It is difficult today to define what exactly means an “American icon of culture” category . The reason is that there is no united national identity and American type of culture – as a result of real democracy there are Americans and American types of culture. Logically, the consequence is American icons of culture types which may in some cases put in a conflict Americans with different ideas and ideologies.
The preference to most influential American women is to social activists. But in some cases the base is very narrow and most popular American women may not be seen in the list of the greatest American women.
For immigrants who have been living in the USA for more than a decade, like the author, Jane Fonda is one of the brightest American icons of culture. Then, not having a movie in a theater because of Jane Fonda, looks a violence into the global culture.
Jane Fonda is first of all a great actress and a daughter of a great actor, Henry Fonda. She has roles which still stay as a live memory in the minds of many fans of movies or teens, who - as a rule - grow with movies. In the memory of the author is for instance, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969). It looks I was even before the age of a teen when I watched this movie. How many times in my life has the image of Jane Fonda from this movie come in my mind to have reminded me that if one was tired, just would be killed? We just cannot be tired in this life! This is the humanity of Jane Fonda in her personal, artistic and social life.
Jane Fonda, the social activist, is another image that makes America great and its culture great. Violence and war have been not the best of America and being involved professionally in war does not mean you cannot look at culture with the eyes of peaceful humanity. Then, EVE list of 100 great American women looks incomplete, since it has narrow criteria and women who have brought the humanity through culture and art have been missing in the list (Madonna, Tina Turner, etc.). Such narrow choices may make others believe that attempts to live in peaceful world does not always matters for history.
Americans have their contemporary cultural icons and Jane Fonda is one of them. The combination of two great women of American, Oprah and Jane Fonda, in the new movie The Butler is probably an important step in rebuilding of national identity of cultural values embedded with humanity, art and culture.