Hello lovely people of the internet!
I know I’m a little late to the party but like the strong independent woman I am (who still calls her mummy when she’s sick) I was working on International Women’s Day.
Now because I love any excuse to celebrate amazing women, I have a little list of women who have helped to change women’s role in society and have helped women in times of need all over the world.
There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.
I could write a full post about Michelle Obama and still have more left to say, what a woman! She changed the game. She is a black lawyer who grew up in Southside Chicago. She handled the position of First Lady with poise, dignity and kindness. She did all of this through vile racism, and still managed to raise two young women and support important human rights campaigns all over the world. I could go on, she is truly deserving of being celebrated as one of the most influential women of our time.
Ida B. Wells
Someone must show that the Afro-American race is more sinned against than sinning, and it seems to have fallen upon me to do so.
Ida B. Wells was a journalist, she campaigned for women’s rights as well as African American rights, focusing specifically on ending lynching and segregation. After the death of her parents she worked as a schoolteacher to support her family and keep them all under the same roof. She did a tremendous amount of work for the civil rights and women’s movements and showed amazing strength in the face of so much pain. A truly remarkable woman.
I would rather be a rebel than a slave.
Emmeline Pankhurst was at the forefront of women’s suffrage in Britain. The leader of the suffragettes who used loud tactics to campaign for the right to vote. She spent time in prison, resisted force feeding after going on hunger strike and formed the WSPU. And Meryl Streep played her in the film Suffragette, so you know she’s awesome.
It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.
I love love love Laverne Cox. She is a black transgender actress made famous by playing Sophia in Orange is the New Black. She is a trailblazer in terms of campaigning for trans, women and black rights. She campaigns for intersectional rights and raises awareness and support for transgender people.
Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. Then by all means follow that path.
Because Ellen Degeneres is a comedian/presenter who doesn’t talk that much about her own achievements, it’s easy to forget that she has done so much for gay women in particular. She was the first openly gay actress to play an openly gay character on TV. She has won 30 Emmys, she had her sitcom Ellen cancelled because she came out on it. And she struggled through all of this while still making people laugh. There are few people who can come through as much as Ellen has and not be embittered by it.
It is important to ensure that feminism and women’s rights encompasses every type of woman; disabled women, black women, Muslim women, transgender women, gay women and the list goes on and on and on. The only feminist worth being is an intersectional one.
I’m sorry to end on a negative note but while feminism for women in first world countries means campaigning for equal pay and an end to sexual harassment and violence, too often we forget that the rights first world women fought for in the last two centuries; the vote, biological freedom, marital rights etc. are still going on in many other countries. Today let’s take a moment to think about them, and remember that campaigns changed the western world for the better, it can happen in other places too.
Happy Mother’s Day! Let’s celebrate one more amazing woman in the world, my mum! The Scouse Libra who has stuck by me through every dumb decision and is my favourite person to watch Parks and Rec with! I love you mum!