Send me your favourite shero in action, and I will add her here. Then whenever you need a little inspiration or consolation because you get sideswiped by some of the women-hating/women-baiting madness out there, drop by and browse the Sheroes. Huzzah for awesome women being awesome!

Mary Beard: TV presenter and classical scholar

Picture of Mary Beard

“For years, sexism was institutionalised in academic establishments. It is only since World War II that women were permitted to graduate from Cambridge University; before that, they could have the pleasure of studying, but only men would be honoured with degrees… I’m every inch the 57-year-old wife, mum and academic, half-proud of her wrinkles, her crow’s feet, even her hunched shoulders from all those misspent years poring over a library desk.”

Jean Ingram Brookes: Author and Historian.

Title page of "International Relations in the Pacific"

“Who has not read, set forth in prefaces written by historians of the assisted sex, how much cause they have to be grateful.  There is hardly one of them, whether occupant of an endowed chair or graduate student, who does not possess a wife or sister or an aunt – some devoted woman, educated, intelligent, and unpaid – who will do hack work in his behalf.  She copies documents for him amid the frigid temperatures of the Public Record Office, she verifies his references, she compiles his index, she ameliorates his English.  With sincerest envy I regret that I have not the same reason for rendering graceful and grateful tributes.  Much more than is customary, therefore, I am personally guilty of the sins of omission and commission in this book.” [Shero submitted by Marion Diamond]

Margaret Cho:  Korean American comedian, fashion designer, actress, author, and singer-songwriter

Picture of Margaret Cho with text: May my poison bore holes in your dry, decaying bones

“I fly my flag of self-esteem for all those who have been told they were ugly and fat and hurt and shamed and violated and abused for the way they look and told time and time again that they were “different” and therefore unlovable. Come to me and I will tell you and show you how beautiful and loved you are and you will see it and feel it and know it and then look in the mirror and truly believe it. If you are offended by my anger and my might at defending my borders and my people you do not deserve entry into my beloved and magnificent country.” [Shero submitted by Kate T.]

Eva Cox: Feminist Activist and Academic

Picture of Eva Cox

“I’m going to come clean about my not so secret feminist agenda: I want to put making good societies high on the political agenda and reduce economic means to serving our social goals… Feminism engages with the issues that make up the bulk of our goals for social well being: relationships, connected societies, valuing care and emotions/feelings, rather than just macho defined growth, productivity, and markets.”

Genevieve Grieves: Artist and Historian, whose family is from the Worimi Nation in mid-north coastal New South Wales

Picture of Genevieve Grieves

“She is an Australian indigenous artist, storyteller, film maker and historian.  The first work I ever saw of hers, a video installation called ‘Picturing the Old People’ sold me on her great blend of talents. She is making indigenous history accessible, and creating dialogue in the community about all sorts of wonderful things.” [Shero and testimonial submitted by Nicole Cody. And I’d love to find a quote from Genevieve to include here – anyone?]

US Senator Janet Howell

Picture of US Senator Janet Howell

“It’s only fair, that if we’re going to subject women to unnecessary procedures, and we’re going to subject doctors to having to do things that they don’t think is medically advisory, well, Mr. President, I think we should just have a little gender equity here.” … “Sen. Janet Howell proposed an amendment requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and cardiac stress test before getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?” [Care of MotherJones]

Joan Jett: Rock guitarist and singer/songwriter.

Picture of Joan Jett rockin' it!“I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women’s rules.” [from BrainyQuote]

“Girls got balls. They’re just a little higher up, that’s all.” [from GoodReads]

[Submitted by: Kim Wilkins – who is a total shero her own self and belongs in this canon!]

Rachel Maddow: News Anchor and political commentator

Picture of Rachel Maddow

“But it is important, I think, the interruption is important… because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives that women are not faring worse than men in the economy. That women aren’t getting paid less for equal work. I think that’s a serious difference in factual understanding of the world.”

Paulina Porizkova: Model and Blogger

picture of Paulina Porizkova

“To me, to let yourself age means that you’re comfortable with who you are. Yes, sorry, I do believe that all the little shots here and there, and the pulling of skin here and there and the removal of fat here and there, means you still have something to prove; you’re still not comfortable in your skin. The beauty of age was supposed to be about the wisdom acquired and with it, an acceptance and celebration of who you are. Now all we want for people to see is that we have not yet attained that wisdom. Aging has become something to fight, not something to accept.” [Shero submitted by Kim Wilkins]

Arundhati Roy: Novelist, Essayist, and Activist

picture of Arundhati Roy

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” [Shero submitted by Sarah Gory: unworkability]

Murasaki Shikibu: World’s First Novelist

Picture of a painting of Murasaki Shikibu

The following is an excerpt from Angela Savage’s wonderful blog post – I encourage you to go and check it out!…

“…I’d like to honour Murasaki Shikibu, the woman believed to be the world’s first novelist. Murasaki Shikibu wrote her novel The Tale of Genji in the eleventh century between about 1000-1012. To put this in perspective, the earliest of contenders for the first novel written in English, Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, was written around 1470 and published in 1485.”

Kathrine Switzer: First woman to enter and run the Boston marathon

Picture of Kathrine Switzer“If a woman ran more than a mile and a half, she’s going to get big hairy legs, her uterus is going to fall out, she’s going to grow a mustache and turn into a guy and never have children.” [Thanks to: This is Why I Run]

Anne Summers: Journalist and Author

Picture of Anne Summers“Prime Minister Gillard faces a ballot in her party room tomorrow (February 27)  to retain her leadership of the ALP and her job as leader of the country…  She is called ‘a menopausal monster’ and worse, and her rival Kevin Rudd routinely refers to her as ‘bitch’.  Male leaders do not have to put up with gender-related attacks.  Why should women?” [Shero submitted by Karyn Brinkley]

Valérie Trierweiler: Political journalist, domestic partner of French President François Hollande

PIcture of Valerie Trierweiler

“In France, a first lady has no status, and therefore she isn’t supposed to do anything else… I haven’t been raised to serve a husband,” Trierweiler told theTimes. “I built my entire life on the idea of independence.”

[From this article at Jezebel]

Rachel Ward: Writer, Director, Actor

picture of Rachel Ward“I need hopeful examples of women peaking in their 50s and 60s. I need to see images of women for whom – despite depleting hormones, elastin, bone density, skirts below the knee and greying hair – it is still possible to be vital and attractive, even beautiful. I need to hear from other women who manage not to smother or poison their long-term partners, from women who have chosen living alone over the conversations stuck on repeat or another golfing holiday. I’d like to know which intrepid adventure site they use, the choices they have made for elderly parents, what excites and challenges them. What they want to change, where their social passion lies, how they are making a difference. Like any other generation, I want myriad examples – and endless recycled images of Meryl and Madge won’t do it.”

Lindy West: Writer, Editor, Reviewer

Picture of Lindy West

“SATC2 takes everything that I hold dear as a woman and as a human—working hard, contributing to society, not being an entitled cunt like it’s my job—and rapes it to death with a stiletto that costs more than my car. It is 146 minutes long, which means that I entered the theater in the bloom of youth and emerged with a family of field mice living in my long, white mustache. This is an entirely inappropriate length for what is essentially a home video of gay men playing with giant Barbie dolls.”

Mary Wollstonecraft: Author and Philosopher

Picture of Mary Wollstonecraft“If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power, where are we to stop?”

Aleta from Sputnik Films submitted Mary as her shero: “I love Mary Wollstonecraft’s courage to use her writing to try to change attitudes about women. She questioned the idea that women were weaker, less able to be educated, that women should submit to the will of men. She was so brave. And she was very much ahead of her time.”

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