Archive | Role Models RSS feed for this section

Bisexual Women and Men I Greatly Admire

24 Sep

Anais Nin
Frida Kahlo
Marlene Dietrich
Freddie Mercury
David Bowie
Virginia Woolf
Drew Barrymore
Angelina Jolie
Anna Paquin

20130924-173205.jpg (Source – Frida Kahlo)

20130924-173725.jpg(Source – Wikipedia)

Farewell Australia’s First Female Prime Minister

27 Jun

Last night, after another leadership challenge, Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister, was outsted as Prime Minister and the leader of the Australian Labor Party. I personally think this is a shame and a step backwards for women in politics. Yes, Julia became Prime Minister in a takeover coup when she outsted Kevin Rudd. But her leadership was plagued by leadership challenges and speculation. I heard on the ABC news last night a query – ‘would there have been so many leadership challenges if it had been a male politician in power?’ Does this whole leadership fight indicate something deeper about women in politics in Australia? Following the sacking of radio ‘shock-jock’ Howard Sadler over asking if Julia’s partner was gay, I wondered if the same question would have been asked of a male Prime Minister. Julia’s fashion sense, hairstyle, hair colour, diction and accent has been scrutinised by the media and the public. This doesn’t indicate respect.

For me, Julia Gillard as Prime Minister symbolised that women share an equal role in society and are more than capable of being the leader of a country. I support some of the major policy changes she made while in power. However, I agree with a comment (I actually can’t remember who made the comment – perhaps a member of the Australian Greens are a marriage equality campaigner) I heard last year after the push for marriage equality in the Australian parliament – Julia could have really made her mark in Australian politics by standing up for marriage equality and voting for the bill in parliament. This would have been especially important as the Australian Labor Party had at the party’s national conference voted to support marriage equality, and the fact that a large portion of the Australian public supports marriage equality. Shame to see that Julia didn’t support marriage equality, especially too when one of her cabinet members was an openly gay woman raising a child with her partner.

Perhaps with Kevin Rudd now in the role of Primer Minister, we may see a change in the marriage equality debate. I heard this speculated on the ABC radio news this morning. Kevin Rudd recently announced that he now supports marriage equality. Interesting…….

20130627-072423.jpg (Source – http://www.pm.gov.au/your-pm)

Dana Scully and Olivia Benson

2 May

I am currently brainstorming an article about how Dana Scully from the X-Files was an inspiration for me (to be a scientist and a strong, intelligent woman). I have been doing some background reading of blog posts, webpages and a thesis on Scully, what she represented and how she inspired countless young female X-Files fans. Scully and the X-Files were big topics for online fan forums.

I too am a great fan of Detective Olivia Benson from Law and Order – Special Victims Unit. This strong female character also had a great influence on me (although it was less career focused and more a realisation of my sexuality (my fascination with Olivia set me on a path to discovering my lesbian sexuality)). There are many blog posts, websites and fanfic stories discussing Olivia being an inspiration for women and also a subject of lesbian desire.

I find it interesting that these two women that were a huge influence on me, were / are also so inspirational for other women and that there is so much online discussion of these two women. I am not alone in my admiration and discussion.

20130507-070255.jpg

20130507-070444.jpg

20130507-070639.jpg

Dana Scully and Olivia Benson

2 May

I am currently brainstorming an article about how Dana Scully from the X-Files was an inspiration for me (to be a scientist and a strong, intelligent woman). I have been doing some background reading of blog posts, webpages and a thesis on Scully, what she represented and how she inspired countless young female X-Files fans. Scully and the X-Files were big topics for online fan forums.

I too am a great fan of Detective Olivia Benson from Law and Order – Special Victims Unit. This strong female character also had a great influence on me (although it was less career focused and more a realisation of my sexuality (my fascination with Olivia set me on a path to discovering my lesbian sexuality)). There are many blog posts, websites and fanfic stories discussing Olivia being an inspiration for women and also a subject of lesbian desire.

I find it interesting that these two women that were a huge influence on me, were / are also so inspirational for other women and that there is so much online discussion of these two women. I am not alone in my admiration and discussion.

20130507-070255.jpg

20130507-070444.jpg

20130507-070639.jpg

Joe Strummer – An Inspiration & Idol

23 Apr

While writing some of my recent posts on songs by The Clash – Know Your Rights,Career Opportunities, protest songs – Political / Protest Songs and Margaret Thatcher – Margaret Thatcher’s Death and a bit of Punk Music, I was thinking about Joe Strummer, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Clash. For me he is a great inspiration and an idol. His political beliefs (socialism, anti-racism, anti-war, environmentalism etc) speaks to me in volumes. And the lyrics of The Clash songs resonate with me. He sounds like a great guy who is not afraid to talk / sing / actively protest for things he believes in or disapproves of. Well enough of that gushing……. I am just totally inspired.

20130424-172951.jpg

20130424-173002.jpg
(Source – The Legend Joe Strummer Facebook page – http://www.facebook/TLJOESTRUMMER)

Margaret Thatcher’s Death and a bit of Punk music

10 Apr

Following on from my post Margaret Thatcher from yesterday, I have been contemplating the diverse reactions to her death, my seemingly disparate views regarding her impact as a woman in politics,as a scientist and her conservative politics and the philosophy behind the Punk movement (partially in reaction to Thatcherism). The Clash songs, “The Guns of Brixton” and “Know Your Rights” have been playing in my head.

Margaret Thatcher’s death is certainly a very contentious matter in the UK and the world. And for myself. I was raised in a liberal, left wing family with an English father. I heard of the impact of Margaret Thatcher, her policies and the Tory party on the UK from a young age. I am a big fan of British Punk band The Clash (and the Sex Pistols but to a lesser extent) and their political views. I am fascinated by the Punk Movement and its philosophy and the large role that the opposition to the Tory Party conservative politics, Margaret Thatcher and policies implemented by her government played in creating and maintaining the Punk Movement. There are a number of The Clash songs (great favourites of mine) that (I think) evoke the struggles that young people and minority groups encountered during Margaret Thatcher’s leadership and left wing political views –

– Know Your Rights
– The Guns of Brixton
– The Call Up

There are probably many other more politically charged and anti-Thatcher songs, but I have simply mentioned the songs that I like.

I am fundamentally opposed to so many of the policies and changes she implemented in The UK (and which influenced many other governments, whether right wing or left wing (including the Australian Labor Party) around the world). Privatisation and economic rationalisation are two legacies I particularly detest. I am also fundamentally opposed to the policies implemented against minority groups and disadvantaged areas, along with the UK’s involvement in the war in the Falklands (although I do have a keen interest in the military history of this conflict).

For me she is a symbol of women being able to achieve the ultimate in politics – leading a nation, leading a political party, leading a country at war and have power and influence. But the fact that she held little sympathy for feminists, female colleagues and ordinary woman, does sour the praise for her achievements as a woman. Rhian Jones in her article Was Margaret Thatcher the first Spice Girl? on the Guardian website mentions that “Thatcher’s impact on popular culture and as a role model for women, then, remains as contested an issue as her political and economic legacy.”

I never lived in the UK when she was in power (and also haven’t lived there in the aftermath) so I don’t know first hand the impact of her policies and politics. I discuss this based on my own political beliefs and my feminist beliefs. I find it a bit distasteful that people are celebrating her death. I acknowledge that she did do many “evil” things, but I don’t agree with celebrating the death of another human being. This is something that doesn’t fit well with me. I particularly found the celebration in the USA (and patriotic displays) of the death of Osama Bin Laden disturbing. But as I said above, I did not live in the UK and was not personally effected by her policies.

It will be interesting to see the reactions and sentiments when Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is held next week in the UK.

Links
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-first-spice-girl?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-death-celebrated-brixton-video
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-no-feminist?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-pop-rock-music
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/12/27/1040511176546.html

Margaret Thatcher

9 Apr

Sapphicscientist's Blog

On my drive to the train station this morning I was surprised to hear that Margaret Thatcher had passed away. I did not agree with her politics (in fact my political beliefs are on the opposite side of the political spectrum), but I do admire her as a pioneering woman in politics and as a female scientist. She was the first female prime minister of Great Britain and she was very tough and formidable leader and politician. She took the country to war in the Falklands. She was a trained chemist, and a lawyer, and a mother. For all my opposition to her politics, I still admire what she represented – women can succeed in politics and play a very active role in the governance of a country.

Related articles –
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2013/apr/08/miliband-clegg-local-elections-cameron-madrid
Margaret Thatcher the iron lady chemist and prime minister

View original post

%d bloggers like this: