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HEROES – – Month 2 – – #FeministFactFriday

Theme #2 for Feminist Fact Friday

One of my favourite recurring jokes is the following from The Onion:

And that’s mainly because when you become aware of how much inequality there is in the world it’s pretty hard to turn that off and go back to where you were before.

I chose POLITICS as the first theme for Feminist Fact Friday because the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take 107 years for women to reach political parity with men. Achieving political parity lies at the heart of so many other spheres of equality.

But, like any feminist, some days I just need a break from slowly scraping away at those one hundred and seven years, and so here we are at Theme #2: HEROES.

I’m intending HEROES to be a semi-regular theme and a way to build up a bank of alternatives to the names that often come to mind when you think of that word. These are for the most part personal to me, but I’d encourage you to find your own alternative heroes and in particular to look in unexpected places.

In a poll in 2002, the general public was asked to name the 100 Greatest Britons. Of those named only 13 were women. I hope that the next time that kind of poll is run, we’ll be able to fill it with the names of so many more women whose contributions we can recognise.

Thanks to a growing awareness of the invisible women of history and a greater than ever number of inspirational women in the public eye we’re certainly fighting the misconception that HEROES only fit a certain mould – which is why I’d like to see the just 17% of Wikipedia biographies that are currently dedicated to women grow exponentially. I hope you can be a part of that too.

Not that HEROES belong solely in sports but I’d like to leave you with a recent Nike campaign that I found especially inspiring, as well as the eternally beautiful and bloody brilliant This Girl Can:

March – HEROES

Week 5 – Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism site, which received 100k entries in first three years.

Week 6 – Karen Blackett OBE, widely seen as the most important agency leader in the British ad industry.

Week 7 – Marc Benioff, paid $6 million to fix the gender pay gap at Salesforce.

Week 8 – Gina Martin, changed the law to make upskirting illegal.

Week 9 – Dame Stephanie Shirley created an all-women software company in the 1960s which was eventually valued at $3 billion.