International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights.
After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women's Day on February 28, 1909 in New York, the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference suggested a Women's Day be held annually. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted in 1975 by the United Nations.
Today, International Women's Day is a public holiday in some countries and largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.
It's also an excuse (not that I need one) to shout about some of the women that are currently doing it for me (so to speak).
It's a mix of established talents, some enduring icons, some revivals and some recent discoveries, but by no means is it a definitive list of the woman I admire. I've also deliberately omitted the woman in the ICON range as it should be pretty apparent from their inclusion in this just how much they mean to me. Of course, as with everything there is an exception to this, and the exceptional exception is Miss Kylie Minogue; who would (and should) appear in every list I ever compile. Like all good lists this was going to be a Top Ten, but like all good ideas it hasn't quite worked out that way, so instead it's a Divine Dozen, and besides I haven't ranked them as they are all equally admirable and inspirational. So let's find out who they are.
This girl IS confidence. I first heard her song 'BOYS' on the radio in June last year, and couldn't stop listening to it. I loved her just for this song, and then I loved her even more when I saw the video - https://youtu.be/HQliEKPg1Qk.
You'd think that'd be enough, but no, not only is she a talented singer and songwriter, but she just nails it when it comes to style.
And then she tops it all off by being hella funny, just check out her Ron Burgandy jazz flute routine for the proof.
There's really nothing else to say, it's Kylie Minogue. She is, as Rufus Wainwright once famously said, the “gay shorthand for joy”. And according to Time Out "A Kylie Minogue concert is a religious experience that everybody should have at least once in their lives", so that's that then. https://bit.ly/2TvoyF3
TINA FEY & AMY POEHLER
Funny, funny, funny. And talented, oh how very talented these two are. Writers, actors, producers, comedians, directors, I think that about covers the list of things they excel at. Oh, and hosting, yeah, they're pretty good at that too.
Brilliant in their own ways and on their own projects, but completely unstoppable when they work together. Respect.
Quiet and conservative are not words you would associate with this lady, and that's exactly what I like about her. She has, and continues to, put an phenomenal amount of effort into her work.
Individualist, inspirational and iconoclastic.
I know, I know; this might seem like an obvious choice given her recent Oscar win, but I have been a fan of this woman for a long time, since I first saw her in Peep Show in 2003. She's an incredibly natural and versatile actor, and funny. Just go and find Peep Show and you'll see what I mean. And then there was her Oscar speech, how could you not like the person that gave that speech?
COLOUR, PATTERN, COLOUR, PATTERN.
Just keep repeating this and you'll have some idea of the incredible work by this Japanese contemporary artist. An artist that isn't content working in just one or two mediums her art encompasses an astonishing variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, performance and immersive installation. Did I mention that she's 89 and still producing some of the most mind-bending and beautiful works of art. The world needs more people like her, people that celebrate the joy of doing things differently. https://bit.ly/2C9t9mi
Yes! Chaka Khan is back (not that she ever went away) and she is back with an absolute belter of a song. If I listened to Lizzo's song over and over (and over and over) again, then I watched the video for Chaka's song 'Like Sugar' just as often.
It is everything a good song (and video) should be, it is dangerously addictive.
And you think, well that's that then, best song of 2018, how can you beat that, but she does, with the title track from her new album 'Hello Happiness'. Happiness indeed!
"I look too good not to be seen."
And as Elektra Abundance in Pose (my favourite TV show of 2018) this lady demanded to be seen. She didn't steal the show, she totally owned it. Her performance is magnetic, and even more remarkable given that she had never done it before.
If Prince was a girl, that girl would be Janelle Monae. Every bit as sexy as His Purple Highness, and every bit as talented. And smart. And stylish. And fearless about her own identity.
And sexy, did I mention how fucking sexy she is? Just watch the video for 'Make Me Feel' and tell me you don't fancy her - https://youtu.be/tGRzz0oqgUE - because I know I do!
How to describe this remarkable lady?
As New York City’s patron saint of transformation and inclusion?
As the "Queen of the night"?
As a mother and wife?
As a fashion muse and influencer?
As an activist?
As a club promoter and event organiser?
It's probably for the last that she's best known, though to call the extraordinary extravaganza's that she creates an event doesn't do them justice.
Oh and she's 67 years old, I'll just leave that with you.
As we're now on the topic of age, you might have noticed that none of these women could be called girls (Lizzo and Janelle being the youngest at 30 and 33 respectively), and I think that's a good thing. It wasn't my intention when compiling this list to exclude anyone of the basis of age. There are so many talented and creative young women around at the moment, women like Dua Lipa, Maisie Williams and Jodie Comer to begin with, but I think it's a happy accident that this list is comprised mainly of women in the middle or later stages of their life. It shows that you don't have to be young and beautiful to be successful.
And for those that are really paying attention you might have noticed that there are only 11 women in the Greatest Twelve, and that's because I've saved the best to last.
My mum. She is everything all the women above are and so much more.
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