It’s International Women’s Day, aka the best day of the year. It’s growing in significance & popularity every year & I am so here for it.
If you’re someone who thinks there’s no need for this day anymore, let me remind you of a few things like the Polish nationalist MEP who got up to speak in parliament saying that women “must earn less than men because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” just last week; how the President of the United States is someone who openly speaks in a derogatory way towards & about women; the 70,000 girls who die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth complications from forced marriages or the 200 million girls & women alive today living in 30 countries that have undergone female genital mutilation or cutting.
The point is: we still need to work. But, we also need to focus on the amazing women doing that work.
One of the most famous & recognised actresses of all time actually abandoned the progression to spend the remainder of her life working for UNICEF. Even before her career as an iconic Hollywood actress began she was inspiring, surviving the war in nazi-occupied Holland & earning money for the resistance in an underground ballet school while nearly starving. She used her voice for good, remained every grounded, & adored her children more than anything.
This woman handled the position of Forst Lady with absolute grace, elegance & style without losing her humour & personality & I will forever admire the way she holds herself & the good she does for the world. Not only was she the first black First Lady, but she was the most educated too; with not one, but two degrees from two separate Ivy League schools. Literal queen.
Gina has consistently dedicated herself to shining light on those doing good with her #MovementMondays hashtag. She’s involved with various organizations in 2015, including CustomInk, Naja Lingerie, as well as being announced as a new member of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Board of Directors. Also she is completely amazing & talented & gorgeous.
Carrie Fisher may have been a badass general onscreen, but she was somehow even more awe inspiring in real life. She constantly spoke up about everything from political beliefs to her own mental health, & she did every step of it with the greatest of humour. She told everything as it was – & her love for her dog was enough to inspire anyone.
Gaga has used her voice to stand with the LGBTQ+ community since day one. In 2012 she even faced legal prosecution from Russia, a country that had banned “homosexual propaganda” when she stated on stage during a performance there “Lady Gaga wants to say that she expects respect from others – she’s not here to offend anyone’s religion or faith, she’s here to unite us.”. Since, she’s continued to fight for causes, set up her own foundation, & in late 2015 went public with the fact that she suffered from PTSD after being sexually abused as a young adult. In recent news, literally an hour after Trump was announced the new President elect Gaga was outside Trump Tower leading a protest. She is incredible & don’t let anyone tell you any different.
To anyone who tells you that speaking out “won’t change anything”, remember Rosa Parks. She sparked something huge simply by refusing to get up from that bus seat & she should never be forgotten for it.
To many people Halsey is like Marmite – you love her or you hate her. The fact that I am a fan of her music is beside the point; Halsey (real name Ashley Frangipane) has used her position to be open about her health issues including endometriosis & bipolar disorder. She marched with the women’s march on Saturday with stitches in her abdomen & vagina from a curative surgery, & afterwards donated $100,000 to Planned Parenthood. The singer is also biracial, bipolar & bisexual – all things that she uses her voice to raise awareness of & normalise.
Madonna has slayed the music industry for the past forty years, & all the time breaking barriers in music, fashion, & what a woman can do. She’s constantly bashed nowadays for being “old” which is utter bullshit – does anyone critique Mick Jagger for still parading on stage when he’s fifteen years older than her?
I’ve been a fan of Diane in both Orange is the New Black & Jane the Virgin for a couple of years but I only just read her book at the start of the year. Her family was deported from America when she was fourteen, & her being born in the US meant she was left behind alone. For the past few years she has dedicated herself to sharing her story & fighting for laws to be changed, being open about the damaging effects it had on her & her family. She is truly awe-inspiring.
Atwood has been spitting feminist truth since the sixties. Read The Handmaiden’s Tale & you’ll see some startlingly relatable things. This is a lady who knows what’s up.
This is a lady who is working to make serious change. Her career took off in Orange is the New Black playing the incarcerated character Sophia. Sophia’s storylines of her suffering with discrimination brought transgender issues into the limelight, & Laverne used it to bring it in her personal life too. She is constantly supporting as many individual transgender people as possibly as well as advancing her career to make waves – she made history as well as headlines just this week, as she was announced as the first transgender actress to win a role not specifically written for a transgender person.
Buffy was life changing for me. She was badass without sacrificing any of her femininity & I’m proud to have been raised on a show that had such a powerful lead. Buffy turns twenty this week, so expect a big post then.
Obviously I couldn’t do any post celebrating amazing women without including the amazing ones that are present in my life: my mum, my sisters, my aunts & cousins & friends. Each has inspired me in every way, & I’m proud to be celebrating them today.
It’s so exciting that we’re in a time where so many women are using their voice to speak out to the extent that people can no longer ignore it.
International Women’s Day is important, & seeing it celebrated so much is inspiring.