Monday, 19 March 2018

Two Women

@NoelineL tweeted:

The March edition of Canadian Living, p. 13, issues a challenge, to guys too: to share a story about two women, one personal and one historical, who have motivated you.  Would you consider sharing?

Doug Peterson posted his response on his blog: Chris Stephenson, a salesperson who had challenged his thinking and Joan of Arc.

So I went to Canadian Living to read the whole challenge:

Did you know that, according to MerriamWebster, "feminism" was among 2017's most looked-up words? In honour of International Women's Day (March 8), here are some ways that men, women and children can celebrate MerriamWebster's word of the year. Get inspired. Notable Canadians in cities from coast to coast will have talks and conferences. Explore history. Host your nearest and dearest (men, too!), asking each to have in mind a story about two women (one personal, one historical) who've motivated them. Be empowered. Do what we do best: rise to the occasion and take on a completely new task that even you thought you'd never do!

There are so many women who have motivated me personally - my mother and grandmothers, many teachers in high school, and principals and superintendents that I worked for throughout my career. But, the two who motivate me the most are my daughters, Shelby and Madison.  I often joke that I am 'the world's okayest mom.'  I'm never going to win 'mother of the year.' I make lots of mistakes.  But, because of my girls, I am motivated to do the best I can do, and to seek forgiveness when I screw up. Shelby had an interview recently, and the interviewer noted how hard working she was and commended her for her initiative.  Shelby said she told the interviewer, "My mom is retired and she's almost done her doctorate plus she's writing a book.  That's just the kind of people we are." Madison called me a few weeks ago and said, "I want to go to Tokyo in April. Want to come with me?"  I'm so glad my girls aren't afraid to chase their dreams and invite me along for the ride!

Historically, I would choose Indira Ghandi, who was prime minister of India from 1966-1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.  When I went to school, history was mostly about old, white guys. I don't remember learning about any notable women. But when I was a kid growing up, Indira Ghandi was prime minister of India.  At that time, the idea of a woman prime minister in Canada was unheard of, and let's face it, Americans were making a HUGE deal about the possibility of a woman president in the last election. The glass ceiling is still unbroken for Hillary. I was too young to understand Indira Ghandi's policies and politics, but the idea that a woman could be prime minister of a country was very inspiring to me.

(Source: Art by Tanya Leigh)


  1. Lisa, I love the fact that your daughters are the women you chose. The stories you told really made me realize the kind of kids I'm striving to raise in Mr 14 and (as of yesterday) 17. We visited Bishop's University over the March break for a campus tour, and I was so impressed with how my older kiddo navigated his interactions with adults. I expect you had moments like that as well.
    I'm still cogitating on the women I will choose to write about. I think maybe we need to figure out a virtual dinner party!

  2. A virtual dinner party sounds great! Doug Peterson said that I 'cheated' because I chose two personal women (my daughters). I think he's just worried that his two daughters are going to question why he didn't write about them!