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Nerd Talk: Celebrating women both real and fictional

Posted on March 10, 2016 by Maple Creek

International Woman’s Day is a day to celebrate the women in the world and how they have helped to shape and mold the world into what we have today.
There have been many women in the world’s history who are worthy of our thanks and admiration; Rosa Parks, Madame Curie, Simone de Beauvoir and so many others.
Without these “founding mothers” and female rights today our world would be much different and your mothers, sister and daughters would not have the right to vote, be a doctor or a scientist. She would not be able to follow her dreams, whatever they may be, and do what she wants without being restricted by what is traditional.
That being said there is nothing wrong with traditional female roles, as long as they are not used to demean or restrict a person.
My mother was a stay-at-home mom and just because she did my laundry and made supper for our family does not make her any less of an empowered and wonderful person. She chose to stay at home with her family, it was not demanded of her.
For International Women’s Day, which was on March 8, I think this is a very good time to look at the women who are inspirational to me, both real and (mostly) fictional.
I’ve already spoken about my mom, but what girl doesn’t look up to her mother. As a self-professed nerd I adore superheroes and one of the first superheros in my life was my mother. Growing up it was like she was infallible. She could do anything.
Sometimes it is remarkable how, looking back on your life, some of the biggest inspirations in your life are the ones you do not notice until you are older.
A character who had a huge impact on my life was, no surprise here, Hermione Granger from the “Harry Potter” series. This character taught me it was alright to be smart and to read a lot. Hermione Granger taught me there is more to a person than meets the eye as well.
She taught me that just because you are smart or clever does not mean you can’t also be brave and loyal.
But, what Hermione really taught me, above all else, is to stand up for what you believe in, even in the face of adversity. Hermione believed strongly that all people, and creatures, should be treated equally and no one is above someone else based on aspects of birth.
She was brave and strong all the while not afraid of her emotions or those dastardly “traditional female” roles like, for example, knitting.
Hermione is great but, the next character really makes me proud to be a woman.
Keldary “Kel” of Mindelan from the “Protectors of the Small” quartet by Tamora Pierce is a wonderful, strong, empowered, and brave woman.
Tamora Pierce has a habit of writing wonderful and captivating female lead novels for young adults. The third series in an interconnected world introduces the reader to Kel, and right away the reader, in this case me, was hooked.
Kel had a way about her that was both strong and feminine. Even though she was training to be a knight of the realm she refused to be seen as a boy or as anything less than what she was.
Kel was brave and intelligent, she spoke her mind and didn’t cower behind the stereotypical strong male protagonist.
By wearing a dress to every evening meal she ensured all the boys she trained with knew that she was a girl, a woman, and was not weaker than them because of her gender.
Really, all of Tamora Pierce’s characters are a masterful view of how women can be multi-faceted and a master of their world. Kel, however, captured my attention as the perfect mix of strength and femininity.
Marvel Comics’ Carol Danvers a.k.a Miss Marvel a.k.a Captain Marvel is a female role model I strongly believe all young girls should adopt.
Carol Danvers is an accomplished military pilot, an agent of SWORD and a superhero. Carol can fly and has superhuman strength, she could easily go toe-to-toe with any other superhero in the Marvel universe. She may not always win but she would put up one heck of a fight.
I think that is one aspect of the character that draws me to her; her perseverance. Her physical strength is awe inspiring but her strength of character is what is truly amazing.
She does not give up and does not let others put her, or anyone else, down just because of something so small as their gender.
Carol Danvers faces emotion upheaval and heartbreak throughout her run as a superhero. All the while she does not falter and continues on for what is right, trying to make it a better day.
These are my heroes. There are of course more, but these people, though the majority are fictional, are real to me and have each taught me to be better and more without limiting myself as a woman.
Take it from this nerd, being a woman is awesome.

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