31 Heroines of March 2012: Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette – Tragic Princess As a girl of ten, I was hardly interested in that do-gooder Nancy Drew. Sure, she was smart, clever, and resourceful. But still, where was the tragedy or the romance that, in my mind, was every woman’s destiny? My heroine was cut from a darker, more complicated cloth, and bathed in the blood of the French Revolution. Admittedly, ten was a difficult year. My parents had recently divorced, and I was not much more than snot, tears, and sadness. Tragedy was an after-school snack, a bedtime lullaby, a morning prayer; and like so many miserable girls before...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Marie Curie

Marie Curie – Chemist, Nobel Winner and Legend One of ladies who inspired awe in me as a young girl was the famous chemist and physicist Marie Curie. I never knew much about Marie’s life, but she appeared on the pages of my chemistry study when I was at school. This was notable, as she was the only female that ever appeared on the pages of my chemistry study when I was at school. I was taught that Marie had lived many years ago, in the pioneering days of our collective knowledge about radioactivity. She studied and explored the new world of science with her husband, also a...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Suse Ochs

Suse Ochs – Inspirational Roommate My college roommate Suse (Susan Leigh Skinner Ochs-Scher) from 20 years ago, I remember used to read bridal magazines and go to Pro-Choice rallies. Suse is my heroine because she has always been able to match wit and lightheartedness with a solid connection to her beliefs.In 1989, Suse lent me her car to go on job interview. I found a goofy cartoon on the dashboard that said ‘See your future, be your future.’ A year later, I was having a hard time trying to get established in a new city. She sent me funny cartoons about my new life. Her philosophy and...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Chiara Benzoni

Chiara L. – Trailblazing Teacher and Mother My heroine is Chiara. As the first of four children born in a family with limited means, she was destined to go into a manual trade right after the fifth grade. She fought and worked hard for her right to an education and was the first in her family to get a university degree. As a teacher, principal, and active member of the community, she mentored many young people, guiding them to find their own heart’s calling. She personally taught me the value of learning, hard work, honesty, and standing up for what’s right. Through her example,...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Norah Linton

Norah Linton – Brave Australian Bush Girl Out of the many fictional girlhood characters that I met with over my childhood reading years, it is Norah Linton of Billabong Station that has remained my constant companion and friend. A construction of the lesser known Australian children’s author Mary Grant Bruce, Norah was calm, kind, brave and strong- all of the things I wanted to be! I eagerly followed Norah through her fifteen different adventures, both at home and abroad, written between 1910 and 1942 by Bruce for her “Billabong” series. Being quietly unassuming and modest...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Imaginative Writer and Famed Author To say that Lucy Maud Montgomery is the most famous female author in Canada is an understatement – she is an international phenomenon. She was born in 1874 on Prince Edward Island. After her mother’s death and father’s inability to cope, she was left with her grandparents. Life was very stern and unloving in her grandparents’ home, so Maud spent most of her time by herself inventing imaginary friends. This is where the seeds were sown for her ability to develop such depth in her storytelling later on. Despite a very...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Ellie Linton

Ellie Linton – Farm Girl and Brave Leade In my girlhood, I was inspired by Ellie Linton from Tomorrow, When the War Began, the first book in the “Tomorrow” series by John Marsden. When I was young I read this series and fell in love with the character of Ellie. She is a 17-year-old normal teenager living in rural Australia. She is brave, courageous and let nothing or nobody get in the way of her fighting for what she believed in. Her country was invaded and taken over whilst her and seven friends camped out in the bush on a holiday weekend. She led her friends into battle...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Scarlett O’Hara

Scarlett O’Hara – Southern Belle with Backbone I didn’t really have a heroine growing up, but I loved Scarlett O’Hara. Being a southern woman during the time of the Civil War she had to make huge sacrifices and be very strong to keep herself and some of her family alive. Before the war, Scarlett was beautiful and had a glorious life ahead of her, but then the world changed and it was out of her control. When I was a teenager I was in a severe car accident and was given a very bleak prognosis to regain anything of the life I had before. However, like Scarlett, I didn’t accept the awful...

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Mrs. Harrison

Mrs. Harrison – Tough and Intelligent Mathematics Teacher My childhood heroine was/is my secondary school mathematics teacher—Mrs. Harrison. She inspired me in many ways, mainly for the kind of person she was. When she was in school it was quite unusual for a woman to study mathematics and she got a 1st class honours. She made me feel like I could choose to do anything I wanted – it didn’t matter if it was a ‘boy’s subject.’ She was clearly very intelligent. Even the most difficult and unengaged students in my class were in awe by some of the things she knew and could talk about. Mrs....

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31 Heroines of March 2012: Tina Fey

Tina Fey – Comedienne and Role Model Fearless. Probably not the word most commonly associated with comedians; however, it is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Tina Fey.  She is my heroine. For as long as I can remember the female ideal for comedy has been a chesty, long-haired ditz. Women seemed to most frequently be the butt of the joke, not in on it, and certainly not telling it. Then came Tina, with her nerdy glasses and swarthy (her word, not mine) features to turn comedy on its ear. Sure, Carol, Gilda, and Jane are the shoulders upon which Tina can exist. Yet Tina...

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