The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Women's History Month "Q": Queen Rania of Jordan and Quidditch


Queen Rania at a press conference in Amman, Jordan, January 5, 2009

Married to King Abdullah II for nearly 18 years, Queen Rania of Jordan has used her privileged position to improve the lives of children and communities, not only in Jordan but worldwide.  The Jordan River Foundation was established in order to "promote...the development of a dynamic Jordanian society by initiating and supporting sustainable social, economic and cultural programs that empower communities and individuals based on their needs and priorities."  Projects such as weaving help give women social empowerment and financial independence. From this, the JRF Child Safety Program endeavours to highlight violence against children.

Education is also an interest that Queen Rania seeks to promote; Madrasati (My School) is an initiative that seeks to refurbish up to 500 schools. As Eminent Advocate for UNICEF, Queen Rania promotes and campaigns on behalf of children’s issues.  In short, Queen Rania is an excellent example of someone who has used her position and access to wealth in order to lessen the hardships on those less fortunate. Jordan, considering its geographical position, has a more liberal attitude towards education and religion than its neighbours, so Queen Rania does have advantages in being able to help Jordan’s people. Still, a person who needs help is always a person who needs help, no matter where they are, and Queen Rania is one who endeavours to help. 


Dr. Cassidy, if my name was Michael Quinn and not Michaela, you'd let me perform that procedure wouldn't you?
~Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman (Fictional Character played by Jane Seymour)

Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.
~Queen Victoria, British Monarch

The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don't wear her.
~Mary Quant, Fashion Designer

The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work, something that an ordinary mortal should not dream of attempting. But when I saw how easily the man flyers manipulated their machines I said I could fly.
~ Harriet Quimby, First American woman to earn a pilot’s license

The truth about your own life is not always easy to accept, and sometimes hasn't even occurred to you.
~Anna Quindlen, Journalist


When Ireland won the Quidditch World Cup, I was extremely happy and proud, and celebrated with patriotic pride, quietly, with my friend, as Quidditch isn’t exactly a well known or widespread sport.  It wasn’t even on the news that we had won as Ireland never wins any major events as a nation.  Harry Potter has given us many things: paranoia when seeing snakes, jealousy towards those with interesting scars, and an overwhelming urge to wave sticks around, but one of the book’s greatest legacies is the sport of Quidditch.

Quidditch is a sport, for the uninitiated, that takes place on broomsticks with two opposing teams. There are four balls; the Quaffle is used to score with, the two Bludgers are used to deter opposing players and the Golden Snitch is small and quick and when caught, ends the game. The seven players each have defined roles; the Keeper watches the three goalposts, the three Chasers try to score, the two Beaters hit the Bludgers at the other team, and the Seeker tries to capture the Snitch.

Quidditch is a game that values a good player; a good athlete regardless of gender; a person who is willing to risk injury in order to win the game. Men and women play with each other; there are no women’s leagues, and this creates an environment where the very best people are playing in the top Quidditch teams. Female Quidditch players have always made their presence known. During Harry Potter’s years as Seeker with the Gryffindor Quidditch team, he played with Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinner, Katie Bell, Demelza Robins, and Ginny Weasley. 

Eunice Murray, seeker with the Montrose Magpies, once petitioned for a “faster snitch because this is just too easy.”  Catriona McCormack captained the Pride of Portree to two league wins in the 1960s and her daughter Meaghan carries on her mother’s tradition.  Ginny Weasley herself, author J. K. Rowling has stated, went on to play with the Holyhead Harpies and later retired to become senior Quidditch correspondent at the Daily Prophet.

Quidditch is a sport that holds no prejudice, just good players. Women will always play Quidditch, not because they are women, but because they are the best players.

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