08 March 2012


Today marks the 101st celebration of International Women's Day, with thousands of celebrations ranging from "a general celebration of respect, appreciation and love toward women to a celebration for women's economic, political, and social achievements."  Here is a link to a website with more specific information on IWD themes from around the world.

March is also Women's History Month, highlighting "the contributions of women in history and contemporary society."  It's a little ironic, but also a source of personal pride, that during my years as a teacher, the small faculty was evenly split between men and women, but each year as March arrived, it was I who reminded everyone that it was just as important to get our students involved in Women's History Month as it was for Black History Month in February.  Perhaps my attention was heightened by my having minored in Women's Studies at the University of Arizona.  That program's courses helped to shape my thinking and my behavior in many ways, and sensitized me to the need to include voices from all social, racial, or cultural minorities.  

There are examples to numerous to begin to cover adequately, so as a token refreshment, please enjoy 10 of the Most Powerful Female Characters in Literature.  With only one exception, these characters have all made it into movies, appealing especially to girls and young women.  Many, many others could have graced the list ~ some are included in the readers' comments beneath it.  Which would you subtract, which would you add, and which would you leave in place?

I've been privileged to have as many women as men in my life as teachers and professors, as coworkers and supervisors, as students and mentors, and certainly as friends.  I'm continually inspired by women writers, scientists, artists, poets, thinkers, adventurers.  Women of my heart, this day is for you.

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