Formidable Women

In conjunction with Women’s History Month, Amy McDaniel has declared today “Formidable Women Day” and asked people to celebrate “by making your own list of the formidable women who are alive to you.” There’s even a hashtag, #formidablewomen.

I’m (almost too) scared to make a list because lists are exclusionary. Lists are hegemonic; order is patriarchal. But of course it’s fun to think about, and enriching, and I do want to take an opportunity to name some people I admire. So I’m limiting myself to ten, though I could go on and on. And these ten, of course, are in no order. They are also very personal, which is why I talk about myself so much in the annotations.


Amy McDaniel is not only the founder of F.W.D. but also she tops my list. She has been one of my favorite writers since I first read her posts at HTMLGiant, and she’s an easy but probing conversationalist. She talks through ideas with me for hours until, finally, I start to understand an ethical perspective that she seems to have arrived at automatically years ago. I’m lucky in love with her!



Bethany Hamann was one of my first female besties—so smart, adventurous, and snarky—and as I grew up without sisters or female friends (I was sheltered), just being around her helped me understand women as people, not just “other species.”


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