Isabella Kauakea Yau Yung Aiona Abbott: Why she kicks ass
- She was an educator and ethnobotanist from Hawaii, who became the first Hawaiian woman to receive a Ph.D. in science, and the leading expert on Pacific algae.
- She wrote eight books and over 150 publications on Hawaiian seaweed, from scientific reference guides to books about her ethnobotanical studies—which reveal that under the kapu system, women in ancient Hawaiian culture were the community’s seaweed harvesters. (Before her publications, no extensive resource existed on Hawaiian limu.)
- She was considered the world’s leading expert on Hawaiian seaweeds, known in the Hawaiian language as limu. She was credited with discovering over 200 species, with several named after her, including the Rhodomelaceae family (red algae) genus of Abbottella. This has earned her the nickname “first lady of limu”.
- She was a professor emerita of the University of Hawaii, as well as Stanford University, where she taught for 32 years, and was the first female professor in the school’s biological sciences department.
- She grew up in Honolulu, and graduated from Kamehameha Schools in 1937. She received her undergraduate degree in botany at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 1941, a master’s degree in botany from the University of Michigan in 1942, and a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley in 1950.
- In 1960 she started teaching summer classes as a lecturer at Hopkins. She compiled a book on Marine algae of the Monterey peninsula, which later was expanded to include all of the California coast. In 1972 Stanford took the unusual step of promoting her directly to a full professor. In 1982 both Abbotts retired and moved back to Hawaii, where she was hired by the University of Hawaii to study ethnobotany, the interaction of humans and plants.
- In 1997 she received the Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2008 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for her studies of coral reefs.
- She was the G. P. Wilder Professor of Botany from 1980 until her retirement, and then was professor emerita of Botany at the University of Hawaii. She served on the board of directors of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum.
- In November 1997 she co-authored an essay in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin criticizing the trustees of Kamehameha Schools, which led to its reorganization.
- In 2005, she was named a Living Treasure of Hawai’i. Abbott died October 28, 2010 at the age of 91 at her home in Honolulu.
Sudha Chandran: Why she kicks ass
- She is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, Indian film and television actress.
- She attended a famous dance school in Mumbai ‘Kala Sadan at the age of five. The teachers refused to admit such a young girl but her father discussed the matter with the principal of that school, and requested him to at least see her dance once. The principal was surprised to see Sudha’s perform so beautifully that he finally admitted her in the prestigious institution.
- In 1981, while traveling from there to the South during pilgrimage via the scindia school in Tamil Nadu, she met with an accident, resulting in her right leg being amputated. She has said that this period was the toughest time of her life.
- Half a year after the amputation, Sudha came across an article about Dr. Sethi of Jaipur and about the artificial legs that he manufactured. The doctor assured that with the light aluminium legs, she could once again chase her dreams and Sudha was back in Mumbai with a dash.
- With this a new round of struggle began. First, she began to practice walking with her artificial leg. On meeting with success at this first stage, she tried to dance as well. This was however not easy. Although Dr. Sethi deputed an assistant to study Sudha’s dance and make the changes as per the requirements of dance, the changes made by the assistant could not reduce the problems. Her leg would often bleed and as the movements of the leg become faster, the pain became more severe. At the end of every dance session, when she used to see the blood, she would start losing hope.
- However, her determination did not falter and she was able to control her disappointment. There used to be severe pain due to friction of the skin of the amputated leg and the artificial leg. She used to bear the pain and did not allow her face to reflect her agony.
- On January 28, 1984 , she presented a dance programme along with another dancer Preeti in a hall of the “South India Welfare Society” of Mumbai. She had already been acknowledged as a proficient dancer before the accident, and had received two important awards- Nritya Mayuri from the Dance Academy and Bharatnatyam and Nav Jyoti from the Telugu Academy. Both these awards were considered outstanding in the field of dance, compelling her to maintain her reputation.
- At the end of the show, the hall echoed with the sound of claps. The programme was considered very successful. Dance reviewers appreciated the performance. Newspapers and magazine were full of descriptions, appreciation and pictures.
- With the help of her prosthetic ’Jaipur foot’, she become one of the most highly acclaimed dancers of the Indian subcontinent, and received invitations from all over the world for performances. She was honored with various awards after she performed as far away from home as Europe, Canada and the Middle East.
- The famous Telugu film producer, Ramoji Rao, not only praised her but also decided to produce a film based on her life story. The film was titled Mayuri, and Sudha was being cast as herself as the protagonist. Although she hesitated initially and said that she was fully devoted to her dance only and that she did not have sufficient knowledge of acting, the film was a hit. Sudha’s acting won as much appreciation as her dance.
- Sudha won a special award- Silver Lotus and Rs.5,000 for her acting in this film. This award was presented by the then President of India, Gyani Zail Singh at the 33rd National Film Festival on the recommendation of members of the jury.
- On seeing the outstanding success of the film, its producer made the film in Hindi as well. This Hindi film was titled Nache Mayuri and it spread the news of her talent in the entire nation.
Nursyahbani Katjasungkana: Why she kicks ass
“Strengthening and empowering the community is the key to change”.
- She is a feminist lawyer and advocate of women’s human rights who, in 1995, founded the Women’s Association for Justice (APIK) and established the Women’s Legal Aid institution in Jakarta, the members of which were initially recruited from among former clients and survivors and trained as paralegals.
- During the 1998 reformation, along with several other women activists, Nursyahbani founded the Indonesian Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy, the first mass-based women’s organization in the country since 1965, and was elected its first Secretary General.
- She is a member of People Consultative Assembly (Senate) and she in 2004 was elected as Member of Parliament. She is also a Vice President of ASEAN Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus based in Kuala Lumpur, a Founding and Board Member of UNDP-Partnership for Good Governance, a member of the Advisory Board of Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Culture (Netherlands) and a co-Founder of Kartini, Gender and Women’s Studies Network in Asia, of which she is currently a co-coordinator.
- She is also a columnist and has published 5 books on issues related to various legal women’s issues, particularly on violence against women and the implementation of CEDAW. She has published several articles and chapters as well as many conference papers.
- In 1990, when there were few women’s groups in Indonesia, Nursyahbani founded the Women’s Solidarity Foundation. During her term as its director (1993-1995), the foundation transformed into an association, an organizational structure which was more democratic, compared to the top-down structure of a foundation.
- With several NGOs, she formed the Women’s NGO Network to Monitor the Indonesian Government’s Implementation of the Convention in the Elimination of Discrimination and Violence Against Women, or CEDAW. This network compiled the first shadow report to the government’s report to the United Nations on the implementation of CEDAW.
- Nursyahbani represented the NGOs of Indonesia at the UN CEDAW conference in New York in 1998, where she presented the main findings of the shadow report. She always reminds the Government of Indonesia that as a consequence of ratifying CEDAW, the government should consistently promote the legal status of women.
- As a human rights defender, Nursyahbani was involved in the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in East Timor (1999-2000) and the Joint Fact Finding Team for the May Riots (1998), where she looked into the human rights violations suffered by women in situations of conflict and political upheavals.
- Nursyahbani’s most important contribution to peace is her 15 years of tireless work to link human rights, women’s rights and legal rights at the national and regional levels, working within the government structure and community groups in the regions. She is one of the first lawyers to introduce feminist legal theory to Indonesia’s human’s rights discourse through her writings in various media, training courses for lawyers and direct legal advocacy.
Christine Kamau: Why she kicks ass
- Christine Kamau is an afro-jazz trumpeter/composer and a upcoming artist in the Kenyan jazz scene.
- She began showing signs of music appreciation at an early age, which were encouraged her parents by enrolling her for lessons at age eleven to study music theory and classical piano. She subsequently the trumpet at The Kenya Conservatoire of Music under Kagema Gichuhi.
- She is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who also loves playing the alto saxophone and tenor trombone.
- Her style can best be described as easy listening instrumental afro-jazz. Some of her compositions Conversations, African People and Ulisema worked on with Cameroonian music producer Romeo Kouemeni are already receiving radio airplay.
- Her love for African-jazz began while on a trip to South Africa for a music audition where she discovered Jazz music by African horn players like Jonas Gwangwa, Moses Khumalo, Ratau Mike, Moses Molelekwa amongst others. Inspired by the exposure to their music and enthused by their fusion of modern jazz with distinctive South African grooves she began to write and arrange her own music. She draws her inspiration from a spiritual calling coupled by the affection for songwriting and composition.
Naoko Takeuchi: Why she kicks ass
- She is a Japanese manga artist, whose works have a wide following among anime and manga fans worldwide. Her most popular work, Sailor Moon, rose to become one of the most recognized manga and anime products of all time.
- Seriously, all hail the Queen of Awesome.
- She graduated from Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy, where she received a degree in chemistry. (Kyoritsu University of Pharmacy merged with Keio University in 2006.) She became a licensed pharmacist. Her senior thesis had the title “Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound”
- At the age of 19 she published Love Call, which received an award. She worked steadily on one-shot pieces until writing Maria. She based this work, her first serial comic, loosely on Daddy-Long-Legs and on her friend Marie Koizumi, who helped her write it. She also had another serial call The Cherry Project, which ran for three volumes and dealt with skating.
- Upon completing The Cherry Project she wanted to do a manga on outer space and girl fighters. Her editor Fumio Osano (nicknamed Osa-P) asked her to put the fighters in sailor-suits, and thus began Sailor V. When plans began to turn Sailor V into an anime, she reworked the series and added four other Sailor Soldiers. This became Sailor Moon, which proved a hit. While she worked on Sailor Moon she also simultaneously worked on Sailor V.
- Takeuchi established a company, “PNP” which stands for “Princess Naoko Planning”, to manage her properties, mainly Sailor Moon. Later this encompassed Yoshihiro Togashi’s work as well and showed up in the credits for such anime as Level E and Hunter × Hunter, and on several musical credits such as Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu. Takeuchi runs the company herself.
- After production of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon ended, she worked on Toki*Meca. During Toki*Meca Fumio Osano returned and became her editor. At the same time she worked more closely with managing PNP and gave talks to college students.
- Simultaneously she wrote a children’s book titled Oboo-nu- to Chiboo-nu- as a birthday present to her son. (Her husband illustrated the children’s book. She made mention of it in the back of volume 1 of Toki*Meca.) She still works on the website, updating it about once a month with new flash animations or profiles.
I'm a 15-year-old girl in high school. Reading this blog inspires me to kick ass just like the women you post. Hopefully when I get older I'll be on here too!
Hello; I completely get what you mean. I mean, I’m 17 and my goal is to one day be kickass enough to be on this blog too.
I can’t wait to see you grace our page soon! (And of that I have no doubt.)
Keep being kickass!
You have an amazing blog.. :)
Hello! Sorry for the last response to this.
“Spring” cleaning (well, it’s still winter here in Australia), has deemed it time I started cleaning out off the cobwebs and trekking through the inbox and filling the queue to the brim!
Thank you for the message! I love that this blog is so enjoyed; I especially love that our followers tend to be utterly fantastic!
Have a good day!
Sydney Rae White: Why she kicks ass
- She is an English actress and singer-songwriter, who was described as “definitely a star in the making” by the London Times at age 12.
- She’s performed on shows such as The Sarah Jane Adventures, Young Dracula and Misfits, and also starred in hit shows such as Les Miserables, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Woman In White, appeared in front of audiences of up to 44,000 and performed alongside legends including Tina Turner, Michael Crawford, Olivia Newton-John, Wayne Sleep and Juliet Stevenson.
- She was invited to perform in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical The Woman In White, and is also featured on the original cast CD recording with Maria Friedman and Michael Crawford.
- Early in 2003 she was asked to record the lead soprano role of Gerda in a newly-written musical version of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy story The Snow Queen, with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- A special performance in Copenhagen to commemorate Anderson’s anniversary attracted her largest ever audience, including The Danish Royal Family. Later that year, Sydney starred in a lavish celluloid version, shot in Canada. The film is a mixture of GGI and live action, and contains the same breathtaking mixture of music, poetry and narration as the stage production.
- She has modeled on GMTV, recorded voice overs and language tapes, performed at Proms In The Park, featured in a BBC documentary series about the Sylvia Young Theatre School, been a guest presenter on CBBC, undertook charity work for the Shooting Star Foundation, helping to raise £50,000 in one gala evening alone. and won a LAMDA award in 2003.
- She co-formed and is currently preparing to gig in a band called The Wild Things, with songs published on Soundcloud.
Bhikkhuni Dhammananda/Chatsumarn Kabilsingh: Why she kicks ass
- She is a Thai Buddhist nun, who received full bhikkhuni (nun) ordination in Sri Lanka on February 28, 2003, making her the first Thai woman to receive full ordination as a Theravada nun in Dharmaguptaka ordination lineage. She was ordained in Sri Lanka, and is Abbess of Wat Songkhammakalayani, the only temple in Thailand where there are fully ordained nuns.
- The Temple complex which was founded by Venerable Dhammananda’s mother is called Wat Songdhammakalyani, or the “temple where women uphold the Dharma.”
- She received her B.A. in Philosophy from Visva Bharati University, her M.A. in Religion from McMaster University in Canada, and her Ph.D. in Buddhism from Magadh University in India.
- She taught for over thirty years at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, and is a well-known author of many books on contemporary issues in Asian Buddhism, including Buddhism and Ecology and Women in Buddhism.
- She has often said that she knew she would become a monastic in the Buddhist tradition at some point in her life; she was just waiting for the right time. That time came in 2000 when she took early retirement from Thammasat University and received the bodhisattva’s precept from Fo Guang Shan in Taiwan.
- In 2001, she took her lower ordination in Sri Lanka from Ven. Bhikkhuni R.Saddha Sumana and Ven. T. Dhammaloka (bhikkhu). In 2003, she was ordained a full bhikkhuni, also in Sri Lanka, the first Thai woman to be ordained in a Theravada monastic lineage. Her bhikkhuni name is Dhammananda. Her ordination lineage is Syamopali from Dambulla chapter.
- Since her ordination, the Ven. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda has written several books, designed to educate the public about various issues related to Thai Buddhism, including the place of women.
- Both as a lay person and as a monastic, she has worked tirelessly to reestablish the Theravāda lineage in Thailand for women, so that women may become fully ordained bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns, sanskrit: bhikśunī).
- She has encountered resistance from both lay men and monks in Thailand who believe female monastics are illegal and a corruption. Her work has caused some controversy in Thailand, although she receives much support from a growing number of Western Buddhist women.
- In 1984, Dr. Kabilsingh started publishing Yasodhara: The Newsletter on International Buddhist Women’s Activities, available in almost forty countries. She writes/speaks about issues generally thought to constitute “socially engaged Buddhism” such as Buddhism and nature/ecology/environmental issues, Buddhism and poverty, Feminism and Buddhism, prostitution (in Thailand), and Buddhism and education (lay and monastic).
- A few years later in 1991, Dr. Kabilsingh organized the first international conference of Buddhist women held in Bangkok, Thailand.
- While Dr. Kabilsingh has a somewhat global approach as evidenced by founding an international newsletter or hosting an international conference, she has repeatedly stated that most problems in Thailand must be solved by the Thai people without the “help” of outsiders, including Western Buddhists.