What makes a Wonder Woman?

Wonder WomenToday’s guest blog is from author Rosie Fiore, who has a new book out just now called ‘Wonder Women’. Rosie writes about what makes a wonder woman and shares with us some of the amazing women in her life. We have ten copies of ‘Wonder Women’ by Rosie Fiore to giveaway. To enter leave a comment telling us who the ‘Wonder Women’ in your own life are and why.

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What makes a Wonder Woman? – Rosie Fiore

“There’s no one who can put themselves down like us. If an Italian woman serves you a Rosie Fioremeal, she says ‘Buon appetito!’ If a French woman does, she says ‘Bon appetit!’ If an Englishwoman serves you a meal, she says ‘Oh god, I’m sorry about the potatoes.’” – Jane Garvey of Woman’s Hour, speaking at an event at the Houses of Parliament this week, held to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the death of suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

We all laughed, but there’s such a ring of truth, it’s almost not funny. We love to put ourselves down and so often the media we consume does it for us. We see magazines where celebrities are berated for being too fat, too thin, for being out with their kids, for being out without their kids, for being slutty, for pretty much everything. In the movies, both those aimed at us and our kids, there always seems to be a woman who needs rescuing, or who is ditzy and falls over. And so too, in some of the commercial fiction out there. It can be hard to find heroines that aren’t a little bit fluffy or silly, or incompetent. I know as a reader it drives me crazy, because you see, I’ve never met one of those dizzy birds. The women I know aren’t like that.

I don’t think I’m alone in this – when I look around me, I see hundreds upon hundreds of women doing a bloody awesome job, thank you very much. Women juggling careers and family. Women fighting to claim their places in male dominated professions, women starting businesses, caring for ill or elderly relatives, campaigning for justice, creating great art, and doing it all with humour, strength and courage. In small ways and big, it seems to me that all the women I know are warriors, wonder women and stars.

Just glancing down my Facebook friends list, here are just ten examples.

  1. A friend who is a single mum and has run her own exceptionally successful PR business for 17 years
  2. A friend who is mother to twins, and has just finished writing her first book
  3. A sister who is a leading researcher in HIV and TB, and mother to three kids at university
  4. A friend who is fighting breast cancer, and leads in developing community involvement programmes in her area
  5. A niece who balances a career as a psychologist with caring for two small children
  6. A young woman of twenty launching a career as a baker, and working as a trainee in some of the most prestigious kitchens in London
  7. A friend who had launched her own knitting business from home, and now has a formidable social media presence and a bulging order book
  8. The teenage mum of a severely disabled child who is raising her daughter with strength and wisdom way beyond her years
  9. A friend who donated a kidney to one of her three children (who is now well and healthy), and who maintains a career as a performer when she isn’t running ultra-marathons (really).
  10. A friend who spends her days working as child-minder, and her nights caring for her elderly learning disabled aunt

These are all genuine examples of women I know and love, and I could easily write a list Wonder Womenten times as long. You know women like this too. You quite possibly are one. So it seems to me that these were the women I wanted to feature in my novel – the women we all know. The women we are. When Jo Dickinson, editor at Quercus, suggested Wonder Women as a title for the book, I was just thrilled, because it summed up the characters I’d created, ordinary women who do extraordinary things every day, without fuss. Yes Jo, Holly and Mel have problems. We all do. But they tackle them head on and get on with life, and they do it wearing fabulous shoes.  I hope you see something of yourself in one of the characters, and I hope it gives you a moment to be proud of yourself and all that you do.

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Wonder WomenTell us about the Wonder Women in your life and from all comments left by midnight on 30th June we will pick out ten who will all win a copy of ‘Wonder Women’ by Rosie Fiore. usual Netmums terms and conditions apply. Team Netmums have read the book and devoured is in one sitting- we’re sure you will love it just as much as we did.

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21 Responses to What makes a Wonder Woman?

  1. Brilliant. I SO believe in this and wrote a post recently about how I tell my children I’m amazing, how we can all do that, simply because we are (and it gives them subconscious permission to do the same for ourselves). I am never going to apologise as I serve up a meal again. PS It’s normally for the lumpy gravy.

  2. A woman is wonderful if she strives to provide the best she can for her children, who loves them unconditionally and provides a secure and safe environment in which they live. A wonder woman is content with her life but positively strives for more without greed or excess. She likes herself and sees good in the people around her. A real wonder woman acknowledges and accepts that sometimes (even for wonder woman) just good enough is more than good enough!

  3. Billie-Jan Hills says:

    Being a “wonder women” isnt about running multi-million pound companies and still managing to attend every single school play/ sports day/ night time story whilst cooking food for your kids like Gywenth and always looking like Eva longoria! (how exhausting-and pointless!)

    It’s about being connected to your life and to your children and striving for the best YOU can do.

    Facing down challenges, wiping away tears and laughing off banana in your hair at an important business functions are all part of wonder women behaviour! So is never apologising for being an amazingly wonderful mother and wife one day with an immaculate house and nothing left on your work to do list to the next day when your switching on the TV and staying in your PJ’s!

    As long as your staying connected to your life and seizing the day your a wonder women!

  4. Louise says:

    My friend Sarah; her husband died last year, yet she is still getting up every morning, running her own business full time, looking after and bringing up two young children and running a house ! She still puts a smile on her face, despite the pain she is going through every day.
    That’s what I call a Wonder Woman.

  5. Leah says:

    My mum truly there for me through everything. Love her to bits.

  6. Abby jade carlo says:

    My my is a wonder woman in my life. She raised me and my 3 siblings by her self. She is a brilliant mum and nan. She has also run a charity called S.H.O.C slough homeless our concern for over 9 years. She works 6 days a week providing hot meals, tea, coffee, shower , clean clothes, advice, a learning centre anf a friendly environment for the homeless in our area. She is an amazing person and i aspire to be a wonder woman just like her one day x

  7. Cath Joyce says:

    My Mum is a wonder woman as she is always busy helping people. She is the carer for my Dad who is on oxygen, helps out at school with crafts, also does the school garden. She helps my sister with her son who has muscular dystrophy as well as cleaning for an elderly neighbour. She is always happy and will do anything to help other people and is an inspiration to us all. She was 65 this year but has the energy and determination of a woman in her 20’s!

  8. vicky says:

    I dont have a wonder woman in my life but I need one! Im trying my best at being one but feel like my cape is on backwards half the time! I am a self-employed mum of 2, juggling a career with a young family, keeping a happy, clean (ish) home and working on health issues is no easy task but I do my best and my girls have all the love they need, that’s all that matters when all is said and done. I would love a copy of this book! x

  9. Emmaline Higgs says:

    My sister is my “Wonder Women” . She suffers with Myesthenia Gravis which challenges her daily. She has two gorgeous girls and another baby on the way (ready to pop any min now). She has an alcoholic for a husband who drinks his wages in a week. As a result she works every spare hour there is but still makes time to play dress up and have fun with the girls (although she swears she is a grump and wishes she could do more.) She is fabulous. She even manged to organise a 60 minute make over for my mums 50th this year dispite everything going on in her life. She is also totally gorgeous!

  10. my wonder women is my mum who sadly passed away after battling cancer, she had a very bad relationship with my dad and decided to go it alone which was very hard due to the stigma attached in those days, she moved away and brought myself and my sister to a new place to live, she then developed cancer and was give three months to live but was determined to fight it and get us through our teens, she fought and fought and managed to hold down a job while undergoing all the treatments and being really sick, we still got love and affection and both went to grammar school, her pure strength and determination has really only been respected by me as ive grown up and become a mother myself, our clothes were still clean, she also made us meals, and put in place strong moral values that my sister and i still hold today, unfortunately her battle with cancer took us from us early and she died at 44, she did get her wish though as i was 19 then and my sister 17, my mother was truly a wonder woman!, and she always loved to put on a wee bit of makeup and never went out without her wig, she was fantastic

  11. em says:

    I think a lot of women I know are ‘wonder women’ as you call them. My mum and my mother in law are both wonder women. My mum helps first without thinking of herself, she does lots of childcare for me and without her I couldn’t work, she helps me when I am low and helped me through PND. My mil is an amazing woman and is always buying me shoes, dolling out advice about her grandson and generally being very kind and loving even though she has 4.

  12. Stephanie Brittain says:

    My mum would be my wonder woman. She was the wisest, strongest, most honest, most intelligent and most passionate woman I have ever known. She managed to be my mother (who’s authority I respected) and my best friend and I’m still trying to figure out how she did this. She would always be there for you with the right piece of advice mixed with a bit of love and perspective. She always sided with the weak or vulnerable and supported many charities. She was passionate about family and wanted to encourage marriages to stay healthy and strong by running marriage courses. Her plan was to become a relate counsellor, but she never made it as she lost her fight with cancer nearly 10 years ago. Whilst she was ill and going through chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy not only did she manage to get a 2:1 in her psychology degree, help me organise my wedding and see me finish my degree but she never complained. She was always more concerned about how others were dealing with her illness than how she was feeling herself. She was truly an amazing woman, mother, wife, and grandmother. I just hope that I might turn out to be half as wonderful as her one day.

  13. Pretty much every female friend I have is a Wonder Woman in some way but the two who stand out are the ones who a fighting a battle with cancer. Both mums of small children they are smiling and creating fantastic memories for their babies. Always ready to listen to my small in comparison problems. I commend them both for living life to the full and savouring every moment with a smile.

  14. Jen says:

    I have a friend who I think is a Wonder Woman, her mum died not long ago and she is raising her children, looking after her dad as well as working, has a beautiful spotless house and if she knows I’m ill, will text me to see if she can help in any way. A Wonder Woman is beautiful on the inside.

  15. sharon dickson says:

    Wonder Woman is the daughter who fought to have a child after years of battling a potentially life threatening illness and being repeated told by medical professionals she couldn’t do it. Watching her look after her Son and devoting all she has to him as well as going to work and managing her household is Wonder Woman. I don’t believe anyone else in her shoes could have done it but she proved them all wrong and fought for her right to be a Mother, I am so proud she did.

  16. Amy says:

    Great post.

    My friend Sam is my Wonderwoman. She crams full time working hours into 3 days, is an amazing midwife & fab single mum to her son. My mum had a stroke recently & she was the only 1 of my friends to visit her. And she changed all the locks on her house herself! What a star.

    @amyjpirt

  17. K Davies says:

    My Wonder Woman is probably quite unremarkable but a Wonder Woman nevertheless. High pressured job in research, mum to 2 children and step child. She still maintains relationships with her friends and husband. Even through a recent illness she has carried on with her busy life. Her children have full and happy lives and she should be proud of her achievements. Well done to my Wonder Woman. She deserves a treat!!!

  18. hina says:

    “dropping everything in her life to make sure her child gets everything in his/her life to make his/her life as better as possible is a mother.for me mother is a wonder women in fact all mothers are wonder woman in their lives.

  19. dom moody says:

    The Wonder Women in my life have to be my sisters and best friends, juggling their own lives and children’s lives they always find the time to lend a hand or a listening ear for me when I need it!

  20. Nini says:

    My mum is a true wonder woman. Went to uni against her family will. Graduated in Arts and started teaching. We lost our dad to lung cancer when I was three years old. She was left with four daughters aged between 3 and 12. Was met with extreme prejudice in a male oriented society (I am from Brazil), had not much support and was possibly dealing with depression whilst all this was hapenning. Still, managed to raise me and my sisters, pursue her teaching career and had a successful business. Her strenght made us strong too, and now I am a full time working mum, facing a health issue which I am sure I’ll beat!

  21. Melanie Walker says:

    Rosie, you just made me cry…. I have been blessed to have so many wonder(ful) women in my life, including you, that it would be hard to write about them without writing another book! Suffice to say, I thank my lucky stars for each of them every day and pray they remain in my life, to help me remain grounded!

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