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Post Info TOPIC: Would you like to help mooky by talking about a woman who's your inspiration?

Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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Would you like to help mooky by talking about a woman who's your inspiration?

Hello there,

Would you like to help an old mook out by sharing your thoughts on this big little question:


Your answers below will be featured in an upcoming piece for International Women's Day in March 2016 which will be people talking about women they're inspired by. Thank you so much! For safety and privacy we won't feature faces or any personal info other than a first name (and you are totally welcome to use a pseudonym too if you prefer, but if you would like your Twitter @handle to be included we can do that).

For me, a majorly inspiring woman is Hildegard of Bingen. She was a medieval abbess who composed music, was an influential leader in medical thought, applied feminism to Christianity through her focus on Sophia (Wisdom) in the Bible, and successfully fought for independence for herself and her nuns. One reason why I love her is because normally it was men who benefitted from positions of privilege to have the time and energy to explore the boundaries of thought and science. She was totally unstoppable and we still talk about her and her science and strength today. Love, love her.

Of the wonderful women doing great work today, I love the spirit and tireless energy of Harnaam Kaur. She has polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause additional hair growth, and as a Sikh she has not cut her hair since she was 16. As an active campaigner she has done so much to inspire people to feel trust in themselves and acceptance of others. She comes across as unbelievably generous and has the most incredible levels of love for herself. I met her at an exhibition and totally fangirled.


Hello from Mookychick's founder. @mookychick. Mookbook. Stuff. Writes things.

Mookish Deity Most High

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Posts: 1662

As a woman medical student, I'm fascinated by the women who have gone before me in medicine, science and healthcare. Despite the fact that more women graduate medical school than men and it's been like that for several years (my cohort is actually the first slightly-male-dominated at my school for well over a decade) medicine, and even more so surgery, often feels like a boys' club. Men in medicine progress more swiftly and further in their careers than women, are often paid more (the gender pay gapin the NHS is astonishing, and even worse in the US), and can often be viewed as dirty part timers (see the lastest awful Dominic Lawson article which blames women doctors for the current crises befalling the NHS). For these reasons, to be a woman who practices medicine you have to wear your gender as a badge of honour, and own it (you've all heard me rattle on about politicised skirt wearing, so I'll leave that for now!).

The epitome of this? Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first woman doctor to qualify as a doctor in the UK. Staunch feminist and emminent badass, Elizabeth applied to study medicine at my medical school (having been rejected from perhaps half a dozen others) after working as a surgical nurse for several years, and was only accepted because the college had no rules banning women explicitly from entry (this was reviewed immediately after her admission, barring other women following in her footsteps). She went on to get the highest exam scores in her year, found the first hospital staffed by women, was the only female doctor under the BMA for 19 YEARS, and set up a medical school to train women doctors. She was fucking awesome.


too weak to labor on the farm

too indolent to do any exercise

too stupid for the bar


too immoral for the pulpit

Booky Mooky (mod)

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I have lots of feelings about amazing women in history, especially the literary ones since that's my cup of tea.

One of my all time heroines was George Eliot. She's pretty recognisable to most people as the writer of Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss or an author they had to study at school, but she was also a total badass for her time. She was born Marian Evans into a rural family in 1819 and was allowed an education by her father because she wasn't considered pretty enough to marry off, and worked really hard to educate herself by reading voraciously and kept house for her father while making friends with the Radical Literary community in Coventry. Anyway, when her father died she went on holiday to Europe with some friends, moved to London, and took up a post as one of the first female newspaper editors ever for a national left-wing arts journal. When she was 31 she met a fellow prominent writer and critic, G.H.Lewes and they quite radically decided to openly live together as an unmarried couple until his death, and at the age of 37 she made a career change from journalism to novel writing. She wrote and lived her life unafraid to get what she wanted and did remarkably well for it. Especially at a time when most middle class women were supposed to be decorative and she wasn't considered pretty, she gave no shits and had a wonderfully fulfilling literary career and romantic life. One of my favourite accounts of her was when the American novelist and critic Henry James met her and proclaimed, "Yes, behold me in love with this great horse-faced bluestocking."

I'm always impressed by Malala Yousafzai. I think she's been remarkably brave in the first place to campaign so hard for access to a school education and parity in education for herself, her female peers, and her mother in spite of threats to her life; and I think given that she narrowly escaped death doing so she's remarkably brave to continue to campaign for girls' education and use her platform to confront international leaders on the subject of international conflict and human rights (all while doing normal young woman stuff like sitting her exams and playing with her brothers). She's fantastic and I really hope she's able to continue her activism safely and be taken seriously on a global scale.

[Insert clichéd signature here]

-Proud (and fertile!) Mooky Grandfather-

Seasoned Mookster

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After much thought.... a key woman who inspires me is Tamara Pierce. In addition to kick-ass female protagonists who actually menstruate and occasionally have to think about things like birth control, the fact that Tamara Pierce is still so cool and confident and independent even though she's "old" has really been inspiring. Before I saw Tamara speak in 2013 at the National Book Festival in DC, I had no older female role-models, fictional or real. She's shown me that women can get old and still be themselves and kick ass.


Mookish Deity Most High

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Posts: 1627

I'm really inspired by Thérèse Casgrain, a feminist, activist and politician born in Montreal in 1896.
Her most important achievement was to lead the women's suffrage movement in Quebec, prior to World War II. She campaigned for women's right to vote in Quebec elections, a right that was not won until 1940. It's disturbing because this right was granted in Canada in 1918 and in most Canadian provinces between 1916 and 1925. For a long time, Quebec was a very religious and very traditional province. Thank God there were women like Thérèse Casgrain to make some changes!

I also have to mention that in the 1942 federal election, she stood as an "Independent Liberal" candidate and became the first woman to be elected as the leader of a political party in Canada. She had a long politic career and fought against social, economic and political injustices affecting both women and men. She also became a campaigner against nuclear weapons in the 60's. She's definitely an inspiration for many women in Quebec.

In 1982 the government of Pierre Trudeau created an award inspired by her: the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award. It rewarded Canadian activists whose social commitment and persistent efforts have contributed to the well-being of others. Sadly, our last government (who was in my opinion the worst government in Canada history) removed the award in 2010. Hopefully it may come back since our new prime minister is the son of Pierre Trudeau.


''Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it.'' George Carlin

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