A few weeks ago we had the idea to start a series of posts that introduce you to some of the better known women who read Mamamia – your fellow guests at the dinner table.
Last week we met Leigh Sales – journalist and presenter of the iconic current affairs program ABC’s 7:30.
This week we’re changing our tune (literally) and sitting you next to Clare Bowditch. You may know Clare as the beautiful red head with the sultry voice who sings You Make Me Happy with Eddie Perfect on Channel 10’s Offspring. She’s a singer, she’s a story teller, she’s an ARIA Award winner and she’s one of the women we’re so pleased to have around the place.
MM: They say that “You cannot be what you cannot see.” Who do you admire? Who did you look to when growing up?
CB: I had my mother and my sisters and my grandmothers and my aunties – there was a lot of love, a lot to admire. I looked around a little further and struggled to see women like myself in the media, particularly in the music scene. It was not that they didn’t exist, it was that I could not see them, could not really hear their stories. I felt this lack keenly, and it made me rather determined to be an active seeker of role-models.
As a society we often vilify female agitations like Germaine Greer and Catherine Deveny. I do the opposite – I appreciated the contribution that they make, I appreciate the discomfort they put me through when I disagree with them, when they go “too far”, and I am grateful for the relief I feel when they say out loud something that no-one else has been willing to say. Why? Because great societies desperately need great agitators – they bring through new waves of ideas, they represent the spiky bits, they swing the pendulums that would otherwise remain stagnant, and they do it not because they want “popularity” but because they have enormous hearts, enormous concern, enormous care for people and ideas that others dismiss.
Other women I admire – Laurie Anderson, Ruby Hunter, Tavi Gevison, Joni Mitchell, Fabian Dattner, Helen Keller, Rachel Power, Mother Teresa, Anais Nin, Frida khalo, Naomi Wolf, Hildegard Von Bingem, Deborah Conway, Ani di Franco, Quentin Bryce, Noni Hazelhurst, Leigh Sales, Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Anna Schwartz, Marianne Williamson, Anita Roddick, Marieke Hardy, Jane Campion, Joanna Murray-Smith. Innovators, entrepreneurs, women are powerful in their womanhood. I admire Mia and Lucy Feagins and Pip Lincoln and Kat Maclead… I’m only just getting started!
CB: This may sound overly obvious but here’s the truth: I want my daughter to aspire to be, very simply, her own self. Don’t get me wrong – I am very active about putting positive female role-models in her path and I have cultivated many of my adult friendships knowing that these are the women I want my daughter to grow up knowing. But for her to accept and own her full glory, and to use that strength to contribute to the world in her own acutely unique way, and to find deep happiness and satisfaction in that process – these are my hopes.