Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Five Powerful Women in HIstory - #Countdown to Odd Wolf

Dara in Odd Wolf is an Alpha of a pack of wolves. She's a bitch in more way than one and is rather proud of that. Her strength, however, doesn't always come from just her muscles or the powers granted to her via the pack bonds--she's smart, brave and has a big heart, too. A big enough heart to keep interacting with a rogue wolf with a lost look in his mysterious eyes...

But that is a story for three days from now. For now, let's talk about powerful women in movies, shall we? These are not, by a long shot, THE most powerful women in history, just some of my personal favorites. (Note: These are my recollections of these women, so google them if you want more accuracy or are writing a book report as this is in no way a relevant document.)

Top Five Powerful Women in History
According to Virg

It isn't about luck.

5. Anne Sullivan (April 14, 1866 – October 20, 1936)

To escape the potato famine, Anne's parents came to America. She got an infection in her eyes, her mom died, and her dad abandoned her. All of this happened before she was ten years old. Then her brother dies and she is pretty much as down on your luck and alone as anyone can get. What does she do with her time? Oh, she goes to this place where they have this kid who can't see, hear or talk. With the deck stacked against her, she manages to give the child a voice, one that resounded throughout history and changed, if not the whole world, certainly her own. Pretty badass for a woman who was born to nothing and given no advantages whatsoever from the fates...

Ain't I a Woman?
4. Sojourner Truth (1797 – November 26, 1883)

Every single one of my kids listened to the Ain't I a Woman speech and it still brings me to tears to this day.  Sojourner was born into slavery but took her baby and escaped to freedom--walking because she didn't think it was right to run away from problems. She then took a white man to court to get custody of her son back and became the first black woman to win that kind of battle. She fought, throughout her life, using her voice to rise up against everything from gender inequality to capital punishment and only death managed to stop her. Even silenced by the great equalizer, her words have rung out across the ages to decry unfairness and insist on equality for all.

3. Christa McAuliffe (September 2, 1948 – January 28, 1986) 

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I remember my Weekly Reader's all telling me how a teacher was going to give lessons from outer space and how we could listen to Christa right in our classrooms--a big deal in the eighties. When the Challenger launched, we didn't have school. I remember that because I was home, sitting at the table and coloring when the news came that it exploded. I had nightmares for weeks if not longer about exploding in a shuttle, something that put a bit of a damper on my dreams of becoming an astronaut...but I still wanted it bad enough to chase that particular star for a while. She might not have changed the world, but she changed mine, so she makes my list.
Sorry for stepping on your foot, dude.

2. Marie Antoinette (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793)

Back in school, I got to choose which French figure I wanted to be for some thing or another and I picked Madame Du Barry.  Only much later in life did I realize there was more to Marie than what I learned in school. She was born to a mostly disinterested mother, given away in marriage to a place far from home as little more than a child herself and married to a boy. Their rule was fast, tumultuous, and eventually disastrous. However, she faced all of it with grace and dignity, even charges against her which insulted her, and didn't cry or beg at her own beheading. Her last words were a brief apology to her executioner for stepping on his foot.

You can be anything. Look at what Theo managed.
1. Theodora (500 – 28 June 548)

Okay, this one is straight from memory, so excuse any bending of history for this, as it is how I remember it. Theodora was born to an actress (read:prostitute) and a bear trainer for the Coliseum. Her fate, it would seem, wasn't to be illustrious. As a single mother, however, she did the dance of the veils for Justinian and won his heart. He went to his uncle, passed a law to say he could marry former actresses, and married her before becoming emperor of Rome. Together, they rebuilt roads, aquaducts and more, but that cost a lot of dough. So, the people rose up and rioted, circling their house and demanding Justinian back down. Justinian's advisers advised he back down. Theodora? She was like, "Nah. Dude, you're the damned emperor of Rome. Put on your man-panties and deal with this shit." (Obviously paraphrased.) So he did--he called in the leaders of the two teams against him, told one he was always a fan and here, "Have these casks of gold." They were cool with that and bounced. The other folks, though, they were still pissed and they told him so. Justinian shrugged, admitted he foresaw that response and had his guards kill them. End of Rise of the Nika, BAM. In her time in 'office' so to speak, Theodora worked hard for women's rights and changed a lot of really lame laws, not to mention contributing to lots of really cool projects. When she died, her husband, the emperor of Rome, openly wept at the funeral. She was born a daughter of no one from the absolute wrong side of the tracks and yet when she died, the most powerful man in the world mourned her publicly. That's pretty damn badass, if you ask me.

Who are your favorite historical Alpha women?

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