Aung San Suu Kyi is probably my favourite of all my nominated awesome females. Daughter to an assassinated general father who negotiated Burma’s independence from the British Empire and Burmese Ambassador mother to India and Nepal, Suu Kyi spent her childhood in Burma, graduated in Politics in India to then go onto study at Oxford and work within the United Nations. She married and mothered two sons, until she returned to Burma after 28 years to attend to her ailing mother, but later lead the pro-democracy movement.
Her call for a democratic government, amidst uprisings violently suppressed by military rule, resulted in her being placed under house arrest; the first time for six years, the second time for 19 months, then the third she was not to be released until after fifteen years.
She was offered her freedom if she left the country but refused. Her husband came to visit her five times in total since she had returned to Burma, but when he was sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer was no longer granted visa. The military junta freed Suu Kyi from house arrest and urged her to visit her husband around this time; she again refused and did not trust their promise that they would allow her back into the country. Her husband died whilst she was still under house arrest.
She was eventually released in 2010, where one of her sons was granted visa to see her for the first time in ten years. Since she was released, she’s continued to fight a peaceful resistance to military rule and corruption of Burma, now Myanmar and encouraged steps closer in building a democratic government.
This year she intends to run for presidency, a position which currently bars her because she is widow and mother to foreign relatives, another new struggle. Yet she continues to inspire me and many others, I refuse to believe her struggles have been in vain.
Look how far Myanmar has come, there is still far to go but Suu Kyi has it within her sights. Peace she says is unattainable, but it’s never been closer.
Patricia Arquette at the 87th Oscar Academy Awards: “To every woman who gave birth, to every tax payer and citizen of this nation: We have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America! “
Because it is about time, because it’s not just America, but England, France and the rest of the world too. Because there is a gap, between pay, between choice, between stereotypes and prejudices – what a man and what a woman should do, and how they should live, how they should bring up their family. Because the denial this attracts needs to be broken. Because this video needs more than 100,000 views and because Patricia Arquette is fucking awesome.
Fresh from finishing her delightful and easily digestible book ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ (hey, I just tried to mimic Lena’s talking, writing style, and failed, let me off) she’s couldn’t not be on the awesome female list. She’s the kind of girl I’ve always wanted as a single girlfriend, even now as a in-a-relationship girlfriend, giving me a pang of jealousy when reading about her fun, don’t care, out-there friendships in her book which I had/still so badly craved as a 20-something-year-old in London. Her book by the way, which if you haven’t read you should, had me smirking and then covering up suppressed giggles on the train to work. Now I need to see Girls. Really bad.
Why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh didn’t I get tickets??????????
Karen O has always been awesome, since she exploded out of New York and was spat all over the world with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs she’s just done her own thing and not given a shit. We’ve not had a true punk-rock mental goddess arguably since Patti Smith (who also makes my awesome female lists) and is probably the world’s most famous and most-liked front-woman to an alternative band to date (very hard mould to break, a very high glass ceiling to smash.) Now a married lady, she may have calmed down somewhat, particularly in the song she wrote for Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ titled the Moon song. She’s got a solo album out which sounds like it might be all in the style of Ms laid-back O, but that doesn’t mean it sucks – I need to buy it. I love Karen for her wildness and the fact her gender doesn’t even come into it for her and why should it? She is the kind of girl I want as a friend and to do whiskey shots with.