This Speaking Up post is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.
Only 6 women have been honored with a Doodle in 2012, and none of those have been shown in the United States. But Google has honored a total of 36 women between 2008 and today. It would take significantly more than a single blog post to learn about all of these women, so today I’m going to highlight a few that piqued my interest.
- Amália Rodrigues’ Doodle was displayed in Portugal on July 23, 2011. She was a pioneer of the musical genre fado, known for its melancholy tones and lyrics, and she recorded and performed for over 50 years. Over the course of her career, Rodrigues performed around the world, and to this day she remains a national icon in Portugal.
- Grete Waitz was honored with a Doodle in her home country of Norway on October 1, 2011. Waitz was a marathon runner and record holder who won the New York City Marathon nine times (more than any other competitor) and was the first woman to run a marathon in less than two-and-a-half hours. She won the silver medal in the 1984 Olympic women’s marathon, the very first time the women’s event was included in the Olympics.
- A Doodle for Umm Kulthum, displayed on May 4, 2010, was shown in many Middle Eastern countries (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Oman, Lebanon, Qatar, Morocco, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Palestinian Territories, & Kuwait). An Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actress, Kulthum was known for her vocal range and powerful, emotive voice. She performed incredibly long pieces, with a typical concert covering only 2 or 3 songs in a period of up to 4 hours. To this day, her records sell over 1 million copies each year.
- South Korean Google users saw a Doodle highlighting Park Wan-Suh on October 20, 2011. This revered writer of both novels and short story collections was awarded the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Dong-in Literary Award, and the Korean Literature award.
- A Doodle highlighting Marie Curie was shown globally on November 7, 2011, making her the only female scientist or inventor who has been shown in a Doodle in the United States. Curie’s work on radioactivity earned her two Nobel Prizes (one in physics, one in chemistry — the first person to win two Nobels, and the only one of 4 double winners to receive the prize in two separate sciences), and she was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.