Good women seldom make history.
October 6, 2015 7:30 AM   Subscribe

This is Professor Wangari Maathai. The first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first Kenyan woman to earn a doctoral degree. An icon of Kenya’s democratic movement who repeatedly put not just her mind but also her body on the line in order to secure a better future for Kenyans and their natural environment. But Maathai’s standing in Kenya is definitely ambiguous. She is beloved by feminists and environmentalists, and tolerated by everyone else... Women are expected to look backwards on guidance on what it means to be “good” – where “good” is primarily defined by men – but not too good because that makes women less interesting to men. This was not Wangari Maathai.
posted by ChuraChura (5 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks for this. I am always amazed and humbled by people who put their bodies and lives on the line to better the lives of their fellow women and men.

It's great that Malala Yousafzai continues to receive international recognition and coverage (and I hope that she is allowed to grow into the leader that she aspires to be without interference from those who have their own selfish and financial interests at stake). But it's a shame that equally-brave heroes such as Dr. Maathai did not get the same kind of coverage and support.

And now it seems that the propaganda machine is effectively wiping out her memory, though I hope my observation is wrong.
posted by bitteroldman at 8:12 AM on October 6, 2015

Looks interesting. Thanks.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:06 AM on October 6, 2015

An excellent post; thanks.
posted by languagehat at 9:29 AM on October 6, 2015

A great leader.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:42 PM on October 6, 2015

She should be featured on!
posted by cajetsetter at 12:44 PM on October 6, 2015

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