Happy International Women’s Day everyone! As this post goes live I will be running around Southbank Centre managing 1000 girls aged 11 – 18 in a day of talks, workshops and music celebrating heroines. I’ve also agreed to tweet about my day for my university so follow along #UoBWomen too to see a whole range of IWD celebrations!
As part of this exciting event I asked 10 different amazing women to share who their heroines are. Some will be speaking about their heroines, and some have written a few lines that the girls taking part can take away with them, and later look into if they want. I couldn’t believe the range of women that came back. From NASA scientists, to sportswomen, to dancers, each story inspired me, and reminded me how many amazing women’s tales are never really told. It got me thinking about my own heroines – which women inspire and drive me forward. It’s a big question and I had to really settle that there is no single person, but in fact many women, that I look up to and admire. I really love this article from Stylist magazine on their 50 feminist icons. I’ve tried to pull them together – and please remember this is not a definitive list (I could probably update this daily to be honest). Hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear who your heroines are!
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Not only is Chimamanda the writer of one of my favourite books; Americanah, but she’s also an incredible speaker, activist on equality and feminism. Her TED Talk, We Should All Be Feminists blew my mind with it’s on point wit, intellect and passion. Every 16 year old in Sweden has just been given a copy of the TED talk as a book and you should probably watch it now.
Emma Watson – I love how Emma is pushing her feminist agenda through everything she’s doing – she has an amazing platform to be heard and she’s really using it. She speaks really thoughtfully and intelligently whether she’d promoting the He For She Campaign or starting a fantastic new feminist book club on twitter (called #oursharedshelf – look it up!)
Hilary Clinton – I am such a fan of Hilary Clinton! Driven, ambitious, literally kicking down the glass ceiling every chance she gets. She doesn’t seem to shy away from calling out inequality and she doesn’t shy away from using the F word (go feminism!).
Amy Schumer – THIS WOMAN. Super hilarious, talented, says what she thinks, unapologetic, she slams body shaming again and again and again. My spirit animal is Amy Schumer and I salute her!
Plus she say’s things like this:
I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.
So Happy International Women’s Day everyone – love yourself, love your friends, love your mum, your sister, your daughter, your aunts, your nieces – be strong, be fiery, be opinionated, be clever, wear what you want, be who your are, and do it as much as you possibly can, all of the time!
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite poems by Maya Angelou: