Woven Ink
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Women That Inspire Us

For the month of March, to tie in with Women’s History Month 2019, we posted about and celebrated a women who we found inspiring every day. 31 wonderful, amazing, incredible women.

#amonthofinspirationalwomen

Janet Fyle  We love Janet. We’ve been working with her for the last 4 years on the  #EndFGM  animations series, launching the first 3 films in 2017 at the Houses of Parliament. We’re now working with her on the next 2 films with support from the incredible Leyla Hussein and Kwame Lestrade.  She is a tireless campaigner, policy advisor and now a dear friend.

Janet Fyle

We love Janet. We’ve been working with her for the last 4 years on the #EndFGM animations series, launching the first 3 films in 2017 at the Houses of Parliament. We’re now working with her on the next 2 films with support from the incredible Leyla Hussein and Kwame Lestrade.

She is a tireless campaigner, policy advisor and now a dear friend.

Ursula Le Guin  Ursula was my favourite author as a kid. At age ten on world book day everyone at my school was asked to come dressed as their favourite fictional character. I came as Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea.  She was a driving force in feminist science fiction in a world traditionally reserved for men and an advocate of peace, critical thinking and fairness.  ~ Isolde

Ursula Le Guin

Ursula was my favourite author as a kid. At age ten on world book day everyone at my school was asked to come dressed as their favourite fictional character. I came as Ged from A Wizard of Earthsea.

She was a driving force in feminist science fiction in a world traditionally reserved for men and an advocate of peace, critical thinking and fairness.

~ Isolde

Jo Royle⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I met Jo in India in 2011, where we spent three weeks living on a train with 500 others, travelling around the country meeting entrepreneurs who were all doing things to improve the world in different ways. ⁣⁣During our journey, Jo gave an incredible presentation on our use of plastic, and how it’s affecting our seas, and wildlife. This short one hour presentation, totally changed the way I think about plastic, and since meeting Jo, I’ve become far more aware of the plastic I consume, and do as much as I can to reduce my day to day usage of it, and feel grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her expertise. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Jo is a Sea Champion: a world renowned expert on sea conservation, advising and working with governments, organisations and people to apply practical solutions to social and environmental challenges. Jo co-designed and skippered the Plastiki, a sailing boat built out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, and other recycled plastic and waste products, which in 2010 she and her crew sailed from San Francisco to Sydney over three months. The Plastiki was conceived to campaign and raise awareness about the billions of tons of plastic dumped into the sea. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ It’s been amazing to see attitudes to our plastic consumption shift and change in a more positive way over more recent years, but we clearly have a huge way to go. ⁣⁣  ~ Jess⁣ ⁣  #weareallseacreatures ⁣

Jo Royle⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I met Jo in India in 2011, where we spent three weeks living on a train with 500 others, travelling around the country meeting entrepreneurs who were all doing things to improve the world in different ways. ⁣⁣During our journey, Jo gave an incredible presentation on our use of plastic, and how it’s affecting our seas, and wildlife. This short one hour presentation, totally changed the way I think about plastic, and since meeting Jo, I’ve become far more aware of the plastic I consume, and do as much as I can to reduce my day to day usage of it, and feel grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from her expertise. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Jo is a Sea Champion: a world renowned expert on sea conservation, advising and working with governments, organisations and people to apply practical solutions to social and environmental challenges. Jo co-designed and skippered the Plastiki, a sailing boat built out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, and other recycled plastic and waste products, which in 2010 she and her crew sailed from San Francisco to Sydney over three months. The Plastiki was conceived to campaign and raise awareness about the billions of tons of plastic dumped into the sea. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
It’s been amazing to see attitudes to our plastic consumption shift and change in a more positive way over more recent years, but we clearly have a huge way to go. ⁣⁣

~ Jess⁣

#weareallseacreatures

Rebecca Solnit  It feels like we’re a bit late to the party in discovering Rebecca Solnit, but we were both given her collection of essays “Men Explain Things to Me” for Christmas just gone. I read them in a few evenings, and was just struck by how she so beautifully articulates so many of the frustrations both Isolde and I (and many of our fellow feminists) share about our current society, but also highlighting the hope that is being shaped by the current wave of feminism, in changing this society.

Rebecca Solnit

It feels like we’re a bit late to the party in discovering Rebecca Solnit, but we were both given her collection of essays “Men Explain Things to Me” for Christmas just gone. I read them in a few evenings, and was just struck by how she so beautifully articulates so many of the frustrations both Isolde and I (and many of our fellow feminists) share about our current society, but also highlighting the hope that is being shaped by the current wave of feminism, in changing this society.

Rosalind Franklin  At university my friends and I made a theatre show about Rosalind Franklin. During her lifetime she was never properly recognised for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA and instead her male colleagues took all the credit. We wanted to shine a light on her incredible achievements and were humbled when Franklin’s living relatives came to see our show and were moved by the work.  ~ Isolde

Rosalind Franklin

At university my friends and I made a theatre show about Rosalind Franklin. During her lifetime she was never properly recognised for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA and instead her male colleagues took all the credit. We wanted to shine a light on her incredible achievements and were humbled when Franklin’s living relatives came to see our show and were moved by the work.

~ Isolde

Shonda Rhimes ⁣ As one of the most influential producers and screenwriters in Hollywood, she’s quite the powerhouse. Rhimes is known and championed for creating diverse and intricate characters and storylines, predominantly putting women centre stage. ⁣ ⁣ She doesn’t shy away from writing meaty storylines around gender, race, equality, sexism, sexuality, the balance of working life, abortion, women not wanting children (shock horror), and so many more. Issues that other writers and producers often briefly skirt around. ⁣ ⁣ As a huge Grey’s fan, I’ve spent many joyful hours absorbed in the worlds she creates, falling in love with her characters (crying my eyes out on countless occasions), feeling inspired, challenged and at times a bit emotionally battered. She is incredible at what she does, and for that, I find her inspiring.  ⁣~ Jess⁣

Shonda Rhimes

As one of the most influential producers and screenwriters in Hollywood, she’s quite the powerhouse. Rhimes is known and championed for creating diverse and intricate characters and storylines, predominantly putting women centre stage. ⁣

She doesn’t shy away from writing meaty storylines around gender, race, equality, sexism, sexuality, the balance of working life, abortion, women not wanting children (shock horror), and so many more. Issues that other writers and producers often briefly skirt around. ⁣

As a huge Grey’s fan, I’ve spent many joyful hours absorbed in the worlds she creates, falling in love with her characters (crying my eyes out on countless occasions), feeling inspired, challenged and at times a bit emotionally battered. She is incredible at what she does, and for that, I find her inspiring.

⁣~ Jess⁣

Dana Scully    ⁣ Shortly after we started living together, we embarked on the first season of X-files. We’d stay up until 4am, watching “just one more episode”, and managed to successfully complete all 10 seasons in a period of 6 months - something which to this day, we both remain pretty proud of.⁣ ⁣ We fell in love with Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dana Scully, her strong mindedness amongst her male-dominated field was inspiring, and not that widely seen on television when it aired. We later actually learnt, that Anderson’s character initiated a phenomenon referred to as "The Scully Effect"; inspiring young women to pursue careers in science, medicine and law enforcement, and as a result saw a dramatic increase in the number of women in those fields.  #thetruthisoutthere

Dana Scully

Shortly after we started living together, we embarked on the first season of X-files. We’d stay up until 4am, watching “just one more episode”, and managed to successfully complete all 10 seasons in a period of 6 months - something which to this day, we both remain pretty proud of.⁣

We fell in love with Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dana Scully, her strong mindedness amongst her male-dominated field was inspiring, and not that widely seen on television when it aired. We later actually learnt, that Anderson’s character initiated a phenomenon referred to as "The Scully Effect"; inspiring young women to pursue careers in science, medicine and law enforcement, and as a result saw a dramatic increase in the number of women in those fields. #thetruthisoutthere

Olive Morris  In February 2019 we made a big mural for the Lambeth Civic Centre. We asked visitors of the building who their inspirations were and then we painted their local heroes onto the wall. The most common answer we got was Olive Morris, a British community leader and activist in the feminist, black nationalism and squatters’ rights campaigns of the 1970s. Having lived most of her life in south London I spoke to people who had known her and they spoke with such love and admiration I found it really moving.  ~ Isolde

Olive Morris

In February 2019 we made a big mural for the Lambeth Civic Centre. We asked visitors of the building who their inspirations were and then we painted their local heroes onto the wall. The most common answer we got was Olive Morris, a British community leader and activist in the feminist, black nationalism and squatters’ rights campaigns of the 1970s. Having lived most of her life in south London I spoke to people who had known her and they spoke with such love and admiration I found it really moving.

~ Isolde

JK Rowling ⁣ ⁣ I find her wonderfully inspiring, not only for her incredible literary contribution (obviously), but for her charitable and philanthropic contributions, donating much of her wealth and time to charities over the years. ⁣ ⁣ She’s also well known for her online presence, especially her wit and humour in tackling trolls, sexism, and generally, people who she’s not such a fan of. But I also admire her kindness and thoughtfulness in how she takes the time to reply to strangers who reach out to her, looking for advice or guidance. I think she’s just pretty fab. ⁣  ~ Jess

JK Rowling ⁣

I find her wonderfully inspiring, not only for her incredible literary contribution (obviously), but for her charitable and philanthropic contributions, donating much of her wealth and time to charities over the years. ⁣

She’s also well known for her online presence, especially her wit and humour in tackling trolls, sexism, and generally, people who she’s not such a fan of. But I also admire her kindness and thoughtfulness in how she takes the time to reply to strangers who reach out to her, looking for advice or guidance. I think she’s just pretty fab. ⁣

~ Jess

Amelia Earhart ⁣⁣ Earhart was pretty incredible for her time. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, for which she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross. She wrote books about her experiences and played an important role in setting up an organisation for female pilots called The Ninety-Nines. She lectured and counselled women at Purdue University, was a member of the National Woman's Party, and was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ All in all, she was a pretty impressive woman, paving the way for women in a (still) male dominated field, so for that, we think she’s pretty inspirational!⁣⁣

Amelia Earhart
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Earhart was pretty incredible for her time. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, for which she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross. She wrote books about her experiences and played an important role in setting up an organisation for female pilots called The Ninety-Nines. She lectured and counselled women at Purdue University, was a member of the National Woman's Party, and was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
All in all, she was a pretty impressive woman, paving the way for women in a (still) male dominated field, so for that, we think she’s pretty inspirational!⁣⁣

Kathryn Janeway ⁣ I was brought up on Star Trek, as Dad’s always been a fan, so naturally it was on telly a fair bit growing up. Voyager was always my favourite though, as I just loved Kathryn Janeway. Her character was such an inspiring leader, and I think in more recent years (having re-watched it all a couple of years ago), I’ve come to realise that she’s actually had a pretty profound impact on how I feel leadership should be. ⁣ ⁣ She commands her ship with such diligence and care, navigating them through unknown, often treacherous territories, with the sole aim of getting them home. She’s thoughtful, kind, innovative, and respectful of her crew. She takes risks, which sometimes don’t pan out, but ultimately she always has the wellbeing of her crew at the core of all of the decisions she makes. She learns from her mistakes, moving forward to the next challenge, never wavering in her hope that they would find their way back (which, *spoiler alert*, they do)  🖖 ~ Jess

Kathryn Janeway

I was brought up on Star Trek, as Dad’s always been a fan, so naturally it was on telly a fair bit growing up. Voyager was always my favourite though, as I just loved Kathryn Janeway. Her character was such an inspiring leader, and I think in more recent years (having re-watched it all a couple of years ago), I’ve come to realise that she’s actually had a pretty profound impact on how I feel leadership should be. ⁣

She commands her ship with such diligence and care, navigating them through unknown, often treacherous territories, with the sole aim of getting them home. She’s thoughtful, kind, innovative, and respectful of her crew. She takes risks, which sometimes don’t pan out, but ultimately she always has the wellbeing of her crew at the core of all of the decisions she makes. She learns from her mistakes, moving forward to the next challenge, never wavering in her hope that they would find their way back (which, *spoiler alert*, they do)

🖖 ~ Jess

Sarah Corbett ⁣⁣ We first met Sarah at TedX Brixton in 2013, where we had the pleasure of taking Visual Minutes of her talk on Craftivism (craft and activism) and the incredible transformational powers of  #gentleprotest .⁣⁣ ⁣⁣  #Craftivism  is a form of activism, rooted in thoughtfulness, kindness, beauty and love. Sarah founded the Craftivist Collective in 2009, to spread the concept and encourage others to take a slower, more mindful approach to activism. We’ve followed Sarah’s work over the years, and volunteered to help at one of her workshops a few years ago, inviting people to take the time to stitch a single word - something meaningful to them - onto a yellow patch. We both have ours on the walls behind our desks, as a gentle reminder to pause and reflect (you can see Jess’s on the ‘Say Hello’ page of our website). ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Sarah’s approach to changing the world is one we should all take on. When one slows down, and takes more time for mindfulness and creativity, incredible things can be achieved.⁣⁣

Sarah Corbett
⁣⁣
We first met Sarah at TedX Brixton in 2013, where we had the pleasure of taking Visual Minutes of her talk on Craftivism (craft and activism) and the incredible transformational powers of #gentleprotest.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
#Craftivism is a form of activism, rooted in thoughtfulness, kindness, beauty and love. Sarah founded the Craftivist Collective in 2009, to spread the concept and encourage others to take a slower, more mindful approach to activism. We’ve followed Sarah’s work over the years, and volunteered to help at one of her workshops a few years ago, inviting people to take the time to stitch a single word - something meaningful to them - onto a yellow patch. We both have ours on the walls behind our desks, as a gentle reminder to pause and reflect (you can see Jess’s on the ‘Say Hello’ page of our website). ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Sarah’s approach to changing the world is one we should all take on. When one slows down, and takes more time for mindfulness and creativity, incredible things can be achieved.⁣⁣

Frida Kahlo  When I was seven I lived in Mexico for a few months. One of my earliest memories was visiting Frida Kahlo’s house which I loved. Recently at the V&A exhibition, ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ I was reminded of her brilliance. She was a feminist, a LGBTQ icon, who painted real women and real experiences. She defied her destiny as a victim and continues to teach me to embrace weirdness.  ~ Isolde

Frida Kahlo

When I was seven I lived in Mexico for a few months. One of my earliest memories was visiting Frida Kahlo’s house which I loved. Recently at the V&A exhibition, ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ I was reminded of her brilliance. She was a feminist, a LGBTQ icon, who painted real women and real experiences. She defied her destiny as a victim and continues to teach me to embrace weirdness.

~ Isolde

Erin Motz (or Bad Yogi!)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Erin is re-defining the yoga narrative to thousands (probably millions) of yogis out in the world. She’s doing away with the concept that to be a yogi, and part of the community, you need to be a skinny, raw vegetable eating, t-total, crystal loving individual (although all these things are obviously fine too!), and joyfully advocates that actually yoga can, and should be there to be enjoyed and benefited by everyone. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ My friend Katie pointed me in her direction when I started yoga about 5 years ago, and I’ve loved following her ever since. I love her authenticity in all that she does, and how she holds her corner of social media, with such calm, kindness, knowledge, fun and grace (despite I imagine, how difficult that probably is, at times!) all so she can continue to inspire, teach and bring bad-yogi-joy to others!⁣  ~ Jess⁣

Erin Motz (or Bad Yogi!)⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Erin is re-defining the yoga narrative to thousands (probably millions) of yogis out in the world. She’s doing away with the concept that to be a yogi, and part of the community, you need to be a skinny, raw vegetable eating, t-total, crystal loving individual (although all these things are obviously fine too!), and joyfully advocates that actually yoga can, and should be there to be enjoyed and benefited by everyone. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
My friend Katie pointed me in her direction when I started yoga about 5 years ago, and I’ve loved following her ever since. I love her authenticity in all that she does, and how she holds her corner of social media, with such calm, kindness, knowledge, fun and grace (despite I imagine, how difficult that probably is, at times!) all so she can continue to inspire, teach and bring bad-yogi-joy to others!⁣

~ Jess⁣

Christina Kelly  We met and interviewed Christina when working on an animation about eating disorders and pregnancy. Having suffered from anorexia from a young age she found that her eating disorder increased in severity during her pregnancies. She was generous enough to share her story in our animation to help provide guidance for midwives and health visitors. Christina now works in a mental health crisis service providing peer support to people in distress, working with compassion and using her own experiences to help others.

Christina Kelly

We met and interviewed Christina when working on an animation about eating disorders and pregnancy. Having suffered from anorexia from a young age she found that her eating disorder increased in severity during her pregnancies. She was generous enough to share her story in our animation to help provide guidance for midwives and health visitors. Christina now works in a mental health crisis service providing peer support to people in distress, working with compassion and using her own experiences to help others.

Stella Creasy  I first saw Stella speak years ago at the Women of the World festival, talking about the campaign against tampon tax. She spoke with such strength, passion and kindness she instantly become my favourite British politician. Since then I have seen her speak on various panels about women in politics, specifically on how female politicians are treated differently to male politicians. She’s tired she says of ‘seeing men defining what is acceptable for women [...] Too often, women in public life are caricatured - you’ve go to be a harridan, or a bitch, or somebody’s mother’. She has received horrific rape and death threats over the years for supporting women’s campaigns. One tweet in particular involved a photo of a man in a mask in a dark room holding a huge knife saying ‘I’m gonna be the first thing u see when you wake up’. This makes me so upset. Don’t think male politicians are having to deal with this sort of abuse!  ~ Isolde

Stella Creasy

I first saw Stella speak years ago at the Women of the World festival, talking about the campaign against tampon tax. She spoke with such strength, passion and kindness she instantly become my favourite British politician. Since then I have seen her speak on various panels about women in politics, specifically on how female politicians are treated differently to male politicians. She’s tired she says of ‘seeing men defining what is acceptable for women [...] Too often, women in public life are caricatured - you’ve go to be a harridan, or a bitch, or somebody’s mother’. She has received horrific rape and death threats over the years for supporting women’s campaigns. One tweet in particular involved a photo of a man in a mask in a dark room holding a huge knife saying ‘I’m gonna be the first thing u see when you wake up’. This makes me so upset. Don’t think male politicians are having to deal with this sort of abuse!

~ Isolde

Natalie Portman  I’ve always loved her as an actress. Her portrayal of dark, complicated characters, in films like Leon, Closer and Black Swan, have helped to change up, and break the boring stereotypes that we so often see women portrayed as. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ And in her non-fictional states, using her platform to campaign for human and animal rights, notably her involvement in the  #TimesUp  movement, and veganism. She’s just an all round pretty awesome woman. ⁣⁣  ~ Jess⁣

Natalie Portman

I’ve always loved her as an actress. Her portrayal of dark, complicated characters, in films like Leon, Closer and Black Swan, have helped to change up, and break the boring stereotypes that we so often see women portrayed as. ⁣⁣⁣
⁣⁣⁣
And in her non-fictional states, using her platform to campaign for human and animal rights, notably her involvement in the #TimesUp movement, and veganism. She’s just an all round pretty awesome woman. ⁣⁣

~ Jess⁣

Hannah Gastby  We both became aware of Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby last year when her  @netflix  special ‘Nanette’ was released online. ⁣⁣ ⁣ Standup comedy typically relies on creating tension and release and in this show Gadsby exposes and then destroys that formula. She reveals experiences of homophobia and sexual violence, which escalate throughout the set, until finally she is delivering them from a precipice of rage. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ “This tension is yours,” she tells the stunned Sydney Opera House audience. “I am not helping you with it any more. You need to learn what this feels like.” This show totally blew our minds and talks directly to many issues that are important to us. Please please watch if you haven’t already. ⁣⁣

Hannah Gastby

We both became aware of Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby last year when her @netflix special ‘Nanette’ was released online. ⁣⁣

Standup comedy typically relies on creating tension and release and in this show Gadsby exposes and then destroys that formula. She reveals experiences of homophobia and sexual violence, which escalate throughout the set, until finally she is delivering them from a precipice of rage. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
“This tension is yours,” she tells the stunned Sydney Opera House audience. “I am not helping you with it any more. You need to learn what this feels like.” This show totally blew our minds and talks directly to many issues that are important to us. Please please watch if you haven’t already. ⁣⁣

Rosana Cade ⁣ ⁣ I first met Rosana 7 years ago at BUZZCUT Festival in Glasgow which she co-founded. Since then I have become close friends with her as well as a big admirer of her work. She is an artist making work rooted in queer feminist discourse and straddling performance, live art, and activism; and is best known for her acclaimed interactive participatory performance, ‘Walking:Holding’ which I was lucky enough to see in London at the Battersea Arts Centre and in Malta as part of Latitude 36. ⁣ The piece involves one audience member at a time walking around a town in the hands of different strangers. The piece originated from a series of ‘holding hand experiments’ in Glasgow, with both same sex and mixed sex couples. I found the experience of walking and holding hands with people of different ages, races, genders and sexualities incredibly moving and at some points challenging. I could visibly see and feel some people’s prejudices who walked past on the street when I was holding certain people’s hand, and just for that moment I was able to experience first hand what it is like to be someone else. In the piece you hold hands with each stranger for around five minutes but I was amazed that the simple act of holding hands opened up a channel of intimacy and familiarity that was really beautiful - no small talk on this walk. ⁣ ⁣ ‘Walking:Holding’ still remains to this day the best piece of performance I have ever experienced. It has now been turned into a beautiful film in collaboration with the oh so lovely Claire Nolan and Charlie Cauchi.  ~ Isolde

Rosana Cade ⁣

I first met Rosana 7 years ago at BUZZCUT Festival in Glasgow which she co-founded. Since then I have become close friends with her as well as a big admirer of her work. She is an artist making work rooted in queer feminist discourse and straddling performance, live art, and activism; and is best known for her acclaimed interactive participatory performance, ‘Walking:Holding’ which I was lucky enough to see in London at the Battersea Arts Centre and in Malta as part of Latitude 36.

The piece involves one audience member at a time walking around a town in the hands of different strangers. The piece originated from a series of ‘holding hand experiments’ in Glasgow, with both same sex and mixed sex couples. I found the experience of walking and holding hands with people of different ages, races, genders and sexualities incredibly moving and at some points challenging. I could visibly see and feel some people’s prejudices who walked past on the street when I was holding certain people’s hand, and just for that moment I was able to experience first hand what it is like to be someone else. In the piece you hold hands with each stranger for around five minutes but I was amazed that the simple act of holding hands opened up a channel of intimacy and familiarity that was really beautiful - no small talk on this walk. ⁣

‘Walking:Holding’ still remains to this day the best piece of performance I have ever experienced. It has now been turned into a beautiful film in collaboration with the oh so lovely Claire Nolan and Charlie Cauchi.

~ Isolde

Xuē Xīnrán  Xuē Xīnrán is a popular radio personality in China with a groundbreaking call-in program named "Words on the Night Breeze" (from 1989 to 1997) focusing on women's issues and life stories. Last year I read her book ‘The Good Women of China’ which shares some of these stories of what it means to be a woman in modern China. The stories shared left me in bits. It is such an important read but I’d suggest reading it in stages.  ~ Isolde

Xuē Xīnrán

Xuē Xīnrán is a popular radio personality in China with a groundbreaking call-in program named "Words on the Night Breeze" (from 1989 to 1997) focusing on women's issues and life stories. Last year I read her book ‘The Good Women of China’ which shares some of these stories of what it means to be a woman in modern China. The stories shared left me in bits. It is such an important read but I’d suggest reading it in stages.

~ Isolde

Jess Phillips ⁣⁣ We met Jess Phillips at the launch of the  #EndFGM  animations at the Houses of Parliament in 2017. She’s the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, and has made her name campaigning on issues surrounding violence against women, but more widely does everything she can to champion ideas of female solidarity, body confidence, and calling out against body shaming. So a whole bunch of areas that are very close to our hearts. She’s bold, loud, and shouts about the right things, for which we’re very grateful.

Jess Phillips
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We met Jess Phillips at the launch of the #EndFGM animations at the Houses of Parliament in 2017. She’s the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, and has made her name campaigning on issues surrounding violence against women, but more widely does everything she can to champion ideas of female solidarity, body confidence, and calling out against body shaming. So a whole bunch of areas that are very close to our hearts. She’s bold, loud, and shouts about the right things, for which we’re very grateful.

Sarah Koenig  Koenig is an incredible storyteller. Having both listened to the podcast series Serial, and other pieces from This American Life that Koenig has written and produced, we’re totally hooked on her work. She has an amazing talent for storytelling, finding the most unusual, and fascinating angles, allowing the listener glimpses and insights in to worlds so different from their own.  When it comes to editing an animation together, we’re effectively screen bound for days, meticulously piecing footage together, before we can time it to the sound. So we listen to podcasts; hours upon hours of podcasts. Koenig’s work has featured heavily in these hours, so we wanted to acknowledge how much of pleasure it’s been to listen to (and continue to listen to) her work.

Sarah Koenig

Koenig is an incredible storyteller. Having both listened to the podcast series Serial, and other pieces from This American Life that Koenig has written and produced, we’re totally hooked on her work. She has an amazing talent for storytelling, finding the most unusual, and fascinating angles, allowing the listener glimpses and insights in to worlds so different from their own.

When it comes to editing an animation together, we’re effectively screen bound for days, meticulously piecing footage together, before we can time it to the sound. So we listen to podcasts; hours upon hours of podcasts. Koenig’s work has featured heavily in these hours, so we wanted to acknowledge how much of pleasure it’s been to listen to (and continue to listen to) her work.

Dolly Parton  When I was kid I was obsessed with a Dolly Parton tape my parents bought as a joke for the car. I loved all her songs and would play them for hours and hours whilst lip syncing in front of my toilet mirror. Now as an adult I still love a good Dolly Parton song. She’s also a treat to watch in interview, exuding fun and kindness. I did Karaoke for the first time recently - it has always terrified me - but I felt safe and thrilled to be singing 9 to 5 by my childhood hero.  ~ Isolde

Dolly Parton

When I was kid I was obsessed with a Dolly Parton tape my parents bought as a joke for the car. I loved all her songs and would play them for hours and hours whilst lip syncing in front of my toilet mirror. Now as an adult I still love a good Dolly Parton song. She’s also a treat to watch in interview, exuding fun and kindness. I did Karaoke for the first time recently - it has always terrified me - but I felt safe and thrilled to be singing 9 to 5 by my childhood hero.

~ Isolde

Eve Ensler  In my third year at university I co-directed The Vagina Monologues, with an incredible group of women, who did a wonderful justice to the piece.⁣ ⁣ Working so closely with her text, unpicking these women’s stories, and working out how to portray them... had a profound impact on me, shifting something for me that I’m struggling to articulate... But it planted something for me, a need and a want to tell women’s stories, and make them heard...⁣ ⁣ Ensler for me, was a sort of feminist catalyst, handing me my feminist-tinted glasses, through which I now see and experience the world, which I’ve never been able to take off since, nor would I want to (not sure this analogy works, but I’m going with it!)⁣ ⁣ I’m not sure I really realised this until sitting down to write this. I just knew she’d had an impact on me, I’d just never sat down to try and articulate how... (I still don’t quite feel like I have, but hopefully you get the jist!)⁣ ⁣ Ensler is such an incredible woman in so many ways, and there was no way we could celebrate inspirational women without her!⁣  ~ Jess

Eve Ensler

In my third year at university I co-directed The Vagina Monologues, with an incredible group of women, who did a wonderful justice to the piece.⁣

Working so closely with her text, unpicking these women’s stories, and working out how to portray them... had a profound impact on me, shifting something for me that I’m struggling to articulate... But it planted something for me, a need and a want to tell women’s stories, and make them heard...⁣

Ensler for me, was a sort of feminist catalyst, handing me my feminist-tinted glasses, through which I now see and experience the world, which I’ve never been able to take off since, nor would I want to (not sure this analogy works, but I’m going with it!)⁣

I’m not sure I really realised this until sitting down to write this. I just knew she’d had an impact on me, I’d just never sat down to try and articulate how... (I still don’t quite feel like I have, but hopefully you get the jist!)⁣

Ensler is such an incredible woman in so many ways, and there was no way we could celebrate inspirational women without her!⁣

~ Jess

Ruth Bader Ginsberg⁣ ⁣ RBG is the second woman to have been appointed to the Supreme Court, and has served since 1993. Throughout her career, she’s fought tirelessly and courageously to stand up for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and many other marginalised groups. She’s famously won cases to improve women’s access to reproductive healthcare, pregnancy, and equal pay, as well playing a huge part in the successful ruling to allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states in the US in 2015. ⁣ ⁣ She’s such an impressive woman, who’s spent her life fighting for equal rights, which is pretty much as inspirational as it gets.⁣

Ruth Bader Ginsberg⁣

RBG is the second woman to have been appointed to the Supreme Court, and has served since 1993. Throughout her career, she’s fought tirelessly and courageously to stand up for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and many other marginalised groups. She’s famously won cases to improve women’s access to reproductive healthcare, pregnancy, and equal pay, as well playing a huge part in the successful ruling to allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states in the US in 2015. ⁣

She’s such an impressive woman, who’s spent her life fighting for equal rights, which is pretty much as inspirational as it gets.⁣

Juno Mac  Last year we had the privilege of supporting Juno Mac and Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement to create a short animated documentary about the lives of British sex workers. Juno is a sex worker and activist campaigning for better working conditions for sex workers by fighting criminalisation

Juno Mac

Last year we had the privilege of supporting Juno Mac and Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement to create a short animated documentary about the lives of British sex workers. Juno is a sex worker and activist campaigning for better working conditions for sex workers by fighting criminalisation

Marie Kondo.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I bought her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ as a Christmas present to myself in 2016. I’d been meaning to buy it for a while, and in my last minute “I’ll just buy books for everyone for Christmas” spree, I saw it on one of the tables in Waterstones and picked it up.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Marie Kondo’s book very much found me at the right moment in my life, I read it in a few days, and began the KonMari process in the new year. At that point in my life, I was struggling with work and had just begun a trial separation with my then partner of nearly ten years. ⁣⁣  In beginning the process, effectively sorting through my life, the difficult elements in my life began to resolve. Only a few months later, Isolde and I decided to leave our old jobs, and start Woven Ink, not long then after, my relationship came to its natural end, and then a few months after that, I met my now fiancé, who brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One of the most poignant quotes from the book, which has stayed with me for obvious reasons, reads: ‘The moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change.” Never have two sentences rung so true.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Kondo is an inspiration to me, not only for how her KonMari method profoundly shifted the way I think about the things and people I bring into my life, but also because of who she is. She’s worked hard on her craft, honing it and tinkering with it for years to get to the point she’s at now. And most importantly, her motivation is the most wonderful of all motivations - joy.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ You really should read her book, if you haven’t already. It’s beautiful. ⁣⁣  ~ Jess⁣⁣

Marie Kondo.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I bought her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ as a Christmas present to myself in 2016. I’d been meaning to buy it for a while, and in my last minute “I’ll just buy books for everyone for Christmas” spree, I saw it on one of the tables in Waterstones and picked it up.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Marie Kondo’s book very much found me at the right moment in my life, I read it in a few days, and began the KonMari process in the new year. At that point in my life, I was struggling with work and had just begun a trial separation with my then partner of nearly ten years. ⁣⁣

In beginning the process, effectively sorting through my life, the difficult elements in my life began to resolve. Only a few months later, Isolde and I decided to leave our old jobs, and start Woven Ink, not long then after, my relationship came to its natural end, and then a few months after that, I met my now fiancé, who brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
One of the most poignant quotes from the book, which has stayed with me for obvious reasons, reads: ‘The moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change.” Never have two sentences rung so true.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Kondo is an inspiration to me, not only for how her KonMari method profoundly shifted the way I think about the things and people I bring into my life, but also because of who she is. She’s worked hard on her craft, honing it and tinkering with it for years to get to the point she’s at now. And most importantly, her motivation is the most wonderful of all motivations - joy.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
You really should read her book, if you haven’t already. It’s beautiful. ⁣⁣

~ Jess⁣⁣

Laura Bates  Founder of the  #EverydaySexism  project, launched in 2012, Bates’ shone a spotlight on the current state of sexism all over the world, by providing a platform for women and men to share their personal experiences of sexism in today's society.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Bates’ has played a huge role in helping inform our narratives around feminism in more recent years. In her various publications and articles, she provides such compelling statements and facts about where as a world we still stand in the inequality of the sexes, and although so much has been done, ultimately so much of the sexism in existence, has been so massively normalised, that it so often gets ignored, shut down and even denied.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Bates’ composure during debates is inspiring, and personally we feel has helped provide us with tools and armour needed to tackle the most frustrating of anti-feminist arguments we encounter. We’re looking forward to reading her new book The Burning.

Laura Bates

Founder of the #EverydaySexism project, launched in 2012, Bates’ shone a spotlight on the current state of sexism all over the world, by providing a platform for women and men to share their personal experiences of sexism in today's society.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Bates’ has played a huge role in helping inform our narratives around feminism in more recent years. In her various publications and articles, she provides such compelling statements and facts about where as a world we still stand in the inequality of the sexes, and although so much has been done, ultimately so much of the sexism in existence, has been so massively normalised, that it so often gets ignored, shut down and even denied.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Bates’ composure during debates is inspiring, and personally we feel has helped provide us with tools and armour needed to tackle the most frustrating of anti-feminist arguments we encounter. We’re looking forward to reading her new book The Burning.