Tuesday, March 08, 2011

100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Howdy folks!

Celebrating International Women's Day and Shrove Tuesday today... pancakes for everyone!

Some of the women that have inspired us over this last century are free thinkers, activists, writers, mothers and artists. We applaud those who championed the right to vote and education opportunities, and those who carry this forward. Those that fight for human and animal rights, those who may not be celebrated but keep striving for equality for all sexes, races and religions.

Virginia Woolfe 1882-1941
English writer and poet. As a child she was denied formal education as was the thinking of the time, and so she watched her brothers go off to school. A Room Of One's Own is an extended essay highlighting the issue many women of her time and before had not the opportunity to create works of art unless they had come from wealthy families. Woolfe with her husband Leonard, started the Hogarth Press and many of her greatest novels were self published through this.

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962
First Lady to American President Franklin D Roosevelt, she was a tireless civil rights campaigner, and reached out to women across her country using women-only press conferences (to discourage discrimination and encourage broader thinking) newspaper articles and magazines. Roosevelt continued her work after the death of her husband in 1945, and clocked up more than 150 lectures a year throughout the fifties. She left us with a huge legacy of quotes which have more than some relevance today.

“This is what it means to face world leadership. The government cannot do it for us. Many of us do not even know the whole of our own little communities. It would help us all over the world to understand people.”

Dorothy Arzner 1897-1979
American film director who got a break through William C DeMille as a script typist, working her way up to editor. When, after receiving accolades for her work she threatened to leave unless given a chance to direct, Arzner got her chance with Fashions For Women in 1927. She went on to direct for more than ten years working with such actresses as Clara Bow, Joan Crawford and Katherine Hepburn. Although not the first woman director, she was the only woman to direct in Hollywood through the end of the silent era to the early forties.

Amy Johnson 1903-1941

English pilot and first woman to fly solo around the world from London to Darwin 1930. A true pioneer, the girl from an upwardly mobile family in Hull, Yorkshire. In 1927 Johnson left the family home with £10 and a suitcase to live in London, and looking for an outlet for her restlessness signed up for flying lessons.

Maya Angelou 1928-
American author and poet, she has also contributed to the arts as an actress, dancer, teacher, composer, journalist... I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was written by Angelou to deal with the grief of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Her memoirs includes another five books.

Dian Fossey 1932-1985
Her research into the lives of Gorillas in Rwanda from 1967 til her death in 1985 was and still is remarkable. After the death of one of the Gorillas, Digit, she set up the Digit Fund, now the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Possibly killed by poachers. For further reading see Wikipedia

Nina Simone 1933-2003
"She's not a pop singer, she's a diva, a hopeless eccentric ... who has so thoroughly co-mingled her odd talent and brooding temperament that she has turned herself into a force of nature, an exotic creature spied so infrequently that every appearance is legendary." I think that sums her up more than I can say!

Georgina_Beyer 1957-
Beyer was the world's first transsexual Mayor, and Member of Parliament in New Zealand between 1999-2007.

Excerpt from her maiden speech:
"Mr. Speaker, I can't help but mention the number of firsts that are in this Parliament. Our first Rastafarian [Nándor Tánczos]… our first Polynesian woman… and yes, I have to say it, I guess, I am the first transsexual in New Zealand to be standing in this House of Parliament. This is a first not only in New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen, but also in the world. This is an historic moment. We need to acknowledge that this country of ours leads the way in so many aspects. We have led the way for women getting the vote. We have led the way in the past, and I hope we will do so again in the future in social policy and certainly in human rights."

Naomi Wolf 1962-
American writer and politcal consultant. Wolf's theories, (especially in her debut The Beauty Myth) gives insights in plain english about everything from the beauty industry to fascism in the US. She polarises many with her rhetoric.

Ani_DiFranco 1970-
American musician. Political and autobiographical in content, she has produced her music through her own label Righteous Babe Records since 1989.

On this day of the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day I would like to share with you two excerpts from Maya Angelou's poem 'On The Pulse Of Morning'

...Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.
The River sang and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African, the Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.
They hear the the first and last of every Tree
Speak to humankind today. Come to me, here beside the River...

...Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, and into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

My regards to you all,


Malvaly said...


I added you because you have an awesome blog! :)

Cheers, Rebeca.

Mr Frank L. Fettle said...

Hello Rebeca, thank you for the kind words, we shall now try to live up to that!


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