There are undeniably hundreds of women to look up to, from friends, to writers, actresses and activists. Women have done great things for this world, from founding Dogs Trust in 1891 (Lady Gertrude Stock), to pioneering sex-reassingment surgery for transgender men and women (Lili Elbe).
In honour of International Women’s Day 2016, here are three women who inspire me beyond all others.
My mum is one of the strongest women I know. Despite a somewhat difficult upbringing, she has been a wonderful mother to my sisters and I, who rarely rests or stops to complain. Recently, she has embarked on a counselling course, and has taken on a volunteering post in George Thomas Hospice, despite suffering with fibromyalgia. My mum has taught me that it’s okay to be me, exactly as I am, with no need to explain myself to other. She’s taught me that it’s okay to change your mind, and to pursue what’s right for you. She’s also taught me that it’s okay to devour a whole pack of biscuits when you’re feeling hormonal. I know how blessed I am to have a great relationship with my Mum, and to have someone who understands me so well close at hand.
Jennifer Lawrence is on my list because of the remarkable way in which she handled the photo hacking scandal back in 2014. Though she gracefully admitted experiencing deep-set fear, she stood strong and urged the world not to look at the nude photos – photos which belonged to her and had, in effect, been stolen. Best of all, Lawrence refused to apologise, stubbing victim-blaming out in her campaign to end sex-crime of this nature.
“I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for.”
Emma Thompson has famously spoken out about the age-inequality between men and women in Hollywood. She has also spoken out about feminism and equality for women, asking why so many young women in Hollywood denounce feminism. As a writer, Thompson has some fantastic insights into the industry and into mental wellbeing, believing that everything we do is an experience from which to learn.
“Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”
I’ll leave you with this uplifting video from the lovely Kate Winslet: