The Eclectic Others – Or What Would I Have Been Without You?:

Welcome to the ‘Look At All The Women’ Carnival: Week 3 – ‘The
Eclectic Others’

This post was written especially for inclusion in the
three-week-long ‘Look At All The Women’ carnival, hosted by Mother’s Milk Books, to celebrate the launch of
Cathy Bryant’s new book ‘Look At All The Women’. In this final week of
the carnival our participants share their thoughts on the theme ‘The
Eclectic Others’ (the third, and final, chapter in Cathy’s new poetry

Please read to the end of the post for a full list of carnival


We often get asked questions like “which person inspires you?” and “who do you look up to?” as games or ‘getting to know you’ exercises. However, the people you choose can be very telling.

I have been focussing on the women who have inspired me. There are lots of fictional heroines that have inspired me, I think I mentioned in my first blog carnival post my love of Disney’s Mulan. I also looked up to Matilda created by Roald Dahl, the feisty child with superpowers who used intelligence against the stupid adults.  I always wanted a nanny like Mary Poppins and as I got older I began to identify more and more with Bridget Jones, unfortunately.  I like quirky characters, who come alive and have a powerful story to tell.

My literary tastes are as eclectic as I am. My favourite literary females at the moment range from Daenerys Targaryen to Katniss Everdeen, Rebecca (from Rebecca) and Lady McBeth. All strong and independent, even if they are not all on the side of good.

Obviously most of us route for the underdog, we want a dramatic triumph, we want to see them change and become who they need to be. We want them to win in the end. However, in life, we don;t always win.  Real life proves this. History proves this. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight for what we believe in.

Looking into history, there are some very prominent females who have stood out for me.

Mary Ann Evans pretended to be a man under the pen name of George Eliot and wrote novels such as Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede which are still read, renowned and considered classics today. She showed everyone women could write, and refused to let the fact she was a woman stop her sharing her words. As a female writer, I identify with her a lot, and not just because we share the same home town.

Rosa Parks’ refusal to move always strikes a chord with me. She helped the civil rights movement by merely sticking to her morals, her own rights and keeping her dignity. I think it is a lesson everyone can use, male or female. Stick to what you believe is right. Don’t back down. Peaceful protest.

Lady Godiva showed (metaphorical) balls, and showed everything else as well. She was stubborn but got stuff done because she wasn’t scared, she was willing to risk things. I admire that.

Boudica, queen of the Iceni, with her flaming red locks, riding on chariots and refusal to give into the onslaught of Rome. Okay, yes, she had a very tragic end, however, she went down in history as a fighter who lead her people to many victories. She again showed that you need not give in and women can be just as fierce and just as deadly as men.

Recently, I have been inspired by Malala Yousafzai who went to school despite the taliban and is an advocate for women’s rights and women’s education. She continued her work despite being shot in the head. She never gave up and at such a young age she has a clear idea of how she wants to help shape the world. I know I for one am glad people like her are shaping my future.

Kimberly Jamison


Book cover for Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant
Look At All The Women by Cathy Bryant

Look At All The Women is now available to buy from:

The Mother’s Milk Bookshop (as a paperback and PDF)
– we can ship books around the world!

and as a paperback from

It can also be ordered via your local bookshop.

If you’d like to know more about Mother’s Milk Books — our submission
guidelines, who we are and what we do — please find more details here:

Please take the time to read and comment on the following fab posts
submitted by some wonderful women:

‘Heroines and Inspirations’— Cathy Bryant, guest
posting at Mother’s Milk Books, shares two of her own
powerful, inspiring poems, and the stories behind them.

‘Sensitivity’Marija Smits shares
a poem, with an accompanying image, that gives a glimpse into the inner
workings of a highly sensitive person.

Georgie St Clair shares her creative female heroines in
her post ‘Creative Others: Mothers Who Have It All’

‘The Eclectic Others – Or What Would I Have Been Without
— Kimberly Jamison posts to her blog The Book
a thank you to the women of literature and history who
have been in her life, shaped her life, saved her life and gave her a

‘Barbie speaks out’ — Ana Salote at Colouring Outside the Lines shares a
platform with feminist icon, Barbie.

‘Her Village’ — An older (much older than most)
first time mother, Ellie Stoneley from Mush Brained
firmly believes in the old African adage that it
takes a village to raise a child. To that end she has surrounded her
daughter with the love, mischief and inspiration of an extremely
eclectic bunch of villagers.

Survivor writes about the inspiring life of La Malinche and her place in
Mexican history at Surviving Mexico: Adventures and Disasters.

Sophelia writes about the importance of her community as a family
at Sophelia’s Adventures in Japan.

11 thoughts on “The Eclectic Others – Or What Would I Have Been Without You?:

  1. Thanks very much! I tried not to be too obscure. Ah, make sure to let us know of any poems that pop up, I’m sure they’ll be amazing as always.

  2. Yes, as Cathy says, a wonderful post full of great heroines 🙂

    I remember being absolutely fascinated by the book ‘Song for a Dark Queen’ (about Boudicca) by Rosemary Sutcliff, which I read when I was young. I’ve still got it on my bookshelf and it still conjures images of a powerful woman, strong and defiant, trying her utmost to defend her children and tribe from the horrors of the Roman military ‘machine’. A brilliant book.

    Keep on gathering your heroines Kimberly – they will, no doubt, help you with your own battles.

  3. Enjoyed your post, Kimberley. I love women who follow their own star: Aung San Suu Kyi, Mother Theresa; also originals and rule-breakers: Vivienne Westwood, Patti Smith; and women who take risks with their emotions, who live on the edge with passion: Billy Holliday, Edith Piaf.

  4. this carnival is bringing yet more inspirational women to the fore … and your post has caused me to reflect on those (women and girls) who have put a spring in my step and driven me forward at times, from Madame Bovary, to Anne Louvert in the Girl at the Lion D’Or… Rosa Parks and Anne Frank, the mother of the little girl born 10 minutes after my daughter and Frida Kahlo … all so different and all so influential, and of course my own mother who travelled the world just after the war determined not to be cowed by tyranny or sexism. Thanks for bringing all this into such sharp focus for me

  5. I’m glad you mentioned heroines who aren’t always “on the good side”! There is as much to be learned from mistakes as from triumphs, and I think it is a mistake to only look to the good. A well-written literary villain is one whose motivation we can understand and empathise with, even if we do not agree or condone.

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