Women, unite, go out and kick ass

This weekend I watched Mary Magdalene in the movies. I wasn’t expecting much of it, but it really touched me. It may be due to the current scenario. You may have heard of the Brazilian council woman Marielle Franco’s assassination here in Brazil last week (if not, here’s an article about it, and a quick search on Google will provide you with more information about this brutal murder). Besides, if you are a woman, you know the struggles we all go through, some more than others. If not, you may at least have an idea or have heard of what it’s like.

I thought the movie is really touching, but this line by a woman particularly stroke me:

We’re women. Our lives are not our own.

It suddenly occurred to me that we go through the same problems since forever. Our current reality is not that different from the reality at that time. When I start thinking the only difference is that we are more open to speaking up, Marielle’s tragic story reminds me we are not.

So are our hands tied? Isn’t there anything we can do? Should we simply conform? NO! We will not be silenced.

We do have more success stories, inspiring movies (have you watched Black Panther?), amazing role models out there to help us get inspired, not give up and keep on fighting. Together, we are stronger.

Besides doing my part setting the example and speaking up when I can, I host an interview series, Greatest Women in Translation. This is my teeny tiny contribution to making ourselves seen and valued, as translators. Now, I came up with another idea for women in general. What we need is inspiration and being valued for what we are and do, not for our looks. Every single one of us is important, but sometimes we lack recognition, support, love. Something simple we can do to strengthen our bond and empower other women is recognize them.

Therefore, I suggest you, whoever you are regardless of gender, leave a comment below telling us who the woman you admire the most are, whoever they are, and why. Which women inspire you, always teach you something or make the difference in your life or even in the world? Go even beyond that and let them know somehow.

I’ll start by naming mine:

  • My mom. I know it’s tacky, but it’s the truth. She’s a strong and determined woman who worked a lot to raise three girls and provide them with what she wasn’t able to have: education. She worked with my dad, but she was the one behind everything. She traveled a lot, spent sleepless nights, never fretted and imposed herself. Most of what I am today I owe to her.
  • My dear friend Carolina Ventura. She’s married and a mom of two lovely girls. Being single and having no kids, I always admire those who run a business having a family. And I think she is the perfect example of it. She’s an admirable professional who exemplary juggles business with family and a quality personal life. A great translator, mom, wife, daughter and friend.
  • Emma Watson. She had everything to take a different path: a beautiful face in Hollywood amidst smashing fame with the Harry Potter movies. Instead, she chose the path to do good and make a difference in the world, including empowering women.

I’m inspired by many other amazing women, from my family (I have an aunt who defied my grandparents and pursued her studies anyway – the only woman to do so in her house; later moved to another country due to lack of recognition in her own, and now lives with her husband, daughter and son far from her entire family), friends, and famous people (e.g. Michele Obama), but I just wanted to give an example in each of those groups.

The world will only change as we change. I will not be silent. I will be heard.
Mary Magdalene, in the movie

Now it’s your turn. Empower someone who you admire by recognizing her in the comments below.

In need to feel inspired? Here are some inspiring quotes by inspiring women.

10 thoughts on “Women, unite, go out and kick ass

  1. Thank you for this post, Carol!
    I’m a senior lecturer in French, German and Translation in the UK. The woman I admire is my 25-year-old daughter. She trained as an actor and is struggling to follow her vocation while being independent and not asking her parents to bail her out! She has worked at a call centre, at a pub, at a restaurant, at a nursery, as a teaching assistant in a special school, and now as a theatre practitioner in a private school, while trying to network, apply for auditions, and generally maintain the hope that she can do what she loves most, which is perform. From a rather passive teenager (politically) she has blossomed into a passionate socialist and feminist who wants to make the world a better place by educating men and women of all ages about gender equality. I’m so proud of her!

    On a professional level, I admire Professor Kalwant Bhopal who always tweets the most interesting articles about social justice.


    • Loved your contribution! Thank you so much!

      Wow, your daughter is indeed a strong and determined woman. But, you know, most of the times, strong daughters come from strong mothers, and I am sure this is your case. Congratulations on doing such a great job raising your daughter! And don’t you worry so much. She will thrive, no doubt about that.

      Also, thanks for mentioning Professor Kalwant Bhopal! I didn’t know her, but I’ve just started following her on Twitter. 🙂


      • Thank you for that lovely reply.
        I also wanted to mention a former colleague and translator, @rosie_hedger. She is at the start of her career, but is beginning to make her name and win awards as a literary translator from Norwegian to English. I’m so thrilled for her – she comes and speaks to our students and tells them that there is no reason why they shouldn’t aspire to a career in literary translation, because there are opportunities if they look for them – and she’s the proof!


  2. Great post, Carol.
    I’m must say I had to think a little bit. You see, because of my dad’s profession, I was raised a lot more under male than female influence. However, the good thing was that my father was always very clear and honest with me about the perils of being a woman in our society, so he prioritized my education and my upbringing in a way that would empower me and give me the tools to succeed, and for that, I am very grateful and thankful. Having a father who understood this and focused on walking me through it is what made me what I am today.
    As for the women, I’d say both of my grandmothers were strong, determined women who went through a lot in their time and their life stories are guiding examples to me.
    Then, comes Emily Murphy (1868–1933) – The first woman magistrate in the British Empire. In 1927 she joined forces with four other Canadian women who sought to challenge an old Canadian law that said, “women should not be counted as persons”.
    Lastly, Malala Yousafzai. Malala is a Pakistani schoolgirl who defied threats of the Taliban to campaign for the right to education. She survived being shot in the head by the Taliban and has become a global advocate for women’s rights, especially the right to education. One of the amazing things about Malala is that she is a young female voice against scores of older, powerful male figures.


  3. My dear Carol,
    This is a double thank you: thank you for writing and posting such an important text and thank you for mentioning me in it! It really touched my heart and it took a while for your words to sink in!
    As for women who inspire me:
    – my mom, who has shown me how to live life with dignity and ethics and who has taught me the importance of helping people. She was also the one who encouraged me to learn English, as she is an English teacher, and I owe my career to her;
    – Leila Barbara, Antonieta Celani and Rosinda Ramos, strong and extremely competent women who guided me in my postgraduate studies and taught me to be a researcher, a skill that is extremely useful for translators;
    – Madonna, for writing songs I love and for making me dance and sing since I was thirteen. Also, for teaching me to respect diversity and to always change and evolve as time goes by;
    – last but not least: YOU, Caroline Alberoni, for being my role model in this career, for encouraging me to get out and face the outside world of Translation, for introducing me to so many wonderful translators, for teaching me how to use CAT tools – and for being my FRIEND.


    • Dearest Carol,

      I truly meant it. I’m so grateful for having you in my life.

      My mom was also the one responsible for enrolling me in an ESL school. I was 16 at the time. When things got rough financial-wise, whe talked to the principal to see what could be done. That was when I started teaching English. I also owe my career to her.

      Lovely to learn about your postgraduate teachers. Do let them know. Teachers can always use some recognition.

      Madonna is indeed a strong female public figure. She’s a rule-breaker and rocks! Did you see there’s quote by her in the link I provided? “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” Hell, yeah!

      And, finally, thank you for mentioning me! 🙂 We both learn a lot from each other, and that’s how a true friendship should be like.


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