America, Central America, Countries, Culture, UK

Fantastically Great Women

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World.

That’s Daddy’s Little Girl, The Scary One and my Dear Old Mum, and Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks and a host of others.

And showing here that women aren’t just for International Women’s Day but should be valued daily…

We’re flagging up a celebratory musical which has been touring the UK.

And which is dropping in on our own wee capital, Edinburgh here in Scotland.

Bus boy: And I’d have given Rosa my seat

Premiered last Autumn it is running at the King’s Theatre from April 25-30 .

FGWWCTW is based on the popular books by Kate Pankhurst who realised while writing them that she was related to the Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The sisterhood of women from history are brought to life on stage.

From Civil Rights heroine Rosa to Marie Curie to Frida Kahlo and more when inquisitive heroine Jade discovers the Gallery of Greatness on a school trip.

All of which allows us to do a deeper dive into these Fantastically Great Women.

Rosa Rising

Sit where I want: Rosa Parks

The most famous bus passenger in history was seamstress Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, to a white passenger.

And so she became the symbol and the headline name for a legal action which struck a key victory for the Civil Rights Movement.

She has a museum dedicated to her in Troy University in Montgomery

And much more besides including name checks in the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

Where this male, pale and stale dude was honoured to share a seat with her statue.

Vote for Women

Let’s here it for the women: And give them the vote

Like all injustices, it is only when they have been corrected.

With the passage of history their sheer ludicrousness hits home.

And of course at the time the protesters have to take desperate and self-sacrificing measures.

And they are often pilloried for it.

Stand up and stand proud Emmeline Pankhurst.

And her Suffragettes who went on hunger strike, chained themselves to railings.

And one even threw herself in front of a royal’s horse and was killed.

All so that they could come out of the kitchen and vote.

And yet too few of us are made aware of The Pankhurst Museum in Manchester where she lived. Mmm, plus ca change.

And now for the science bit

And now for the science: Marie Curie

Now time was, and still is to a certain extent, when science was considered the preserve of menfolk.

Try telling that to Maria Skłodowska (you’ll probably know her, erm, by her married and Francocised name Marie Curie).

Well, the two-time Nobel winner and radioactivity pioneer, is celebrated the world over with her trust is active in the field of Cancer care.

But to get right to the heart of her and her story visit the Museum of Maria Sklodowska-Curie in Warsaw in Poland.

And art too

Face of women’s art: Frida Kahlo

And yes, if you were to ask most men (and probably a few women too) to name a female artist they would struggle.

They’d probably not get past Tracey Emin, great artist though she undoubtedly is,

Of course a greater modern appreciation for Frida Kahlo is changing that.

And not just for opening up the folksy world of Mexico to us.

But also as a champion of the Chicano Movement of Hispanics in the USA, feminism and the LGBTQ+ rights.

Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, or La Casa Azul or Blue House as it is known, in the Coyoacan neighbourhood of Mexico City.

Edinburgh’s creme de la creme

Pottering about: JK Rowling

And what about the city itself which will be hosting the musical Fantastically Great Women at the King’s.

Scandalously, and this is the case with statues the world over which is one of my pet subjects, there is scant recognition of women.

Unless, of course, you are a queen which is the case in Edinburgh’s port town of Leith where Victoria is immortalised.

We should take our lead from the working-class neighbourhood of Craigmillar.

It has marked the social activist Helen Crummy with a statue.

And where she leads educationalist Mary Erskine, suffragist Elsie Inglis or writer Muriel Spark.

I dare say though that if any woman will be placed on a podium it will be an adopted Edinburgh celeb.

JK Rowling, who her public profile aside, would deserve it for giving us Harry Potter.

 

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