Ever wondered what makes a inspiring woman? Are power and inspiration always linked? Jean Menzies delves deeper into this in her video.
Focusing on the book Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls, which features inspiring women though history, Jean discusses the role that some of the featured women play in the book. While she explains there are many women who she feels deserve to be included, it also features some individuals seemingly just for their powerful status.
“The women I came across really bothered me,” she says. “[They] made me question the general outlook of the book.”
Jean’s video is articulate and provokes thought about who we label as ‘inspirational’, especially when we are sending out a message to younger people. It has also prompted responses such as What Makes Someone Inspirational? from Cinzia DuBois, showing that this is clearly an important discussion that needs to continue.
Questioning if being powerful is enough to warrant being seen as an inspiring woman, Jean uses the example of Margaret Thatcher. Although she was the first female Prime Minister in the UK, thus making her powerful, certain actions she carried out created what Jean believes was a negative impact, the effects of which we are feeling today.
She argues that, while this shows her power, they don’t show the actions of a inspiring role model. “I do not oppose to teaching children about historical figures,” she clarifies, nevertheless concluding that “Margaret Thatcher is in this book because she powerful – is this really the message to spread?”
Pointing out that power doesn’t necessarily come alongside inspiration, Jean says that “a lot of women that I find inspiring in history are groups of women, movements by women and individuals who do not have a lot of power. They are ordinary women who I can identify with.” We can certainly think of a fair few inspiring women who fit this criteria.
She closes out the video talking about the word ‘inspiration’ and where you can look for it, for example there are many inspiring men out there along with inspiring female feminists – a topic which is being talked about more and more on YouTube.
What makes an inspiring woman? will take you on a journey, so make yourself a warm cup of tea and get ready to type in that comment box. We have a feeling regardless of your views on the book or the topic, you will have something to say – we know we did!