The full title of this post would have read, ‘Amazing Women I know, know of, and do not know,’ but that would be a mouthful in the permalink!
I have been thinking about the amazing women of the past over this last week as we marked 100 years since some women were granted the right to vote. The week began with ugly crying as I wondered if I would have been as strong as the Suffragettes who fought so hard for my rights and gave so very much.
Watching the film Suffragette brought that crucial moment in which Emily Wilding Davison ran out in front of the King’s horse to life for me. Though the film was far from perfect, seeing this event played out with all the tension and emotion that only a movie can create, was heartbreaking. Having always known that a woman died for my right to vote, having learned her name in history lessons, having seen the grainy newsreel, it took the language of Hollywood to truly illustrate this sacrifice to me.
I like to think that I would have been prepared to throw a brick through a window (I fancy myself as a ‘brick in the handbag’ type) but would I have been strong enough to endure the brutality of the authorities and of prison? I’ll never know. I won’t have to, thanks to these amazing women.
100 years on and it’s a chance for women everywhere to review how far we have come and how far we have yet to go in the fight for true gender equality. As an optimistic type, I feel that movements such as the Everyday Sexism project, the gender pay gap review, #metoo, and #timesup are at the forefront of progress. The calling out of bullshit where we encounter it is going to lead to change.
Whenever a women stands up to call bullshit, I will have her back. We are conditioned to competition but it is only by supporting each other and standing together that we will move forward.
In the spirit of this sentiment, here are a few amazing women that I know, all are receiving fantasy cake today:
My bestie, Kate Baxter, started writing her blog The Fabric of my Life on the quiet. Working quietly to see if she could make a go of writing with the discipline and structure to furnish her online world, Kate built up a following and is now an award winning interiors blogger. I am beyond proud of what she has built out of thin web-air.
Sarah Dunn of Sarah’s DooWop Do’s started sewing turbans for herself, being one of those magic folk who can conjure up an outfit out of fabric and thread. These turbans are now selling all over the world on her Etsy shop. Her designs are worn by the most stylish women (cough, like moi) and she now handles the copycats with class and style.
My mother, Ellie Gamble, instilled in me a work ethic through example. Mum worked and, yes, I grew up just fine! Her example was as a woman who progressed in her career by working hard – not having the opportunity to go to university as a teenager, Mum went to uni in her 50s, as soon as she had put me through my own degree course. I was encouraged to dream by example, Mum’s amateur dramatic performances and love of Shakespeare giving me the gift of this shared lifelong love. My love of history, my love of art, and my love of life, all come from her. There is so much I could say but I am ridiculously proud of this incredible woman.
This post could run to an essay. I am surrounded by amazing women who inspire me to be the best that I can be, in my kitchen, in my writing, in my life, and I try to thank them as much as I can. I truly believe that there is power in a thank you just as there is power in a compliment; you know how great it feels when someone takes the time to pay you a compliment? When someone says thank you, that feeling is multiplied by 10.
Oh, and before you start thinking that by baking cakes for amazing women this somehow means that there will be no cake for men, or that I hate men and do not want to bake for them… there is plenty of cake for everybody. Regardless of gender, if you are a decent sort, there will be cake for you. Equality means holding the door for everyone and having everyone hold the door for you.