never will be!. Jane Fonda you are an example to all fair-mined, decent and compassionate people. You are a superb performer and the most beautiful woman actor of my generation – in my view the most beautiful of all-time…
Dear Ms. Fonda,
Thank you for your heartfelt and catalyzing post. Like you, I feel equally motivated and discouraged by what I see and read in the news (at least that’s what I inferred from your words). I attended the Women’s March in DC along with my sister, have been calling my representatives daily, and organizing locally via social media and on the ground. All of this has kept me busy enough to avoid becoming depressed by the gnawing feeling of the impending demise of true democracy. I’m also writing a dissertation on feminist rhetoric in the digital age, so I’ve been trying to make lemonade, so to speak, by observing effective rhetorical strategies for retaliation. Seven months into this administration, however, and I am still feeling it’s all not enough. I’m to the point now where, at 27 years old, I am thinking of running for office. If you would have asked me two years ago if I would have considered running for office, I would have thought the notion absurd–At my core, I’m an intellectual, an artist, and an incurable idealist. At the time, I felt I wasn’t pragmatic or hard hitting enough to take on politics (aside from activism, of course). But day by day, I’m gradually beginning to believe that the artists, thinkers, and idealists NEED to run for office. Our democracy depends upon it. We need to shift our thinking back to language, art, ideals, and people-centered politics.
I say all of this simply to ask you what are your thoughts on prompting more artists and humanists to run for office. Have you ever considered it? I’m certainly taking this very seriously.
Well, Christine, I would not run for office myself. It would, to say the least, not play to my strong suits. But Vachlav Havel, the great Czechoslovakia playwright, became president and I’m sure other artists have also gone into politics, though I can’t think of others right now. Start at the local level. Get in touch with the organization that trains women to run for office. I can’t think of its name now either.
Hi Jane!! I am a huge fan of the show Grace & Frankie, and of course the legendary 9 to 5, and I am really enjoying reading your blogs here on your website. I was hoping you could say Hi to Lily for me! I think she (and you) are both hilarious, and do great work! Thanks in advance!
JOHNNY BLUE STAR
I was amazed to accidentally discover the untruth about your “conversion” and remember the sadness I felt when I heard about it. Despite the fact I really know very little about you, I felt a surprising disconnect from that story and an amazing reconnect when I found what really happened. One of the things I have done is create a radio show compatible with the belief that the God is knowable, resides within the experience of the Divine Presence and somehow that key can connect somehow to the way to deal with the political crisis we are facing, now of immense proportions.
Here is a link to a show about Robert Hastings, who has devoted his life to exploring the extraordinary relationship between UFOs and nuclear missile sites. Perhaps we are not the only ones in a species challenged by the insanity of Mutually Assured Destruction that is also a part of this administration’s continuing contribution to this suicidal policy.
The China Syndrome was one of my favorite movies and still is. If only the world could listen!
Johnny Blue Star, CEO
Great find tonight, like relocating an old friend. I remember being engaged in a very heated debate with my landlord one night, while discussing film. He was a professor at The University of Rhode Island, and when your name was mentioned, he immediately reminded me of the Vietnam incident. I reminded him that I was a veteran and swore to defend your rights with my life, and I was proud to do so. I also thought Vietnam was a horrible, horrible mistake. I’m presently reading The Cat from Hue by Jonathon Lawrence, and it confirms my worst fears about what took place, and misconceptions concerning facts and what was really happening. But I digress, for those were tumultuous times, and now we have the luxury of hindsight. You were one of the first activists who really got my attention, and I was very proud to walk beside my 15 yr. old daughter in NYC during the “Not My President’s Day” march this year.
Rock on, Jane. You were always an amazing, natural actress, and your brother can drive a 1969 Dodge Charger like nobody’s business. Love your blog, and I look forward to some excellent insight. Good night from The Quiet Corner of Connecticut.
I just stumbled across this blog post and even though I am not American, I found it very interesting to read the different points of view and would like to add my two cents, as well. I am German, married to an American (same-sex marriage) and we currently live in Germany.
First of all, SusanK, what you said is spot on! I loved reading your compassionate outlook. I, too, believe that the solution to our problems has to be building a bridge between two hardened fronts that focuses on understanding each other, rather than jumping to conclusions and the accusatory “how could you vote for…” mentality. We need to truly listen to each other.
Living a bicultural life, I have noticed one key difference in Americans, that one doesn’t see, to quite the same extent, in Germany: Fear.
Fear of not being able to afford a proper education or not making enough money after college to pay back student loans; fear of not being able to afford getting sick. Fear of not having a proper retirement fund. I am not saying that these fears don’t exist in Germany, they absolutely do, but they are not as existentially threatening in practice, as they are in America…but more about that later.
Norma Jean – you said that you realized that you weren’t entitled to anything while you were working three jobs to pay for college. Didn’t you ever think “I wish education were free?”
I commend you for making it, but I think it is important to be aware of the fact that your success doesn’t automatically mean that everyone else is capable of achieving the same. You had the physical and mental ability to succeed in every way, but what about those who can’t/don’t? Not everyone has the same strengths, support systems, abilities etc. What I am trying to say is that we need to want to understand where others are coming from, what their struggles and circumstances are and why some people depend on help and others thrive and are able to help themselves. It’s the old Nature vs. Nurture argument. George Lakoff wrote an interesting book about it, called ‘Moral Politics’. It is a good read for anyone who wants to understand why liberals and conservatives think the way they do.
I wish we could instill in our children a love for their own country, but not the kind of patriotism that doesn’t allow for looking past one’s own borders. Where a German life isn’t worth more to a German than a Syrian life or an American life isn’t worth more to an American than that of a Mexican etc. It would allow for an openness to other cultures and what facilitates life in other countries.
What I see often in debates are statements like “why are you even getting involved in American politics, worry about your own refugee crisis, this isn’t your country”. This deflection immediately shuts down any potential for learning from one another.
I believe that I am very fortunate to have received an education that was free. It didn’t matter whether you were rich or poor. Everything was free – the books, the school trips (there was always a fund for the parents who couldn’t afford to send their children on trips, so nobody was left behind). A semester at university cost approximately 500 dollars, so there was the added bonus of not having to start your working life with the fear of having to pay back enormous amounts of debt.
For approximately 200 dollars per month, my wife and I (both freelancers) receive health insurance that covers everything from dental to hospital stays. If you have a serious illness that requires you to stay in the hospital for weeks, the maximum amount the insurance is allowed to charge is 100 euros – 10 euros per day. Any hospital stay that exceeds the 10 days/100 euros per year is free.
My point is that we shouldn’t have to worry about our basic needs and that the taxes are a small price to pay for those of us who are doing just fine. I don’t want to see anyone struggle. This Irvine Welsh quote sums it up nicely: “When you’re not doing so well, vote for a better life for yourself. If you are doing quite nicely, vote for a better life for others.” If our basic needs are met, we can also stop worrying so much about what others might possibly take away from us and move towards a more compassionate future. Disappointed, disillusioned and scared people are not going to be able to look past their immediate needs. Unfortunately, that is the exact demographic (with exceptions, of course) that the Trump administration is catering to.
I would love for a welfare system – one that works for America – to be implemented for everyone to enjoy. A perfect system does not exist, but we can make ourselves heard to at least improve the existing one. No matter where we are, there is always room for improvement. I am aware that people will always exploit the benefits of a welfare system, but that, to me, is collateral damage. There are enough people who are truly grateful for and dependent on government programs and it is those people who should not suffer because of a few morally questionable ones.
I do agree with you, Jane, that these aren’t normal times. Globally, that is. The rise of the far-right in Europe is threatening our democracy, as well. The AfD (Alternative for Germany) is calling for a registry for homosexuals, similar to the registry Trump would like to implement for Muslims. My grandmother, whose mother was half-Jewish, did not suffer persecution in Nazi Germany, because she was what they called a second degree “mutt”. She was, however, taken out of school, since she wasn’t allowed around Aryan children and eventually deported from East Prussia to Bavaria. She was certain that the world had learned their lesson from WWII and that the rise of Fascism would be nipped in the bud immediately, should it rise again.
It is very sad to see that, in this day and age, so many people sympathize with a government that, as you said, is dismantling all that we have achieved.
All we can do is soldier on, make ourselves heard, work together on a national and global scale and never give up fighting for what is right.
Daniela, thanks for what you’ve said. And thanks for understanding that we’re one very small world and must be involved in every country’s ups and downs. We’ll all rise or sink together in the end. xxx
“. . . the action of making something less extreme, intense, or violent.”
It’s a review to make sure your comment is not some kind of insane gibberish, like a Trump tweet (kidding . . . sort of).
THIS JUST IN. . .URGENT..THIS CONCERNS ALL OF US!
Kindness of Marianne Williamson
53 mins ·
Ending Net Neutrality would be a huge assault on everyone’s access to a level playing field.
Please make these calls. It’s hugely important, and we MUST act NOW. THANK YOU.
The Plolitical situationç here in Brazil, is also very bad ! At the time, it also felt as if our Democracy was being threatened becausem it alsoo are being challenged, every minute, with many people marching and wishing for the” Military” to take the Government AGAIN ! Ans install a Dictatorship! It has beem a shame to find out that most of the people in the Government, are involveld in scandal with billions of money strelaing from the people! Some are already inJail, others, no matter record conversations, and videos, showing them in ridiculous situations receiiveng Bags fillled with money, are back to theirs positions as Deputy, Senators etc……SHAME! And the people are just fedup already ! Our “President”, was also recorded receiving money late at night, at his home,…SHAME, and despite the people asking him OUT, he is hanging on the position and free of being prosecuted…..So,….for diferent reasons WE Brasilians and YOU Americans are facing with the most bad time in our Politics and Democracy. Best regards…
Yonnegler, you got that right. But do you have Rachel Maddow to reveal the as-yet-unrevealed and then explain it all as no one else can?
HUGE CONGRATS to you and Lily on your Emmy nominations!! I really really really hope you win!! You’ve earned it!! September couldn’t come soon enough! I’m excited to see what you’ll wear haha! Whatever it is, you’ll rock it You’re very fashionable!! I love this show so much and could not be more happy for Lily and you, especially!! Took 3 seasons for this nomination and you deserve it so, so much! Good luck to you Jane Also, your twitter picture was too cute!!! Love when you post pictures and tweets! And question, do you have an Instagram??! Bc there is a janeseymourfonda account and I would like to know if it’s really you:)
I don’t do Instagram, Alexa. Maybe one day.
Jane, my goodness!!! I was totally oblivious to the Emmy nominations and then I open my computer and what do I see? Congratulations!!! What a truly deserved and pleasant surprise! I’m so happy that the TV Academy finally warmed up to Grace (even though in my mind you won last year and definitely got nominated the year before). It’s a testament to your greatness that you can make awards’ bodies warm up to such an “unlikeable” character (stupid thing to say, but we know the character’s “likeability” matters even though Grace has been my spirit animal since the beginning). And how fitting it is that I was just chilling and drinking vodka when I read that Grace Hanson was broke through at the Emmys (ALCOHOL HAS ITS OWN RULES hahaha).
And what a category with you, Lily, Janney and JLD. It’s beyond crazy for an actress lover (and then there’s Lange, Sarandon, Nicole, MichelleP and Meryl in other categories, it’s crazy). But there’s no doubt in my mind who the greatest of them all is and who should win, my queen. <3 I hope you snatch JLD's wig, as amazing as she is, it's about time someone ended this domination (it's been enough of a reward). Well, I hope an Oscar-winning legend can finally do that! I know with all your awards you may not be that thirsty for many more, but it was high time… And high time to get another Oscar nomination, because when you deserved it last time, it cheatingly went to lead actresses. I'm sorry for being real, but that's the stone-cold truth. You're a magician.
BTW, I got an office job until I leave for NYC so I keep thinking about 9 to 5 a LOT. Especially when I had my first experience with the xerox machine (I was fine with it). 🙂 I was also quite absent, because I also got a role in a short film, playing a WWII soldier. It had its premiere and it resonated so well with the audience and we got very good reviews. I was so glad. As you told me, I AM going for it full out. 😉
Anyway, I made a 30 before 30 list and meeting you in person is right there on top of my list (next to doing Chekhov and living in NYC). It would be another dream come true. And now I've finished fanboying. <3 Love to you and congrats, from "your old blogging pal" (greatest compliment ever), DanielP.
You are such a hoot, DanielP!!!!!
congratulations on well-deserved emmy nomination. while i am news groupie, must take frequent netflix breaks to save sanity. comic entertainment is a precious commodity. all those who work so hard on grace/frankie, kimmy, oinb etc are helping me get thru current washington drama and i am grateful.
Norma Jean Vasquez
First of all, thank you for being such a thought provoking woman. I logged on your website because I absolutely adore you as an actor and human being. I responded to your blog because you are thought provoking and wanted to maybe explain why I went from the far left to the far right of the Idealism spectrum.
My parents were both from Mexico and they waited in line to become US citizens back when it was required to take Citizenship classes. They both became highly successful business owners that voted as life-long Dems. I followed suit because mom always said ‘Democrats stand for the poor.’
As I stated above, i paid cash for my college degree by working 3 jobs. I am now retired and living in Hawaii with my beautiful blond-blue eyed wife who works for the police department. She is despised by the Locals because she is ‘Haoli.’ I am retired from Federal Law Enforcement and saved my money and was able to buy our own home. We now rent it out (legally) to women in domestic violence situations and people who are in pet rental crisis situations (said we love dogs and Hawaii is not pet friendly when it comes to rentals). Because we rent out, we are considered ‘elite’ and are expected to just let homeless in and crash on our couch. However, Hawaii is expensive and the regulations for starting a business are Capitalist-killers. Due to the housing shortage, rentals are easier to start up.
Anyway, thank you for this forum. I hope we can all provoke each other and start a dialogue of bridge building. The divisiveness is overwhelming and the negative energy is toxic for all.
With much Aloha from (probably the only two Conservative Leabians in Hawaii)