Top 5: Inspirational Women

5. J.K. Rowling

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

Why should she inspire you? J.K. Rowling went from receiving government assistance to eat and feed her family to a net worth of over a billion dollars, all by doing what she loved. She created one of the most famous franchises in the world that inspired children, teenagers, and adults to do what their teachers had spent years trying to get them to do: read.

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4.Billie Jean King

“I wanted to use sports for social change. ”

Why should she inspire you? Until 1973, women that played tennis were viewed as less talented, athletic, and hardworking than men who played tennis. When media and tennis fans paid the female players attention, it was usually to talk about their outfits or their physical appearance. Bobby Riggs, a notoriously sexist male tennis player, made the assertion that women were simply not as good as men. He challenged Billie Jean King, the female #1, to a “Battle of the Sexes,” a highly publicized tennis match to prove that women were inferior to men. Billie Jean King won, and became a feminist icon for kick starting a wave of respect for female athletes.

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3. Frida Kahlo

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.”

Why should she inspire you? Following her injury in a bus accident and a history of polio in her childhood, Kahlo spent the majority of her life physically injured. However, it was her recovery from the bus accident (in which she was impaled through the hip by a metal bar, causing fractures in her spine) that sparked her love for painting, notably self portraits. Her disability, mixed race, and strong political involvement are often forgotten when her story is told–people are usually more focused on her tumultuous marriage to Diego Rivera, and of course, her eyebrows.

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2. Shirley Chisholm

“Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Why should she inspire you? She was the first African American to be elected to Congress (1968) and she was the first black woman in a major party to run for President of the United States.

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1.Malala Yousafzai

“I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.”

Why should she inspire you? In 2009, when she was 12, Malala started a blog that advocated for education for girls and those in poverty under a pseudonym to protect her identity. In 2011, she was recognized for her fight for education, and in 2012, she was shot by members of the Taliban. She was sent to the UK to recover from her injuries, and remained there, and has continued the fight for education worldwide. Most people’s reaction to being shot in the head isn’t to continue doing what got them shot in the head. Malala is a boss. No questions asked.

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