Doodle-Worthy Women of April 2014

I’m quite late this month, having not carved out time to write a Doodle-Worthy Women of April post. This morning, as I was reviewing Doodle statistics for the year to date, I realized why I wasn’t feeling the rush. So far, 49% of all Doodles posted in 2014 have honored women — and if you just look at the United States, that number shoots up to an astonishing 78%!

That progress is incredible and I think it shows that the Doodles team has finally woken up to reality. They’ve realized that they’ve done a terrible job of including women in their list of honorees, and I think they’ve also realized that history is a treasure trove of incredible contributions from women. If they keep this record up, they’ll be doing an admirable job of speaking up and out for women.

This month, I’ve decided to break with the tradition that I’ve started here at Speaking Up, because the Doodles team themselves have already done the work for me of identifying Doodle-Worthy Women. Today, I’ll write about 3 women who were honored with Doodles in April of 2014, all of them literary giants:

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May 4th: Audrey Hepburn!

Things have been pretty quiet around here at Speaking Up — because things have also been quiet for Google Doodles, at least in the United States. I’m very happy to announce the Doodle that drew me back to the Speaking Up project:

Today, Google is honoring the incomparable Audrey Hepburn, about whom I first wrote back on May 4th, 2012. Two years later, her 85th birthday (she was born May 4, 1929) has brought her to the front page of the most visited website in the world.

A Google Doodle honoring Audrey Hepburn, posted on May 4th, 2014.

A Google Doodle honoring Audrey Hepburn, posted on May 4th, 2014.

Below the fold, I’ll share the same enthusiastic endorsement of Hepburn’s Doodle-worthiness that I wrote in 2012.

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April 11th: Percy Julian & Annie Dodge Wauneka

Today’s Google Doodle is awesome, and shows Google’s apparently real commitment to changing the way they approach the Doodles program. Their honoree for April 11th is pioneering chemist Percy Julian, known for fundamental work that allowed human hormones and steroids to be produced on large scales for medical purposes. Julian overcame enormous odds to earn top honors in college and to earn his PhD in Europe, since he wasn’t able to attend high school because of his race. He was also the second African-American, and the first African-American chemist, to be honored with fellowship in the National Academy of Sciences. Julian’s scientific work was incredible and innovative, and he’s known as much for the fundamental knowledge he developed as for the real-life applications of his work that have driven medical advancements.

Here at Speaking Up, we’ll turn to an entirely different field and learn a bit more about influential Navajo activist, educator, and community organizer Annie Dodge Wauneka. I first wrote about her last year, in the April 2013 Doodle-Worthy Women entry, and this time around we’ll delve a bit deeper.

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March 22nd: Agnes Martin! & March 24th: Dorothy Height!

I was out of town for a few days over the past week, and managed to miss an opportunity to comment on not one, but two Google Doodles honoring remarkable women. Today, I finally had the chance to sit down and write about this two Doodle-worthy, and Doodle-honored, women, Agnes Martin and Dorothy Height.

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Doodle-Worthy Women of February 2014

February was a good month for gender representation in Google Doodles. Here in the U.S., Harriet Tubman was honored and 50% of the month’s Doodles were dedicated to women. Around the world, Doodles honored Raicho Hiratsuka, Clara Campoamor, Sarojini Naidu, and Gabriele Münter. That’s exactly what I want to see!

Here are a few more of the Doodle-Worthy Women whose birthdays fall in February:

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February 27th: John Steinbeck & Marian Anderson

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 112th birthday of John Steinbeck, author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, among other American classics. Here at Speaking Up, I’m finding it incredibly refreshing that the first 3 U.S. Doodles of the year honored women, so that in 2014, Steinbeck is the exception thus far. We’ll learn about another American artist born on this day: Marian Anderson.

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