Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Are Your 5 Favorite Females?

The International Women's Day celebration continues today at The Good Life's famous blogging meme, Monday Listicles.  The female-themed topic was open to interpretation, so I began by listing women who have impacted my life.  I struggled to categorize them into a single classification and then it occurred to me: all of these women are creative.  

Who Inspires You?  Complete my list!

Because I also receive creative inspiration from my readers and the women in my blogging community, I edited my list down to five, and am asking you to finish the list by submitting five women who inspire your creativity in the comments.  This is a great way to discover more female inspiration that we may have been missing.

10 Women Who Inspire
 Courage and Creativity

Martha Graham – dancer, choreographer, artistic director

"Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."

Founder of the Martha Graham Dance Company, “Graham and her Company have expanded contemporary dance’s vocabulary of movement and forever altered the scope of the art form by rooting works in contemporary social, political, psychological, and sexual contexts, deepening their impact and resonance.”  As a former dancer, Graham is one of my heroes.  I had the opportunity to see her in the early 1990’s when company members escorted her onto stage during the curtain call of a performance for the opening celebration of the Wexner Center for the Arts.  Her creative work and her powerful words are a mainstay source for my own courage and inspiration.

Jen Thorpe - feminist, scholar, advocate, activist  

“I’m committed to making women’s lives better. Whether that is through research, or writing or shouting from the rooftops.”

You can find Jen Thorpe’s thought provoking commentary at her blog: Mail and Guardian, her website giving voice to women’s issues in South Africa: FeministSA, and the writing project allowing over 80 women to express how their “first time” has impacted their life: My First Time.  My favorite space of hers is My First Time. Visit it, read it, and consider contributing to it.

Erin McKeown
Erin McKeown – musician, writer, producer

"If I made music all the time, if I chose it over advocacy, I wouldn't feel complete."

I became aware of Erin McKeown a few years ago when she opened for Ani DiFranco in my hometown of Columbus. McKeown's exuberant performance stuck with me and I am a faithful follower due to not only her musical talent, but also her work in musician’s rights, advocating for legislative change to benefit the work of independent artists.  She was selected be a 2011-2012 fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society where she works to ". . . connect the worlds of policy, art, and technology while considering questions about how to make a creative life a viable vocation.”

Fiona Apple – singer-songwriter, pianist.

“I don't want to give any advice to a 19-year-old, because I want a 19-year-old to make mistakes and learn from them. Make mistakes, make mistakes, make mistakes. Just make sure they're your mistakes.”

Fiona Apple only goes into the studio to create an album when she feels inspired.  Her song lyrics have sustained me through many menacing moments and I admire her bravery as survivor of child sexual abuse.  I am  eagerly anticipating her next album, The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do (The Idler Wheel), due to be released in June.

Eve Ensler - playwright, performer and activist

“It seems to me that we spend an inordinate amount of time and attention on fixing ourselves when we could really be directing that out to serving others.”

Best known as the author of the The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler is the power behind V-Day, a movement advocating the end of violence towards women and girls.  I have not seen the Vagina Monologues and although I keep up with news surrounding V-Day, I am not an active participant. Ensler made this list because of how deeply moved I was by her 2010 TED Talk:  

Remember: Help me complete the list of Women who Inspire Courage and Creativity.  In the comments, add five who inspire you!

For more inspiring writing, check out the blogs at Monday Listicles

photo credit: bitzi ☂ ion-bogdan dumitrescu via photopin cc


  1. Great direction to take the topic! Love it...and meeting a few women I hadn't known the names of (I'm terrible with names anyway)

  2. Wow, Kimberly! I am impressed as your list seems to hit a variety of disciplines.
    Perhaps Maya Angelou would be a worthy addition? Her ability to write and speak to a generation without the constraints of her race, ethnicity or gender is simply motivating.

    1. I agree that Maya Angelou is a great addition to the list! And you articulated the argument so well. Thank you for taking the time to come by and share your thoughts.

      “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

  3. Hmm. What great mentions. There are so many women who are following their passions and making a difference. Most inspiring.

    1. I am glad you feel inspired. I think that we, as bloggers, follow our passions, and in doing so make a difference in ways we are not aware of. ;)

  4. Love seeing Martha Graham on your list. Let's see: Audrey Hepburn, Dorothea Lange, Monika Seles, Aung San Suu Kyi and Queen Rania.
    Great list and thank you for letting us join in. xo

    1. Great additions to the list. I mean, really great.

      “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” Aung San Suu Kyi

      Thanks for hosting the link-up, Stasha. It is always great to see you.

  5. Oh my gosh, I love this list! There are so many great women who inspire. 5 for me would be Rosa Parks, Kelly Cutrone, Lisa Shannon, Isabel Allende and Etta James. Awesome idea and post!

    1. Thanks, Anna. Love your additions to the list and appreciate you taking the time to share them. I had to look up Kelly Cutrone. Publicist? Right?

      "I sing the songs that people need to hear" ~Etta James

  6. Great take on the prompt. Five more, hmm, Mother Theresa, Julia Childs, Anias Nin, Dorothy Dandridge and Ursula Le Guin, Tina Turner as an alternate.


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