The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Judy Blume

Blume-JudyWho has created a bigger impact on children’s literature than Judy Blume? She was among the first authors to write teen novels about racism, menstruation, divorce, bullying, masturbation, and teen sex. She’s also written chapter books and novels for adults, selling more than 82 million copies of her books in 32 languages. In the 1980s, Judy found herself in the center of an organized book banning campaign. Ever since, she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read.

Judy Blume Quotes

• The best books come from someplace inside. You don’t write because you want to, but because you have to.

• I’m really quite bad at coming up with plot ideas. I like to create characters and just see what will happen to them when I let them loose!

• I wrote Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret right out of my own experiences and feelings when I was in sixth grade. Controversy wasn’t on my mind. I wanted only to write what I knew to be true. I wanted to write the best, the most honest books I could, the kinds of books I would have liked to read when I was younger. If someone had told me then I would become one of the most banned writers in America, I’d have laughed.

• I wanted to show sexuality with responsibility. I wanted girls to have a good time. Damn, I was a girl.

• I talk to God as a confidant, the way Margaret does.

• Censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children’s lives.

• You cannot say, “I don’t want a book in the library because I don’t want my child to read it” when everybody else’s children have the right to read it.

To learn more about Judy, her books, and her views on censorship, visit her website. To watch video interviews of Judy, go to here.

Simon & Schuster is reissuing Judy’s middle grade novels in April with cover illustrations by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Click here to read about Debbie’s new covers as well as her exciting news about other Blume classics.

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The Quotable Nerdy Chick: MAKERS.com

makers.com

While researching the modern women’s movement for a novel, I came across a remarkable documentary called MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Using interviews, it told the story of the social revolution by American women who fought for their share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.

That documentary led me to MAKERS.com, self-described as “a dynamic digital platform showcasing thousands of compelling stories—both known and unknown—from trailblazing women of today and tomorrow.” This ongoing initiative aims to be the largest and most dynamic collection of women’s stories ever assembled.

Yep, video interviews with thousands of Nerdy Chicks!

Founded by Dyllan McGee (her story here) and developed by AOL and PBS, MAKERS.com introduces you to strong, committed women from such categories as: Groundbreakers, Politics, Arts, Science & Tech, etc.

Here’s just a sample of these very Quotable Nerdy Chicks:

Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of USA

• Don’t let other people create your persona. Don’t let other people paint the picture of who you represent.

• We need to bring a more diverse thinking around the business table, around the government table, around any table where tough decisions are being made.

Erin Brockovich, environmental activist

• Someone, somewhere, went out on a limb. They created a law. They changed a life. They made a difference.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, first Latina elected to Congress

• Is this a great country or what? To think that a Cuban refuge could come to the United States, not know a word of English…I’m now a member of Congress. I’ll always have that little niche in the history books.

If you were born after 1960, you owe it to yourself to better understand how women’s roles in America evolved from the 1950s to today. Meet the courageous women who stood up and demanded to be heard by clicking here and watch MAKERS: Women Who Make America. Six more documentaries will be released later this year.

100 years ago today….

Women demonstrating, 100 years ago, for the right to vote.

Women demonstrating, 100 years ago, for the right to vote.

Five thousand women marched along Pennsylvania Avenue and demanded the right to vote. This was a huge step toward being awarded that right on August 26, 1920. So today we celebrate Sudan B Anthony’s words of wisdom.  Anthony (1820-1906) is known for her work with the United States’ women’s rights movement. Today, nerdy chicks everywhere salute her eloquence.

Susan B. Anthony Quotes

• It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.

• Men – their rights and nothing more; Women – their rights and nothing less.

• The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball — the further I am rolled the more I gain.

• I can’t say that the college-bred woman is the most contented woman. The broader her mind the more she understands the unequal conditions between men and women, the more she chafes under a government that tolerates it.

• I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

• If all the rich and all of the church people should send their children to the public schools they would feel bound to concentrate their money on improving these schools until they met the highest ideals.

• Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood.

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The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Tina Fey

Tina Fey (b. 1970) is an American comedian, writer, and producer.  I’ve been a fan since first seeing her on Saturday Night Live. This week marked the final episode 😦 of 30 Rock, a show Fey wrote for and starred in. Tina_Fey_by_David_ShankboneThe list of awards she has received for writing and acting is very long and includes Emmys, Golden Globes, and People’s Choice Awards.  To find out more about this smart, funny woman click HERE.

Tina Fey Quotes:

  • Mary Tyler Moore was a working woman whose story lines were not always about dating and men. They were about work and friendships and relationships, which is what I feel my adult life has mostly been about.
  • Somewhere around the fifth or seventh grade I figured out I could ingratiate myself to people by making them laugh. Essentially, I was just trying to make them like me. But after a while it became part of my identity.
  • Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.
  • I became immersed in the cult of improvisation. I was like one of those athletes trying to get into the Olympics. It was all about blind focus. I was so sure that I was doing exactly what I’d been put on this earth to do, and I would have done anything to make it onto that stage.
  • Confidence is ten percent hard work and ninety percent delusion.
  • Don’t worry about trying to change opinions. Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.

I love what she says about confidence… and even though I think it’s probably a true statement, I cling to the delusion!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Frances Perkins

File:Image FrancesPerkinsAfterRooseveltsDeath.jpgIn 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed a woman named Frances Perkins as Secretary of the Department of Labor. This was the first time a woman held a cabinet position in the United States. She held this position for twelve years, the longest tenure of any Secretary of Labor. That means Frances was not only the first time a woman to enter the presidential line of succession, but that she was in line for the job for over a decade. As astonishing as this is, Frances was probably so used to breaking convention by that point that it hardly shortened her stride. After all, she went to court to defend her right to keep her own name after she got married (in a time when women were really only known by their association with men) and she was sole wage earner in her family. As Secretary of Labor through the New Deal, Frances put a lasting mark on American life and culture. We can thank her for things like social security, unemployment insurance, federal child labor laws, and the federal minimum wage. Find out more about this amazing Nerdy Chick HERE.

Frances Perkins Quotes:

  • “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.”
  • “The door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time, and I had a kind of duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant in geography to sit in the high seats.”
  • “I promise to use what brains I have to meet problems with intelligence and courage. I promise that I will be candid about what I know. I promise to all of you who have the right to know, the whole truth so far as I can speak it. If I have been wrong, you may tell me so, for I really have no pride in judgment.”
  • “Most of man’s problems upon this planet, in the long history of the race, have been met and solved either partially or as a whole by experiment based on common sense and carried out with courage.”

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) was baptized Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu as a baby. She spent most of her adult life in mother teresaIndia helping the poor, but people around the world know her name – a name that has become synonymous with compassion and selflessness. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. There is much more to be said about who she was and what she achieved! Read more about her life HERE.

Mother Teresa Quotes:

  • Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
  • Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
  • Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
  • We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
  • Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Given so many recent violent tragedies, I am left wondering what the world would be like if we could all love in the way Mother Teresa did, intensely. And I’m hoping that we will see more love than hatred in the world in 2013.

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Belva Lockwood

In honor of the upcoming election, this week’s Quotable Nerdy Chick is one of my personal favorites: Belva Lockwood. It’s sad to me how many people have never heard of Belva. She was such a fascinating woman that I believe she should be a household name.

In the United States in 1884, only men were allowed to vote. But Belva decided that she would take a bold but legal step: she ran for president! After all, the law only prohibited women from voting, not from getting votes. And, believe it or not, Belva got votes! She ran an effective campaign and actually convinced hundreds of men to vote for a woman for president. But don’t think they were sympathy votes! Belva’s run for office was based on experience and merit: unlike many women of the time, she went to college, then to law school, and even argued cases before the Supreme Court.

Quotes from Belva Lockwood:

“If nations could only depend upon fair and impartial judgments in a world court of law, they would abandon the senseless, savage practice of war.”

“I know we can’t abolish prejudice through laws, but we can set up guidelines for our actions by legislation.”

“I am, and always have been a progressive woman, and while never directly attacking the conventionalities of society, have always done, or attempted to do those things which I have considered conducive to my health, convenience or emolument.”

File:Belva Ann Lockwood - Brady-Handy.jpg“The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.”

“I have been now fourteen years before the bar, in an almost continuous practice, and my experience has been large, often serious, and many times amusing. I have never lacked plenty of good paying work; but, while I have supported my family well, I have not grown rich. In business I have been patient, painstaking, and indefatigable. There is no class of case that comes before the court that I have not ventured to try . . . either civil, equitable, or criminal; and my clients have been as largely men as women. There is a good opening at the bar for the class of women who have taste and tact for it.”

Learn more about Belva at the National Archives or check out my book, BALLOTS FOR BELVA.