Book Review: Voices Of Powerful Women by Zoe Sallis

Voices of Powerful Women is a very unique book. A range of questions are asked to powerful women, some of them you will know, others you might not. For me, there were quite a few I didn’t know but I still got a lot out of their responses. Featuring politicians, environmentalists, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, actors, world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize winners there is a real variety.

When I requested this on Netgalley, I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t really want to know too much. Reading the opinions of successful women? Of course, I would want to read it. While it took me a little to get into the format when I did I flew through it, although I did take some breaks to look up the women in more detail.

I will say there are some voices in the book that didn’t seem to add much, Yoko Ono being one of them. I felt her answers didn’t really add anything to a wider conversation, it was usually only a sentence or two. Whereas other women seemed to give really thoughtful and insightful.

This would make a great resource for anyone who is doing a little bit of soul searching. I know it made me really question the world around me as well as the answers I would have given to these questions if they were asked to me.

To give you an idea of the kinds of opinions and the women you will read from when reading this book, the following women contributed; Isabel Allende, Christiane Amanpour, Maya Angelou, Hanan Ashrawi, Joan Baez, Benazir Bhutto, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, Emma Bonino, Shami Chakrabarti, Jung Chang, Kate Clinton, Marie Colvin, Marion Cotillard, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Carla Del Ponte, Judi Dench, Shirin Ebadi, Tracey Emin, Jane Fonda, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dagmar Havlová, Swanee Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Nataša Kandić, Kathy Kelly, Martha Lane Fox, Dame Ann Leslie, Professor Wangari Maathai, Mairead Maguire, Mary McAleese, Soledad O’Brien, Sinéad O’Connor, Yoko Ono, Mariane Pearl, Kim Phuc, Paloma Picasso, Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, Paula Rego, Louise Ridley, Mary Robinson, Jody Williams.

Overall, I gave this 4 stars. This was a really intriguing read and when I finished I felt empowered by the words I had read as well as the women whose voices I was reading. A really excellent collection would recommend.

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for my copy in exchange for a fair an honest review.

Feminist Friday: Star Wars Special

 

 

I’ve just gotten back from watching the latest part of the Star Wars series, Rogue One. Before going in I debated whether or not to do a Star Wars special post on Feminist Friday, because of course I know that there are some issues with Star Wars from a feminist standpoint (that gold bikini was a huge mistake, so was Padme’s ‘oops my shirt got ripped’ outfit) BUT I firmly believe that despite some smaller things Star Wars gave a huge boost to woman and girls everywhere. Star Wars provided kick-ass female role models.

In the pictures above, if you don’t know, are of Princess Leia from the original trilogy, Jyn from Rogue One, Rey from The Force Awakens and Padme from the prequels. In each film there has been a strong female in central focus. Firstly Princess Leia, while she is dressed in white and helped (not saved) by Luke and Han initially she doesn’t act with feminine worship and gratitude. Leia knows what she needs to do and she’s going to do it, with or without a scruffy nerf-herder, a Wookie and a Jedi in training. In the next set of films that were released (in the wrong order, we’ll let that go for now) Padme aka Queen Amidala, a strong leader in her own right and respected in the senate. Moving on to last years stunning release, Rey is the centre of the latest trilogy, while we don’t know much about her she’s strong, fast and highly intelligent. Lastly, tonight I watched the character of Jyn, a leader and a fighter. These characters are incredible, intelligent and strong women.

Whenever I watch these films, I just feel an immense sense of pride that women are being represented this way on screen. As leaders, as fighters, not simply being saved. This is what we need more of in the film industry. Women can still have relationships, fall in love but that doesn’t make them unable to fight in a rebellion, to have ideas and stand up for themselves. I get a heart full of joy when I go to conventions and events and see little kids dressed as Leia or Rey, because they’re dressing up as powerful role models, people who they can look up to.

There’s already so many reasons I love Star Wars and these kick-ass ladies just make me love it more.