Thank the Planet for Strong Women

Feminist First came up with the wonderful idea to blog about women who support us.

The woman I’m expressing thanks for today is Suzanna Rose. She taught my first women’s studies course. Suzanna was my introduction to strong women. She modeled strength in everything she did. The light dawned that, no, we really didn’t have to take any crap. It was a watershed moment for me.

In addition to opening my eyes and providing a great education, she stood by me through my toughest time in college. Along with two other women, I filed a formal complaint against one of the most powerful professors at the university for sex discrimination. This professor opted to neglect teaching in his introductory biology course in favor of making horrific comments about women generally, and singling out “third world” women in particular. Suzanna provided counsel and support for the duration of the case. When the hearing turned out to be a sham, and the professor was given a slap on the wrist, she consoled me that now this professor’s actions were on record. In the future, things could turn out differently because we’d made things easier for other women by fighing. Those words are still with me.

Growing up without role models is extremely difficult. I was lucky enough to find a role model in my early twenties. Suzanna, thank you.

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12 responses to “Thank the Planet for Strong Women

  1. asdgasdfaserwe

    Yes, it’s so difficult to grow up without role models of strong women. Now we can ourselves, in turn, be role models to other yound girls and women.

  2. Wonderful story. Thank you, Suzanna Rose.

  3. Teachers can be such a huge source of inspiration can’t they – in more ways than one.

    I’m glad Suzanna Rose has been a part of your life SE.

  4. I like this very much. It is so hugely important to have teachers who are strong and vigilant! Thanks for sharing, Pippa x

  5. This is a great idea for a series and YEA for Suzanna Rose!

  6. Justjuliefornow

    I like this concept and would like to borrow it and pass it on if that is o.k. with you.

  7. I’m glad you had someone like that. My gender and society tutor celia kitzinger also inspired me when she taught women’s studies. Strong women inspire us to be strong too, to not put up with any crap if we can 🙂

  8. Now THIS is the kind of meme I like! Thoughtful and helpful.

  9. spotted elephant

    Julie-It was feminist first’s idea, but she wanted women to participate, so I doubt she’d mind. Don’t want to speak for her, though.

    Suebob-It is a great idea, one that should be spread!

  10. asdgasdfaserwe

    I will be hosting another day like it in a couple of months. But why wait, the more women that participate, the better, so take the idea and run with it!

  11. It is greatly admired, when women can take their lives seriously. Men will have to un-learn their traditional views because women have developed a voice, that will be heard.

  12. I would like to thank spottedele for the kind and touching comments she made about me. I just came across them for the first time. Although I moved to another university, I did not forget that case, the students’ courage, or the disappointing outcome. However, I learned from it and in my current position as senior associate dean of science, I am able to do better now for students when they have similar complaints. It speaks to the importance of having women in higher administrative positions. The important thing is never to give up the struggle. I greatly admire the student(s) who pursued this on behalf of all women students. Thank you.

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