Hold On To Your Hat! Women's History Month Starts Tomorrow.
Updated: Apr 20
HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT!
This is the last day of the countdown to the first RosieCentral weekly profile of strong, empowered, and courageous women. We have named our growing list -- Amazing CAN DO Women.
The list already includes 13 women we've researched, drawn, and showcased in our line of cloth ornaments:
Suffragists Victoria Woodhull and Nannie Helen Burroughs;
WW2 figures Rosie the Riveter, Wendy the Welder, Bessie Stringfield, No Teno Quah / Grace Thorpe, Susan Ahn, and Eleanor Roosevelt;
Aviation pioneers Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison; and
2020 Inauguration women Kamala Harris, Sonia Sotomayor, and Amanda Gorman.
Of course, our blog will cover many more women such as dancer Misty Copeland, Geologist Florence Bascom, Inventor Margaret Knight. Their stories and inspiration will be coming in April. Then May brings more amazing women and their stories.
Why that name?
Kendra and I had been calling these women CAN DO Women. After all, they started with Rosie the RIveter and she was definitely a CAN DO woman. Over the past year, we carefully researched and created drawings of women. Every time one or the other of us found a new woman to profile, the other one often said upon hearing her story, "That's amazing."
Finally, we realized what we were saying and acknowledged that we should change our name for these women from CAN DO to Amazing CAN DO Women. We think you'll agree as you read our stories of their lives. Then, each time we completed our study of them, we found a special inspirational message from them. And this message we pass on to help inspire you.
Why are we researching these women? Finding their stories? Listening to their voices? Sharing their words?
Beginning 22 years ago, I started listening, really listening, to women I had known for years. It began with a high school class reunion in 2000. As I listened to the stories across a number of classes, I began to see how different our lives, our expectations, our experiences, and our (ongoing) outcomes had changed across the years. Even women born just 5 or 10 years before or after me had entirely different realities.
It was so easy to assume my life and those of my classmates had been much like those in other classes. The words of these women ran through my head, over and over again. It was a small epiphany for me — a new way of viewing the lives of women. My interest was piqued. I moved on to small group conversations and eventually, deciding to pursue this in even more detail, I began a series of interviews — both in-person and via telephone — of those born during just one slice of time — from 1940-1945. The interviews focused on women born during WW2, the daughters of the iconic figure Rosie the Riveter.
This time period initially held my interest because I was part of that cohort of women. These stories became a collective memoir of the experiences of women who became known as the “First Woman To” Generation. The memoir: Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its story. (Get 20% off on this award-winning book with coupon code: ROSIEINSPIRES20).
Looking Ahead, Almost
So how did a four-time, award-winning collective memoir lead to this upcoming series Discover Amazing Women on our RosieCentral blog?
Well, there was one more step along the way before we were ready to feature women in our Discover Amazing Women series. Kendra and I both began teaching memoir writing. This was a somewhat logical follow on to the interviews and the book (Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story). In our conversations, women often told us that they hadn’t really looked back at their lives before the interview. They saw “the what” and “the why” of their lives with a clarity that helped them have better ideas of what they wanted to do next.
So, we decided to help women in another way — help them write their memoirs as a way to let them reflect on their pasts as a way to help them move forward. We taught online classes. We taught in-person classes. We taught at workshops and conferences. And, after a number of years, we wrote a book to distill all we had learned about making memoirs really sing and engage readers. (Writing Alchemy: How to Write Fast and Deep) The volume received multiple national book awards.
As you can tell, we are passionate about sharing women’s stories. But more than that, we are passionate about sharing the inspiration we find in women’s stories. Women and their inspirational messages has become the focus of our new series of blogs on RosieCentral—Discover Amazing Women.
We hope you will follow us, join in with your comments, and let us know what inspires you to be the best that you can be.
Looking Ahead, Beginning Tomorrow
Starting tomorrow, you’ll find weekly stories of historical and current women who inspire all of us.
See you then.
And remember, if there is a woman’s name you would like to recommend for one of our Discover Amazing Women profiles, please let us know.
And We Hope...
...you'll sign up below and you'll be notified when we have new blogs. And when you sign up, you'll receive a coupon for a 40% discount on any one item in our store.
—Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett