So last night I went to my (10th grade) daughter's back to school night. Her very passionate English teacher had the walls plastered with black/white photocopied pictures of well known figures. They spanned history and included artists, writers, politicians, activists, etc. It was a very cool display, with the big caveat being that 85% of the pictures were of men, and as we all know, 52% (or thereabouts) of the population are women.And in response to a friend's comment, she says:
On my way out, I asked him what the pictures were for. He said they were for inspiration--pictures of inspiring or influential people who had influenced the thinking of himself and of his students over the years. I said--it's great, but you know, there are a lot more men up there than women. He kind of winced and said-- "I know. I'm kind of pained about it." Feeling somewhat dissatisfied with that answer, I said, "Well, knowing's the first step..." and left it at that, running to the other side of the high school to get to my "next class."
Apparently, today at school he asked my daughter to relay a message to me--Tell your mom to send me names of inspiring influential women. :) I have some, of course, but I'd like to send him a BIG list.
So now I ask you all to help--please send me the names of women who have inspired or influenced your thinking- I think they need to be of the somewhat famous or public figure variety.....thanks!
The pictures are added as students (and he) come up with ideas so the problem is that people often don't think of the women! Not that he is being lazy. He was asking for my own ideas about it. I am simply broadening to the next. Also, to note--Anne Frank, Rosa Parks and Oprah Winfrey were represented. Not sure about the others......When I told my sister that my daughter doesn't like it when I get involved with her teachers, and that when my daughter heard this story, she said sarcastically, "Oh, I'll bet my cousin loved that," my sister wrote me that,
Yes, she hates it too, but I couldn't let it pass by. It was too blatant. She actually took it relatively in stride.Parents, sometimes you have to take action. (Sorry, kids! I think my daughter learned from this story that this is a family trait.) And I'll bet that this teacher will a) learn from this experience and b) really appreciate the list--and isn't teaching really about learning as well?
So--help us out.
Share your ideas for women who should be up on this illustrious wall in the comments. I'll share them with my sister, and she in turn will share the Big List she is compiling, and I'll post it.
To get you started, I'll put up these ideas: Billie Jean King, Susan B. Anthony, Aung Suu Kyi, Louisa May Alcott, Abigail Adams, Willa Cather, Mary Shelby, Marie Curie...