There are many women that changed the world and they came from different backgrounds. Inevitably, an important thread running through this post is women struggle to make thier voices heard in what was, essentially, a man’s world. For them to achieve what they did, they first had to fight the limitations imposed on them by society and traditional assumptions about a women’s role. This post will be more than one post, this part 1, i have done a lot of reaseach of women who changed the world. I hope you enjoyed and get insipred by this post.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a U.S. Supreme Court justice, the second woman to be appointed to the position.
Born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated from Columbia Law School, going on to become a staunch courtroom advocate for the fair treatment of women and working with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.
“My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.”
She was a poor Jew from Brooklyn who ended up at Cornell. Later she went to Harvard Law School where the dean of all people reportedly said “How do you justify taking a spot from a qualified man?” So needless to say, she faces and soon overcame vicious sexism. She was a clerk for a district court judge and wrote a book on Sweden. She wanted the gender equality she saw in Sweden to exist and the US. This became a life goal.
Soon, she moved to teaching. She taught at Rutgers and founded a Women’s rights law journal. She wrote a supreme court Brief and soon moved from Rutgers to Colombia. She wrote another book but soon moved on.
She went to the ACLU where she founded the Woman’s Rights project. She argued more cases before the Supreme Court that helped both American women and men.
This is already an impressive life and she isn’t even a Judge yet. She was appointed to the DC Circuit court and served there for 13 years until being appointed to the Supreme Court. She was easily confirmed and started her work.
Years go by and she becomes the Queen of the court’s liberal wing and assigns dissents. She gives herself some dissents and has written fiery dissents in many cases.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quotes:
On same-sex marriage and the law: “You’re saying, no, state marriage [is] the full marriage, and then this sort of skim milk marriage.”
“Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”
“Reproductive choice has to be straightened out. There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore. That just seems to me so obvious. The states that changed their abortion laws before Roe are not going to change back. So we have a policy that only affects poor women, and it can never be otherwise.”
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper
(1906 – 1992) – Computer Scientist
She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944.
She invented the first compiler for a computer programming language, and was one of those who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages.
Born in New York City in 1906, Grace Hopper joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to program the Mark I computer. She continued to work in computing after the war, leading the team that created the first computer language compiler, which led to the popular COBOL language.
Hopper, who became an associate professor at Vassar, continued to teach until World War II compelled her to join the U.S. Naval Reserve in December 1943 (she opted for the Navy, as it had been her grandfather’s branch of service). She was commissioned as a lieutenant in June 1944. Given her mathematical background, Hopper was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance Computation Project at Harvard University, where she learned to program a Mark I computer.
After the war, Hopper remained with the Navy as a reserve officer. As a research fellow at Harvard, she worked with the Mark II and Mark III computers. She was at Harvard when a moth was found to have shorted out the Mark II, and is sometimes given credit for the invention of the term “computer bug”—though she didn’t actually author the term, she did help popularize it.
Wanting to continue to work with computers, Hopper moved into private industry in 1949, first with the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, then with Remington Rand, where she oversaw programming for the UNIVAC computer. In 1952, her team created the first compiler for computer languages (a compiler renders worded instructions into code that can be read by computers).
Hopper retired from the Naval Reserve in 1966, but her pioneering computer work meant that she was recalled to active duty—at the age of 60—to tackle standardizing communication between different computer languages. She would remain with the Navy for 19 years. When she retired in 1986, at age 79, she was a rear admiral as well as the oldest serving officer in the service.
Saying that she would be “bored stiff” if she stopped working entirely, Hopper took another job post-retirement and stayed in the computer industry for several more years. She was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991—becoming the first female individual recipient of the honor. At the age of 85, she died in Arlington, Virginia, on January 1, 1992. She was laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery.
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper Quotes:
A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.
No computer is ever going to ask a new, reasonable question. It takes trained people to do that.
It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
Elizabeth Jean Peratrovich(1911 – 1958)– Civil Rights Activist
- Worked on behalf of equality for Alaska Natives.
- She was credited with advocacy that gained the passage of the first anti-discrimination law in the United States: the territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945.
Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich was a Tlingit Native Alaskan who worked to end racial discrimination. She was born in 1911 and spent her childhood in Alaska. Peratrovich then moved to Bellingham, Washington to attend college. When she returned to Alaska, 10 years later, Peratrovich was shocked by the blatant discrimination towards Native Alaskans. Signs hung in store and business windows read “No Dogs, No Natives.” In February 1945, Peratrovich attended the Territorial Senate and spoke on behalf of the Alaska Native Sisterhood in support of the equal rights bill that would prohibit racial discrimination. Her speech was met with thunderous applause. The Senate then passed the Alaska Civil Rights Act with of vote of 11 to 5. In 1988, the Alaska Legislature established February 16th as “The Annual Elizabeth Peratrovich Day,” in honor of Peratrovich’s efforts to help the bill pass.
Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (1892 – 1926) – Civil Aviator
- She was the first female pilot of African American descent
- First female of Native American descent to hold a pilot license.
- She was also a star of early aviation exhibitions and air shows.
Aviatrix. Generally recognized as the first African American aviator. She became interested in aviation from reading aviation magazines. Due to her race and gender, she could not gain entrance into any aviation schools in the United States. Learning from French (this group may have included Eugene “Jacque” Bullard, an African American who had been a military aviator with the French in World War I) and German instructor pilots, she earned her pilot’s license in France in 1921 and an international pilot’s license in 1922. She then returned to the United States where she, fondly known as “Brave Bessie,” appeared in shows all around the country as an exhibition pilot and spoke on opportunities in aviation.
he was planning to open a flying school for young African Americans when tragedy struck. While flying in the rear seat with a student pilot at Jacksonville, Florida, the controls of her aircraft jammed
Helena Rubinstein 25 December 1870- April 1, 1965
Helena Rubinstein founded a global cosmetic empire that made her one of the richest women in the world. She used her enormous wealth to create a foundation that supports education, health, art, and community service programmes for women and children in the United States.
Glamorous, tempestuous and sophisticated , Helena Rubinstein was also a woman who spot a business opportunity. No beauty industry existed a the time, and women had to make thier own beautuy aids- the time was ripe for Helena’s ideas and business flair.
Helena Rubinstein Quotes
“I believe in hard work it keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit”
There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/helena_rubinstein_286538
Simone De Beauvior January 9,1908 – April 14,1986
Simone de Beauvoir was one of the Greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Her famous book, The Second Sex, in which she analyzed the systematic devaluation of the women throughout history, scandalized post-war Europe.
Simone de Beauvoir came early to criticize a “bourgeois morality” and unequal work burdens on women, and to see religion as a manipulation.
Dowries for his daughters were beyond her father’s financial ability, so Simone de Beauvoir and her younger sister prepared for careers and self-support. From an early age, Simone de Beauvoir loved writing.
Simone de Beauvoir taught at the university level from 1931 to 1943, and also wrote novels, short stories, and essays. Existential ideas came out in her fiction, as in All Men Are Mortal, about death and meaning. In her essays, she explained existentialism to the public, as in “Existentialism and the Wisdom of the Ages.”
During the German occupation, Sartre was imprisoned for more than a year as a prisoner of war in Germany.
After the war, Simone de Beauvoir traveled, and wrote a book about her impressions of America and another about her impressions of China. Nelson Algren was her lover during her visit to America.
Her book The Mandarins was about a postwar circle of leftist intellectuals, though she claimed it had no close parallels to specific people she knew.
In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex, which quickly became a feminist classic, inspiring women of the 1950s and 1960s to examine their role in culture.
Simone de Beauvoir published the first volume of her autobiography in 1958, covering her early life. The second volume covers the years from 1929 to 1939, and the occupation from 1939 to 1944. The third volume of the autobiography covers 1944 to 1963.
From 1952 to 1958, Claude Lanzmann was de Beauvoir’s lover. She adopted a daughter, and became discouraged by the war in Algeria.
When Sartre died, de Beauvoir edited and published two volumes of his letters.
She wrote novellas in 1967, about women’s lives, and in 1970, in a book sometimes considered as a pair with The Second Sex, she wrote The Coming of Age, about the situation of the elderly. She published All Said and Done, the fourth part of her autobiography, in 1972.
Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris in April, 1986. Posthumous publication of her letters (with Sartre, with Algren) and notebooks has led to continuing interest in her life and work.
The biography of de Beauvoir and Sartre by Hazel Rowley, published in 2005, came out in two different editions: the European edition omitted some material to which de Beauvoir’s literary executor, Arlette Elkaim-Sartre, objected.
This is the end of Part 1. Can’t wait to write part 2!