A TED/TEDx Playlist: 27 songs to celebrate women innovators

TEDWomen is today, so we’re rocking out to this Spotify playlist, put together by a resident team of music dorks (one of them writing to you right now) with songs about women who’ve innovated, made a difference, taken a stand, and changed history in the process.

Our mixtape of tunes includes: a Swedish dance-pop tribute to Marie Curie’s research on radioactivity, Jane Birkin’s ode to the work and ideals of Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, an emotional love song for Georgia O’Keefe, and a tongue-in-cheek punk rock commentary on Margaret Thatcher.

Check it out below or on Spotify:

(Above — clockwise — Benazir Bhutto, Ada Lovelace, Georgia O’Keefe, Virginia Woolf, Sojourner Truth, Nelly Bly)

Say hello to Katie Spotz — the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean (2,817 miles!), the first person to swim the entire length of the Allegheny River in the US, and someone gutsy enough to run 150 miles across the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert alone … AKA a fearless adventurer owning the term girl power.

In a talk at TEDxSMU, Katie explains how she overcame the expectations she had set for herself by stepping out of her comfort zone. For most of her life she thought that running marathons and entering triathlons were for “those people,” she says, and told herself that she would just never be one of them — until one day she decided that the only real thing stopping her from running, rowing, and swimming was not trying.

Here, she recounts her epic adventures »

Photos via Katie Spotz

When you are curvy and overweight, everyone really likes to remind you of that — kids at school, your parents, the fitting room girl at the Gap — just in case you’d forgotten all the reasons you’re supposed to be hating yourself.

I spent elementary school and high school being bullied. My first few years at college, I spent bulimic. And the last 10 or so years, I’ve been trying to come to terms with how I really look. And I’ve done that — give or take — I’ve learned to like my body overall; it just kind of seems like other people still have a problem with it.

For example, I get comments like this: “I have no idea how someone as obese as you managed to land a husband,” or, “Maybe instead of writing about food, you should go on a diet,” or, “I’m not sure why anyone’s telling you you are pretty, I just see another fat girl on the Internet.” The shocking part? All from women — every single one of those comments. And they stung, but I’m used to hearing them, and they don’t disable me anymore.

But then, I had a daughter. And everything kind of changed. The thought, for one moment, that anybody would tell her that she was worthless based on how she looked — my stomach dropped, my heart stopped. Every single emotion I felt when I was 8 and got mooed at in elementary school came back to me.

I decided that talking about change is really great, but what’s more important is being the change that you want to see. So that’s what I had to do — I had to be the change. I had to redefine what normal beauty looked like in this country.

On May 26th, at 7 AM, with 5 of my friends in the middle of Times Square on Good Morning America, between Emeril Lagasse and a cart selling hot nuts, I stood in my bathing suit — on national television. Every single part of my body wanted me to find my pants, get the hell out of there, but I didn’t. And I didn’t, because I wanted to show people what women in this country look like.

I did this for you. And I did this for my daughter, and your daughter, and your mom, and your friends, and your sister, and all of those people. So if I can inspire you enough that you can get up in the morning and hate your body less than you did the day before, it was worth every second next to that hot nut cart.

Writer and editor of Curvy Girl Guide, Brittany Gibbons, from her talk “Courageous Beauty,” at TEDxBGSU.

Watch the whole talk here.

"We need more men with the guts, the courage, the strength, and the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other to stand with women, not against them."—Jackson Katz, "Violence against women — it’s a men’s issue."

Hello, Tumblr! Today at 3 PM EST, we’re holding a live Twitter chat with Jackson Katz, the educator, filmmaker, and anti-sexist activist whose moving TEDx talk re-framed the common conversation on gender violence and prompted Upworthy to say it’ll "change any man into a feminist."
Today, WE WANT YOU to get on Twitter and ask Jackson the questions on your mind regarding domestic violence, male culture, gender violence, really, anything you want.
Ask him what we can do to stop victim blaming in cases of sexual assault, violence, and abuse; ask him who his favorite activist is; ask him how to talk to someone who is making degrading or sexist comments; ask him what he hopes for future generations; ask him whatever your heart desires.
Follow the whole chat using the hashtag #TEDxChat or check out our feed on @TEDx. 
We hope you’ll join us today at 3 PM EST!

"We need more men with the guts, the courage, the strength, and the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other to stand with women, not against them."
—Jackson Katz, "Violence against women — it’s a men’s issue."


Hello, Tumblr! Today at 3 PM EST, we’re holding a live Twitter chat with Jackson Katz, the educator, filmmaker, and anti-sexist activist whose moving TEDx talk re-framed the common conversation on gender violence and prompted Upworthy to say it’ll "change any man into a feminist."

Today, WE WANT YOU to get on Twitter and ask Jackson the questions on your mind regarding domestic violence, male culture, gender violence, really, anything you want.

Ask him what we can do to stop victim blaming in cases of sexual assault, violence, and abuse; ask him who his favorite activist is; ask him how to talk to someone who is making degrading or sexist comments; ask him what he hopes for future generations; ask him whatever your heart desires.

Follow the whole chat using the hashtag #TEDxChat or check out our feed on @TEDx.

We hope you’ll join us today at 3 PM EST!