To the Women Who Came Before Me


Most of us have a sense of what a “powerful” woman is, whether it is through books, movies or in your own life. I just want to take a moment to recognize these women and what they have done for me, as well as, my fellow sisters around the world.

Firstly, I want to take a moment to think about the women who we encounter in some of favorite, or at least well-known, literature or media. We have Katniss Everdeen, from the Hunger Games Trilogy, who is a fiery teenage girl from District 12 in the country known as Panem. She uses her knowledge of survival to outlast all other competitors in the brutal Hunger Games. Just based on pure strength alone, she is able to shoot an arrow into the eye of a squirrel–which if you think about it, is a pretty small target–as well as making traps to capture food and her competitors.

So, yes we have her as a strong character physically, but there is another aspect to Katniss that I think we can look at. She is strong emotionally. Some say that she does not know how to access her emotions and that she is just playing the role of what the Capitol people want her to be. This can be seen to be incredibly true, however I think that there is something more to say about her emotional side. She knows that she has to play the Games in more than just being physically strong, she has to play to the Capitol people’s emotions, even if it does take her a while to realize this fact. Also, just imagine through all the terror and psychological warfare that goes on for Katniss Everdeen, that she still holds out to try and make the world a better place. Yes, there is the whole “love triangle” thing that goes on between her, Peeta and Gale, but as we find in our society more and more, this fascination with a “love triangle” is hard to get past.

There are so many characters like Katniss that we could look at, such as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series or Jo March from “Little Women.” This would take a lot more time, and I would like to focus on some women in real-life now.

Let’s talk a little bit about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was one of the first leaders for the women’s rights movement in the U.S. Stanton not only held the Seneca Fall Convention, the first convention for women’s rights in the U.S. to talk about the abolition of slavery, but she also was a well-known suffragette, or someone who was wanting the equality of women to vote. Along these lines Stanton was concerned with women’s rights in the involvement of property, employment, family and birth control. This woman, among so many others, was determined to make a change happen, and she was successful. These efforts took a lot of support and many of these issues are lessened but are still occurring in today’s times. Women are still fighting the fight of equality or justice in today’s world. Some of today’s fighters are Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, Octavia Butler and so many others.

We can take a look at the celebrities that are also strong influences for women everywhere. Such as Serena Williams who is a sports idol for myself, even though I did not play tennis at any point, at least not competitively. She has broken the ceiling for so many women, for not just being a phenomenal athlete, but also as a business woman and icon for many people. I may not always watch tennis, but when I do, I always look for Serena to be playing. There are many women, who are artists, actors, athletes and the like that women can and should look up to. They are a big feature in paving the way for women of the future. We can look at Beyonce, Viola Davis, Adele, J.K. Rowling just to name a few of the women who have been very public on their views of women and how they would love to see the world be changed for future generations.

Finally, I want to look at one woman who has changed my life, my mom. She has always been there for me; taking care of me, making sure that I was okay, making me laugh, singing songs at the top of our lungs or tangoing in the kitchen. She has shown me to have an open mind about people that I might not understand right away. She has shown me to care for my friends and family. She has shown me that sometimes we do not understand everything that is happening in our lives, but we just need to keep our heads up, power through and make this life the best we can.

These women are idols for me, and are for many people. Some are more recognizable than the other, but that does not mean they are any less important. These women who have come before me, have made sure that I am where I am today. They have paved a path so that I can vote, speak my mind, love who I want and so many unalienable rights that I can now celebrate.

Thanks to these women and I hope that I am growing up with so many women that will be the next women to change the world, maybe even be one myself.


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