The meaning of being a woman….
Dictionary Definition: “An adult human female”
It was quite amusing, when my 10 year old daughter asked me what the “Woman’s Day” public holiday, was celebrating and then she went on to ask; “when do you become a woman, Mom?” Needless to say I had to choose my words wisely. On the first matter of what the holiday celebrates, I tried to explain that many years ago, woman had no rights and the holiday celebrates “our” independence. This was met with a look of absolute horror.
The next question was trickier; both my daughters are of the mind-set that being a teenager, makes you a woman. I guess that the dictionary definition above says it all; you are a woman when you become an adult but that is somewhat subjective. I went on to say that what defines a woman is more than a word or her age and that she would understand more, when the time comes.
Words that describe, what being a woman means to me:
Strength, Courage, compassion, selflessness, power, knowledge, wisdom, patience, beauty, elegance, grace……
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” — Joan of Arc
My top 5 Inspirational woman (in no particular order):
“These women represent to me what it means to be truly inspirational,to stand up for what you believe in and not be afraid of failure or criticism.”
1) Mother Teresa (26 Aug 1910 – 5 Sep 1997)
She was a Catholic, Albanian, nun who founded the Missionaries Charity in Calcutta, India. She is well known for the humanitarian work and encouragement of rights for the poor and helpless. She was the recipient of many awards including the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1979. This was a woman that regardless of her circumstances in life stood against adversity and fought for the basic human rights of those in need. We could learn so much from her, especially in the cut throat “each man for himself” world we live in.
2) Florence Nightingale (12May 1820 – 13 Aug 1910)
She was a celebrated, Anglican, English nurse, writer and statistician. Her belief was that God called her to be a nurse. She is renowned for her pioneering work in nursing, during the Crimean war. Her nickname was “the lady of the lamp”, as she carried a lamp during her rounds at night. In 1860 she established her nursing school at St Thomas Hospital in London.
“She was a favourite historical figure of mine, in my studies at school and my eldest daughter has just been learning about her at school and has also found her most intriguing.”
3) Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)
Helen was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf blind person; to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the barriers imposed on hearing impaired people, allowing Helen to blossom as she learned to communicate.
Helen was a prolific author and was well-travelled, she was outspoken in her opposition to war. As a member of the Socialist Party of America and the Wobblies, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, workers’ rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes. So she is pretty much a hero in most people’s eyes.
4) Amelia Earhart (born July 24, 1897; missing July 2, 1937, declared legally dead January 5, 1939)
She was a celebrated American aviation pioneer and was the first woman to receive the ‘US Distinguished Flying Cross’, which she was awarded as the first Aviatrix (female pilot) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia went on to set many more records, became a renowned author and was an early supporter of the ‘Equal Rights Amendment’. She played a vital role in the establishment of ‘The Ninety Nines’, an organisation for female pilots. In 1937 during a flight, attempting to circumnavigate the globe she disappeared over the Central Pacific Ocean.
She was an amazing woman, who showed the world that we are not living in a ‘man’s world’ – as woman we can do and be anything we set our minds to.
I know I have focused on a fairly serious group of woman until now, all pioneers for womans rights and the establishment of many great institutions and I am truly left in awe of all their achievements. So the next inspirational woman is not quite as serious, in a manner of speaking and still very much alive:
5) Sarah Jessica Parker (Born 25 March 1965)
She is a renowned American film, television and theatre actress and producer. Her most acclaimed acting role, is as Carrie Bradshaw, in HBO’s TV series ‘Sex and the City’. Sarah is a multi-award winning actress; amongst these awards she has won four Golden Globe awards. In 2008 she played the same role, Carrie Bradshaw, in the feature film; ‘Sex in the City – the Movie’ and again in the sequel ‘Sex in the City2’, in 2010. Her next movie due to hit the box office next month is ‘I don’t Know How She Does It?’ The movie is based on the book by Allison Pearson, which I mentioned in a previous post.
My all-time favourite movie of hers was Footloose in 1984 (yes I am probably showing my age), which became a rather iconic movie, at the time.
She lives in New York City with her husband Matthew Broderick and their twin girls. In addition to motherhood and her acting career, she is a prominent member of ‘Hollywood’s Women’s Political Committee’ and a ‘UNICEF’ representative.
She is most certainly my favourite fashion icon; to me she epitomises grace and elegance. I would love to own just a fraction of her wardrobe!
These women are but a few, of many wonderful examples of amazing icons throughout history that represent what it truly means to be a woman.
Happy Woman’s Day!
Quotes to Inspire:
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” — Brigham Young
“Love, the poet said, is woman’s whole existence.” — Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
This quote is for my man – he said I had to include something from “Maggie”:
“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” — Margaret Thatcher
Information Source: Wikipedia
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