so, as well as a new post on the website honouring different women/people every single night (pray for me), i’m also going to be sprinkling my instagram stories with those that i know and love, and that you all deserve to be aware of too. all t no shade, 99% of ‘girl gangs’ that are supposed to empower women are actually just cliques that promote and support the few that are cool/hot/insta famous/successful enough to make it into the inner circle. don’t get me wrong, i know these women are deserving and their contributions valuable, and i know everyone can’t be involved in everything - but if we have platforms to promote an infinite number of women, then why do we see the same ones every time?
i do often worry that giving ‘shout outs’ to other women comes across as patronising and/or condescending, but really i am just a firm believer in passing the mic, and i do want to share the platform that i bizarrely have - so please do continue to check back, and have a look at my stories, and why not do the same for people that you admire?!
today is saturday march 3rd, and here are the first of many badass women you deserve to know about.
being a working mum in the 1960s made margaret (heafield) hamilton unusual. being a computer programmer for the apollo space programme made her revolutionary and, let’s be real, a total fuckin badass. president kennedy launched the programme in 1961, and in the MIT lab from which margaret worked, she and her team were responsible for writing code for what would be the world’s first portable computer. at the outset of the programme, ‘software’ wasn’t even a concept that existed - but by 1965, margaret was in charge of programming apollo’s onboard flight computers. what, at the time, seemed to be the key to landing on the moon - margaret’s software innovations would, in fact, be the beginning of an industry that changed the world. margaret hamilton, and her pioneering software engineering, not only put man on the moon - but has influenced almost every advancement in science and technology since. in 2016, president obama awarded her the presidential medal of freedom - the highest civilian award of the usa, because, well, duh. a real-life world-changer and an all-round boss.
when civil war started in somalia in 1991, ilhan & her family fled to kenya, where they lived in a refugee camp for four years. she was 12 when they arrived in the usa. as somalia is a majority black muslim country - as was the refugee camp - faith & race were never topics of conversation for the young ilhan - and she has described the hard reality of waking up to the realisation of ‘otherness’ within the us. she says: ‘i had to figure out what it meant to be a bridge builder - what it meant to forge relationships that really never existed becomes the backstory to how i ended up where i am’. after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies, she began working as an outreach educator with the university of minnesota. after work with the minnesota department of education, and minneapolis city council as senior policy aide, in 2016 she presented herself as legislative candidate for the democratic farmer labor party and won the primary to become the nominee for the minnesota house of representatives election. in november 2016, ilhan won the election - making her the first somali-american legislator in the united states. she was featured in time magazine’s project on 46 women who are changing the world by breaking down barriers within their respective fields. finding herself at the crosshairs of so many intersecting potential ‘obstacles’ - not just womanhood, but race, and religion - it takes fearlessness and inspiring dedication to pursue the desire to make positive change.
aaaand to round it off, here's what's playing in GRLCLB HQ (my bedroom...) right now:
'drew barrymore' by sza
you can hear that, and a whole 9hrs of girl power music, on my spotify playlist
enjoy freaks, see u tomorrow xxxxxxx