While it is not the month of March, the topic of Women’s history seemed to be a fitting subject considering the wonderful opportunity to join together with other women via Plumli. As I mentioned last week the important power of common interests between friends, sometimes the bigger picture can be easily overlooked. Someday the accomplishes our generations make, and have made will be in the history books. After thinking back on some of the eminent achievements that Women of history have brought about, left wonder and determination for myself and other women as to what we will be able to leave behind to the many women that will be around long after we are gone. Let’s go back and take a look through the centuries at some of the great women who’s contributions have given us the freedoms and rights that we have today.
Travelling back to years 60-30 B.C, it begins with the emblematic Cleopatra; A very young Egyptian queen who also spoke nine languages. To this day she is popular in many arts and literature in Western culture. There are many woman in history that have become iconic figures but many are unaware of the history that rooted these perceptions. Joan of Arc is one of those as well. Living from 1412-1431, this young lady was courageous enough to fight for the French military while disguised as a man. During this time, and many years after, women were not allowed to join the military. She fought hard in hopes to help free France from the English and also led troops to the victory of Orleans in 1429. Throughout these years there were not many women who were spoke of in history as their lives were thought of with little or no importance. Later down the road more tenacious and heroic acts would take place to drastically change that.
Jumping forward to the 19th century, an era that was a fight for equality among races and other human rights movements. Ladies such as Harriet Tubman who was a leader in the Underground Railroad system that would free over 300 African Americans from Slavery and Susan B Anthony along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton who’s work paralleled in the fight for women’s suffrage, leaving us the right to vote. Without the right to vote, women had no voice, therefore no chance to rights either. This movement was monumental for the significant events that would follow this era. Also born in the 19th century Marie Curie, a physicist who was the first women to win a Nobel Price. She went on to win a second Nobel price and led to the discovery of Radioactivity and the element Radium. Another very impacting women who was popularly quoted was human rights champion Elanor Roosevelt. Not only was Roosevelt the longest serving first lady of the United States, she fought to help Women, African Americans, The Poor, and The Unemployed. Moving into the 20th century Rosa Parks became a cornerstone for the Civil and Human Rights Advocacy. With her courageous actions in the Montgomery bus boycott and other movements, she was called by Congress “the mother of the freedom movement”. Soon after Ester Peterson fought to improve labor conditions and equal opportunity from employers as well as a consumer protection act that resulted in requirement of nutritional content printed on consumables. All it takes is Women like these who are determined and have the audacity to push for and succeed in change.
Aside from the legendary movements of women’s history, there are other very talented ladies that deserve a spotlight for their achievements. Among those we have Babe Didrikson Zaharias who was known as one of the greatest women athletes and an Olympic gold medalist, Norma Jean Mortenson (often known as Marilyn Monroe) who grew up as a foster child and would go on to change the modelling and acting gig for women drastically while also winning a Golden Globe. The first woman Supreme Court Justice was Sandra Day O’Connor appointed by president Ronald Reagan did not retire until 2006. In addition, some more firsts are Amelia Earhart who became a well known and record breaking aviator whose disappearance is still a mystery, and Dr. Sally Ride and American astronaut who became the first woman in space along with the youngest to orbit the earth. It takes many small steps to create a big picture, but without events that get a foot in the door for women we would have such a minuscule amount of freedom in comparison to today. Many Military firsts for women came recently from the years 2003- 2011. Those include the first four star General, first woman to command a U.S service institute and also the first lady to become Army Surgeon General.
With so many other epic events throughout history, I highly recommend picking up a book, picking out an article, learning all you can about what we came from because I know for me, it was a big motivator in continuing the progress. Thanks to these famous females and their actions women now have a history. In fact, Congress expanded the celebration of a week and declared March Women’s history month back in 1987. It is amazing to look at the big picture and see that it is a result of everyday actions. I see hope for our generations that we may come together as strong and purposeful women and leave something behind that can change lives in the future, so that when they look in their history books they will have respect for the women of our time as we owe our respects to the ones who came before us.
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