Sheroes: A Snapshot of Inspirational Women in the Americas on International Women’s Day 2011

In no particular order here is a list of just some of the many inspirational women in the Americas in honour of International Women’s Day, March 8th 2011:

a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist and also, might I add, San Francisco’s first African American female cable car conductor….

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”

“History, despite it’s wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced again with courage, need not be lived again”

“Living a life is like constructing a building: If you start wrong, you’ll end wrong”

Writer, lecturer, editor, feminist activist, frequent media spokesperson on issues of social justice and equality, founder of numerous organisations including the Women’s Action Alliance and the Women’s Media Center, and the recipient of many awards including Magazine Awards, Lifetime Achievment in Journalism award, and an Emmy citation for excellence in television writing….

“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after”

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”

“We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons…but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters”

  • Gloria Anzaldúa(1942-2004):

    Gloria Anzaldúá

Chicana, lesbian, feminist, activist, writer, theorist and educator. Anzaldúa was a guiding force in the Chicano/a movement and a foundational figure in Queer theory. Her experimental writing mirrors the struggle that feminists face to receive recognition in a white patriarchal society. Anzaldúa compiled a number of anthologies (This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Making Face Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color) including works by well known and unheard-of women writers a testament to her mission to have women’s voices heard and recognized…Anzaldúa’s work surprises, inspires and motivates me every day….

“I change myself, I change the world”

“I identify as woman. Whatever insults women insults me.I identify as gay. Whoever insults gays insults me. I identify as feminist. Whoever slurs feminism slurs me”

“Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue – my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”

The first Chicana poet I ever read……A Chicana, Native American (Chumash) poet, thinker, writer, feminist, educator, blogger and key figure in the Chicano/a literary movement, the author of 3 published collections of poetry, recipient of the American Book Award (Emplumada), Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Writers Award, 2 NEA Fellowship Grants, 2 Pushcart Prizes & Best Book Awards for her 5….

“Every day I am deluged with reminders / that this is not / my land / and this is my land” (“Poem for the Young White Man” Emplumada).

“I will fight this way forever: I will say.

I will fight this way forever: I will pay.

I will fight this way forever: I will pray.

Amen. Y Con Safos.” (“Coffee” Drive: The First Quartet).

An inspirational figure for all women and child abuse survivors, Oprah Winfrey is the first woman in history to own and produce her own television show which tackles current affairs, health and spirituality issues, cultural, political, and personal stories of our time. Winfrey, motivated in part by her own memories of child abuse initiated a campaign to establish a national database of convicted child abusers, and testified before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a National Child Protection Act. President Clinton signed the “Oprah Bill” into law in 1993, establishing the national database she had sought, which is now available to law enforcement agencies and concerned parties across the country….

“Biology is the least of what makes a mother”

“I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good”

These 5 figures represent a diverse cross section of women and their contribution to the Americas, Feminism, Equality and Social Justice. Their contributions range from literature to television to politics and culture, from grassroots to mainstream….

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This entry was posted by americasstudies on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 6:11 pm and is filed under Activism, America, Feminism . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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