Today, Sunday 8th March, is International Women’s Day, a day for celebrating female achievements and continuing our fight for gender equality. In honour of this, some of our writers have selected their favourite women from across the entertainment industry and discussed just what’s so great about them.
From playing a floozy in Burlesque (2010), to an innocent stressed out mum in Bad Moms (2016), Kristen Bell’s talents truly have no limit. Not only is she a diverse actress, but also a very charitable individual who definitely deserves to end up in The Good Place. Bell frequently advocates for LGBT+ rights, stating that it “just felt gross” to even consider marrying her husband before same-sex marriage was legalised. Also, now that she’s at a well-respected level in the industry, Bell uses this to institute things such as her “no jerk policy”. The rules of this policy include “no sexual harassment, no making people uncomfortable, no passive aggressiveness” and any directors spotted being rude to a crew member won’t be hired again. Known for her generous tipping (which she prefers to do in secret – making it more about the gift than it being her gesture), being open about her mental health, and a generally kind and down-to-earth person, Kristen Bell certainly deserves a moment of recognition this International Women’s Day.
– Maddie Lock
This International Women’s Day I’ve been thinking about Amanda Palmer, lead singer of The Dresden Dolls, since I’m going through a massive phase of listening exclusively to her music. She’s one of the most unique performers in alternative music scene, pioneering the dark cabaret genre and advocating for independent musicians all over the world. If you want some serious inspiration, watch her TED Talk on ‘The Art of Asking’, a speech which encapsulates the spirit of DIY and that makes you believe you can do anything. Palmer is also well-known for her activism, and produced a charity album in aid of the Australia bush fires earlier this year. Her lyrics has had such a powerful effect on me and so many other listeners, and her inimitable musicianship will capture your heart forever.
– Vicky Greer
Laura Jane Grace
It’s hard to express how amazing Laura Jane Grace is with a word limit. Since coming out a transgender in 2012, she has used her platform as lead singer of punk band Against Me! to be an inspiration for fans all over the world and educate her listeners. Her music is among some of the most emotional heavy rock out there, and her stage presence is unparalleled. Always candid, always outspoken, this is a singer that you need to have in your life. Laura Jane Grace is the perfect symbol of just how powerful inclusive, political punk rock can be, and her songs have been a beacon of inclusivity in the community for years.
– Vicky Greer
“Some people say little girls should be seen and not heard” begins the 1977 hit, before quickly rising to become the rallying scream of “But I think – OH BONDAGE UP YOURS!”
International Women’s Day seems as good a time as any to recognise one of the coolest and most influential early punk musicians: Poly Styrene, lead singer of X-Ray Spex. Her visceral lyrics on ‘Oh Bondage Up Yours’ remain a cornerstone of feminist punk music. Although it was banned by the BBC after its release, nothing could stop Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex from taking off and shaping an entire genre. She was an unconventional woman even within the unconventional music scene, often characterised by her loud, neon wardrobe and her refusal to conform to what 1970s society expected of her. Poly Styrene passed away in 2011 at the age of 53, but her attitude and presence in the punk scene will be felt for years to come.
– Vicky Greer
Bailey has acted in a range of media, including video games ranging from Lady Comstock in BioShock Infinite, Kait Diaz in Gears 5, Eltariel in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and MJ Watson in Marvel’s Spiderman. However, to Dungeons and Dragons fans she is perhaps best known for portraying Vex’ahlia and Jester in Critical Role. Her range of emotion and portrayal of characters goes from goofy to serious to melodramatic, and her talent is clear to see in the sheer number of roles she has been a part of.
But what strikes best about Laura Bailey is the sheer love she radiates; for her husband Tavis and their son, for her friends and co-workers, for fans and for their creations. It feels like Laura is a centre for light and positivity, which is great to see around especially in times of increasing division. Even when Jester had the opportunity to use her smarts to outwit an enemy, she chose to be kind.
– Louise Chase
Find out more about International Women’s Day here.