Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Women of Wednesday: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Takes the Gold at the Finish Line

I know I wrote about Eunice Kennedy Shriver in June, but I think in light of the fact that she passed away just last week, a tribute post is in order.

Much has been written and said about Eunice these last few days. One thing repeated again and again is that had she been a man, she could very well have been president. I don't doubt it for an instant. As a private citizen, she brought an entire group of forgotten people out of the shadows and into the mainstream of society, and she did it on a global level. The importance of her work for the intellectually disabled cannot be overstated, and the results of that work cannot be overvalued.

Rather than add more words to what has already been stated, I think it fitting to end this tribute post with a clip from NPR's All Things Considered. Here, Special Olympian David Egan reflects on the impact Eunice Kennedy Shriver had on his life.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games.


Diane Mayr said...

If she had been a man, she probably wouldn't have gone into the field that she did. Perhaps we should celebrate the fact that she WAS a woman, and as a woman, she cared about, and cared for, people.

I'm Jet . . . said...

Fabulous woman!

Andy said...

You're right, Diane. Eunice's loss of choice was the gain of the world's citizens with intellectual disabilities and those who care about them. And who knows? Eunice's dedication to her sister Rosemary was such that even if she did have the choice, she may have taken the same path. It would have been nice if she'd had the choice, though.

Diane Mayr said...

It's funny how you interpreted my comment as saying Eunice was limited in her choices. What I had wanted to say was that caretaking isn't a field most men go into, unless, of course, it's in a managerial position. I was, as usual, ragging on men. Yes, her choices were limited, but she did have the benefit of money and family connections.