Feminist icons/role models

(27 Posts)
HeggartyTotterington Fri 11-Oct-13 00:54:27

Discussions about feminism/womens rights around people i know tend to be derailed in to 'so yeah sufragettes but what since then'. Now I can discuss the pay gap and rape convictions til the cows come home. But my only feminist icons to point to are women such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee or Engy Ghozlan and they don't really register. At least not without a lengthy discussion that turns people off.

I work in international women's rights which may explain why my go to people are non-uk based. But I genuinely struggle to think of anyone I know in the UK who is a feminist 'icon' -terrible word-

Feminism is, of course, still so so relevant in Britain but I seem to spend half my time talking about Emmeline Pankhurst. It's not as though she isn't important know but the issues facing women 100 years ago aren't the same as now. Women's rights have made huge progress I that time and there just be someone I can point to to illustrate that.

I'm just not sure who?

Shingai Shoniwa? Annie Lennox? Kate Bush?

Yes they are all pop singers but very accessible/well known.

BOF Fri 11-Oct-13 00:58:58

Malala Yousafzai?

HeggartyTotterington Fri 11-Oct-13 01:05:29

Would you really say that Kate Bush and Annie Lennox were of a similar ilk to Malala Yousafazi? I get that the former are icons in their own right but the UK has an incredible tradition of feminism that it seems a shame the best we can do is singers

HeggartyTotterington Fri 11-Oct-13 01:06:11

That's the former as in AL and KB

No they are obviously not the same ill as Malala but when it comes to accessibility, column inches, promoting ideas etc they are very much in the public eye. The cult of celebrity and all that jazz...

There are many people worthy of being feminist 'icons' but they are the only extremely 'famous' people that I can think of that id equate feminist ideals with.

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 14:19:46

Sorry if I am confused by your question...but the UK can't have anyone the same ilk as Malala Yousafazi...because the struggle in the UK while important and necessary is nowhere on the same level as the one she is fighting.

Even the hideous twitter abuse and rape threats to british feminists and journalists are very likely just threats... abusive yes, but threats only.

The struggle of a 14 year old girl who fights for girl's rights under an oppressive regime while under a fatwa (sp?) is not comparable to British feminism (at least not currently).

Gloria Steinem is a feminist icon for Americans..but again shes old school so maybe "the struggle" was easier to define then.

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Oct-13 14:44:49

Shami Chakrabati?
Sarah Brown I think is a very interesting woman, who has taken the platform given to her by having a powerful husband and done an awful lot of good with it.
Betty Boothroyd
Helena Kennedy
The Queen (although I am torn over that one)

Keepithidden Fri 11-Oct-13 14:47:14

Caroline Lucas?

EarthMither Fri 11-Oct-13 20:46:03

YY to Caroline Lucas

Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer are up there for me, despite the attempts made to discredit them because of their questioning of transgender theory

Also Suzanne Moore and Joan Smith

scallopsrgreat Fri 11-Oct-13 21:02:43

In addition to others mentioned on the thread:

Kat Banyard
Nimko Ali
Liz Kelly
Julia Long
Finn McKay
Bidisha

Off the top of my head.

Yvette Cooper and Stella Creasey are pretty feminist politicians in addition to Caroline Lucas.

Some high profile campaigners:

Laura Bates (Everyday Sexism)
Lucy Holmes (No More Page3)
Rachel Moran/rebecca Mott (survivors of prostitution)

scallopsrgreat Fri 11-Oct-13 21:03:35

Caroline Criado-Perez (The Women's Room and Bank note campaign)

WidowWadman Fri 11-Oct-13 21:04:08

Millicent Fawcett

EarthMither Fri 11-Oct-13 21:07:28

Ooh yes lots of great names there scallops smile

TheSmallClanger Fri 11-Oct-13 21:49:48

Reminded by Wilson's mention of the Queen - I would love to know what Princess Anne thinks about feminism. She strikes me as someone who lives in a fairly feminist way, but might not directly identify as such.

Although Sally Ride is no longer with us, she was fairly contemporary.

ParvatiTheWitch Fri 11-Oct-13 21:53:53

Scallops, what did Caroline Criado have to do with "The Women's Room" and campaigning for it please?

scallopsrgreat Fri 11-Oct-13 22:20:15

She set it up.

scallopsrgreat Fri 11-Oct-13 22:39:42

Here you go Parvati:

Caraoline Criado-Perez

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Oct-13 23:16:02

Sandra Horley, who set up Refuge in London.

WidowWadman Sat 12-Oct-13 09:42:18

Not so much an icon, but a journo, who writes a lot of stuff on feminism I can identify with is Laurie Penny.

ParvatiTheWitch Sat 12-Oct-13 20:16:34

Thanks Scallops, I was thinking of the book, didn't know of the campaign.

hermioneweasley Sat 12-Oct-13 20:18:33

Duchess of Cambridge?






Joking! grin

Portofino Sat 12-Oct-13 20:18:47

Bidisha?

hermioneweasley Sat 12-Oct-13 20:19:47

JK Rowling? Supports a lot of women's interest charities, And has written eloquently on contemporary issues for women in the UK, particularly body image.

Yama Sat 12-Oct-13 20:30:18

An aside - today my dd came out with "oh, I thought JK Rowling was a man" (she was reading some magazine article).

We were then able to have a discussion about why she might have used initials. Dd is 7 by the way.

Suppose I should've had a conversation about why she assumed JK was a man.

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