I've noticed a trend recently, maybe it's just because I've started to pay attention, where books emerge that share a common theme about highlighting women and non-binary folks who participated and contributed and created amazing things but that had not had their accomplishments highlighted. It is no argument that women have not been given equal opportunity or recognition throughout history and even now, in 2019, when this is finally becoming something that is discussed, it is still an idea met with resistance and skepticism.
Enter the books that compile excellent women, who are each deserving an entire series on CNN, a biography, and a podcast season's worth of attention and then some. Part of me is thrilled to have these resources so I can show them to my kids, so they can see what women have always been able to do and how powerful and worthy and important our contributions are. I also am delighted to learn about these stories that I had no idea even existed.
To wax philosophical and ramble a bit here, every time I watch a trailer for a movie like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, even the female version of Ghostbuster, I get a little weepy and wonder what it would have done for my internal voice to have had those examples of funny, strong, competent women in the background of my youth. I seriously have to fight back tears during some of the opening scenes of Wonder Woman where all the women are fighting each other because that demonstration of strength and possibility is something I know would have made me feel empowered to see at an earlier age. Instead, I looked to the kids of the Recess cartoon, Harriet the Spy, Alex Mac (pretty obscure reference there, but she could turn into goo and slide under doors and solve problems), and my favorite Disney Princess, Meg from Hercules, who is a fierce and empowered lady.
I'm thrilled that as a group, women have been able to grab some of the attention, recognition, and deserved praise that should have been present long ago. There is still an endless path ahead in this area, but anyway, I think maybe checking out some of these books from the library, or adding them to your personal collection, and then talking about the women who DID SO MANY THINGS is a really helpful way to advance and smooth out the playing field.
Here are a few collections to check out:
The League of Extraordinarily Funny Women: 50 Trailblazers of Comedy, by Sheila Moeschen
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science - and the World, by Rachel Swaby
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu
Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Ladies Who Changed the World, by Mackenzi Lee
Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World, by Ann Shen
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, by Rachel Ignotofsky
Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win, by Rachel Ignotofsky
Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels, by Linda Skeers
Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space, by Libby Jackson
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History...and Our Future!, by Kate Schatz
Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, by Vashti Harrison
Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World, by Katherine Halligan
Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History, by Blair Imani
Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts, by Leah Tinari
I hope you check some of these out!! Let me know if you have any recs for me too. Happy reading, friends.
*As usual, these are all affiliate links.
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