Celebrating International Women’s Day: My Role Models


Dear Readers,

Happy, happy International Women’s Day! In order to appropriately mark this day, I’ve decided to spread some girl love, or should I say woman love, by listing the women that I find most inspiring. This is by no means an exhaustive list and it changes constantly. Without much ado, here are (in no particular order) the outstanding women I look up to and who give me hope for a more equal world:

Emma Watson

She has grown from Hermione in Harry Potter to an outspoken women’s rights activist, addressing the UN and most importantly handing an epic comeback to the people trying to police her body.

Her response to the criticism of her partially exposed breasts in Vanity Fair is both eloquent and hilariously blunt at the same time.

“Feminism is about giving women choice. Feminism is not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”

Thanks, Emma. You rule.

Miranda Hart

Oh, where to start with Miranda Hart? She is one of the most singularly funny women I know, one of the rare, but growing breed of female comedians that are taking on this world. Her awkwardness in social situations and her struggle to fit into the narrow mold of what society considers “one of those women”, the ones with trinkets, who always know the laugh of the season and the appropriate appetizer for each social occasion is so relatable. She will have you spewing your beverage all over the room with laughter as she farts, gallops and falls off chairs. If ever you need cheering up, Miranda’s comedic talent will certainly save the day.

Carrie Gracie

If you are an avid follower of the BBC, especially with a focus on China, you would have come across Carrie Gracie. She is my favourite journalist of all time. She was out reporting on China when China wasn’t the place to be yet; in the mid-90s she does a series on White Horse Village, where the villagers are affected by urbanization. Then, last year, her documentary the Xi Factor takes on China’s Big Papa, culminating in a visit to the very same dumpling place he had blessed with his presence, where the “presidential set” fails to impress the seasoned China expert Gracie. And in her latest coup, she is attempting to untangle the web of a certain Chinese politician, his wife and the murder of a British business man in 2011. The woman is fearless. And, incidentally, also was married to a Chinese man at one point in her life if memory serves. If I ever meet her, I might end up stammering “I want to be you when I grow up.” Too weird? Yeah, I thought so.

Okay, before I run on for too long, I think I’ll have to stop here. But not before giving a shout out to a couple of other amazing women and their achievements:

Elizabeth Warren, succesful politician taking on Trump and his administration in a serious & viral way

J.K. Rowling, who gave us Harry Potter and one of the best feeds in the Twitterverse

Superwoman, a.k.a. Lilly Singh, Youtube Mega-star, bawse and girl power advocate

Oh, and one surprise woman you can find right here

And finally my Mum, tomboy in her own right, who taught me there’s no need to fit the mould

Who are your female role models? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Women’s Day 2017!

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Celebrating International Women’s Day: My Role Models”

  1. Emma Watson does good work. I was, however, a little disappointed that she was less than completely supportive of Beyonce’s work. Critical analysis has its place, but it sounded too much like women tearing down women and damn I am tired of that. Also, given white feminism’s history of dismissing women of color, that was a loaded critique.

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    1. I agree with the white women feminism absolutely – I was just looking into her comments on Lemonade. I do think the media are hyping it up again – she has released the whole transcript since – and the critique seems mainly directed at the camera work really, doesn’t it? But that’s not Beyoncé per se. I agree there’s no point in tearing each other down – she could have chosen her words more carefully for sure.

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      1. Yes, I also read the whole transcript. As Beyonce exercised the ultimate creative control over LEMONADE and directed it, the particular voyeuristic scene that Watson references is definitely Beyonce’s work. And Watson criticized it on feminist grounds — without also considering that Beyonce may have made that choice deliberately, to make the viewer uncomfortable. So Watson’s also not necessarily giving Beyonce directorial credit or props, which is pretty dismissive and stuffing Beyonce back into an “sexy entertainer only” box. Black women have been fighting for years to be seen as a force beyond that stereotype (among others). That critique is a particularly hurtful wound in a long line of wounds that white feminists unthinkingly inflict on women of color. Just because it was unintentional doesn’t mean it was any less painful.

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      2. Yes she would have signed off on the end product including camera work and the videos directed by the other directors that is true. At the end of the day she and the director in question (unless it was her own section) are the only ones who know whether it was intentional. And of course credit where credit’s due and yes, maybe more consideration should have been given. I generally get a bit fed up with people telling other people they’re not a feminist since that’s nonsense and they don’t get to make that choice. I’ll only say that it didn’t look to me necessarily like she thought it through (she says so doesn’t she) and probably wasn’t aware that it would come across as dismissive. So I think rather than the media making another frenzy about it and everyone getting so angry it would be more effective to sit down and educate each other about these issues. We’re all human at the end of the day, which means we are capable of making mistakes but we’re also capable of learning. But I might be wrong.

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      3. I think we’ve all made comments in our lives that are much more loaded and come off totally different from what we intend – and in terms of intersectional feminism I think it is a learning curve for people like Emma Watson (and me) – who lets face it simply haven’t experienced life the way women of colour have. I always hope that listening to the affected people’s opinion will help. Though I do wonder – did Beyoncé ever comment on what Emma Watson said? I’d love to know her opinion on the matter!

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      4. Good for her that she’s above it all, though maybe a missed opportunity for further dialogue. Anyway, whatever you do, it’s wrong in the end isn’t it. Such is our world.

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