In New Book, Fonda Deals With Past To Become Happier Than Ever

It's hard to believe that two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda is 79 years old. She says that she's happier now than she has ever been in her life, but it has been quite a journey.

In addition to being an actress, Fonda was known as a fitness guru, a women's rights advocate, and a loud voice in the feminist movement. The way she saw it, our patriarchal society led to women being infected with the 'disease to please' men.

"To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females; I’ve been raped, I’ve been sexually abused as a child and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault; that I didn’t do or say the right thing," Fonda said in an interview with Brie Larson. "...One of the great things the women’s movement has done is to make us realize that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated and it’s not right."

Ms. Fonda has been so passionate about her causes that she's even considered leaving the entertainment industry to become a full-time activist. Ultimately, she opted to make films that mirrored her values.

She attributes three failed marriages to the fact that she needed validation from men. Her struggle with this even led in part to her fitness fad. "I knew that to be fully empowered, I needed to feel strong in my body ... it’s easier to be brave when you feel strong," she said.

Fonda always struggled in her relationship with her parents; her mother, who she says didn't love her, committed suicide when he was 12 years old. Her relationship with renowned actor Henry Fonda, her father, was always strained. She says the film they worked on together playing an estranged father and daughter, 'On Golden Pond,' mirrored their real-life struggled and helped them find some resolution.

Of the few regrets Fonda has, she wishes she was a better parent. "I didn’t know how to do it. But you can learn, so I studied how to be a parent. It’s never too late. I am trying to make up for what I didn’t know before. When I die, I want my family to be around me. I want them to love me and I have to earn that. I’m still working at it," she said.

Source: ABC News
Photo: Flickr/ Alan Light

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