Yoko Okay as 'Dragon Lady'

07/15/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Sticks and stones may break her bones, but calling Yoko Ono a dragon lady doesn't hurt her. The widow of John Lennon, who has long been blamed for the breakup of the Beatles, has told New York's Newsday that she has learned to let criticism -- including the name-calling -- roll off her back. "I'm kind of honored to be a dragon lady," she told the paper. "The dragon is a very powerful, mythical animal . . . well, probably they think I'm powerful, thank you very much." Ono, 67, has actually been responding to criticism since the 1960s, when she first started exhibiting as an artist. "There were many things that were done to me at the time, and I kept fighting," Ono, pushing her new art book, "Yes Yoko Ono" (Harry N. Abrams), recalled. "To the point that one of the male artists said, 'You're such a drag' . . . in other words, 'Why don't you just shut up and sit pretty?' "

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