U.S. Women’s history is full of plenty of amazing women who have worked hard and greatly impacted our society today. These women have risked their lives and sacrificed their free time to work towards a better life for their fellow people. Each woman has contributed so much to the betterment of our views and stances on inequality. It’s nearly impossible to rank their achievements and compare them because they all did so much and put so much on the line. Here are twelve women who have done all they could for the sake of our lives today.
Pocahontas was an Eastern Native American woman in the upper class who fostered peace between english colonists and native americans by befriending the settlers located at the colony of jamestown in Virginia and eventually marrying one of them. Pocahontas interceded to save John Smith’s life in december after he had been taken prisoner by Powhatan’s men. She halted his execution by throwing herself over him. Pocahontas was eventually married to John Rolfe after being held captive. This created a peace between the english and the native americans for as long as chief Powhatan lived (Price).
Jane Fenn Hoskens wrote what is considered the first spiritual autobiography by a quaker women published in america. It documents her experiences and those of quaker communities of early pennsylvania and the importance of the networks of female relationships around which women’s lives revolved. She had been imprisoned in a debtors prison for refusing to be an indentured servant to someone who brought her to the united states. She was redeemed by a quaker group from plymouth. She quickly found her place in the group under the chief justice of pennsylvania. She began to travel locally as a minister and then extended their ministry to other parts of the US and eventually along the eastern seaboard in england and ireland (Hoskens).
Sarah Franklin Bache was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin. She is known as a revolutionary war patriot and led an active public life compared to the standard life of a women in the late eighteenth century. She had unusual access for a women to the political life in revolutionary philadelphia due to her fathers importance. Her primary role was caretaker to her family and home but she played a more active role in the revolution through her relief work and as her father political hostess. She closely followed the events leading up to the revolution and through her relief work supported the war by raising money for the continental army. She is best known for her involvement in the Ladies Association of Philadelphia. She became the leader of the association in 1780 and supervised the sewing of 2200 shirts for the american soldiers.
Mary Boykin Chesnut’s father was the served in the U.S. House of Representatives and then was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1828. Chestnut attended Madame Talvande’s French School for Young Ladies. She completed her education with classes in literature, science, and history, as well as instruction in music, singing, and dancing. She married a Princeton University graduate named James Chesnut on April 23, 1840. They settles outside of Camden. James was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1858. They moved to washington where mary was a big part of the social scene and became interested in the intense political arguments over state rights. (Mary Boykin Chesnut Biography).
Susie King Taylor worked as a nurse and teacher during the civil war. She was also one of the few African Americans who could read and write, so she taught free blacks and former slaves. She served the 33rd regiment of the united states colored troops for more than three years alongside her husband edward king who was a sergeant in the regiment. She was never paid for any of her work in the civil war. When she was younger she went to two secret schools to learn to read and write. She was taught by other African American women (National Library of Medicine).
Susan B. Anthony’s work helped pave the way to the 19th amendment which was the amendment that gave women the right to vote. She was enlisted by the temperance movement and the women’s suffrage movement. In 1872 Susan B. Anthony illegally voted in the election for the president of the united states. She was fined $100 as well as arrested. She never paid the fine of $100. She also campaigned against slavery, fought for women’s rights, and fought against alcohol. (Susan B. Anthony)
Lozen was given the nickname Apache Joan of Arc. She was always interested in war and eventually became a warrior and medicine woman, which was very uncommon among the people of her tribe. She fought alongside her brother as his right hand to protect the people of her tribe from the U.S. Government. She was able to shoot, had a knack for strategy, and was an excellent rider. She seemed to have an unnatural ability to know where the enemy would be and would often pray to their deity for guidance. (Lozen).
Elizabeth Stanton was superbly educated at Johnstown Academy and Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary where she graduated from in 1832. She studied law under her father and was appalled at the inequality and discrimination towards women and dedicated her life to achieving equal rights for her sex. She became a speaker on women’s rights and sent petitions to help secure a bill granting married women’s property rights. She also worked very closely with Susan B. Anthony. They planned campaigns and spoke before legislative bodies as well as addressed gathering in conventions, streets, and lyceums. Stanton wrote her own and some of Susan B. Anthony’s addresses as well as pamphlets, essays, articles and letters for many other activists. (Elizabeth Cady Stanton).
Molly Dewson was actively interested in politics from a young age due to her father, who gave her her interest in reading books on government, and ger female relatives and neighbors who were active in public cases. Molly attended private schools in the boston area before she went to Wellesley College where she excelled. She was the president of her class her junior and senior years and helped organize clubs and fundraisers. After college she was hired to investigate and improve living and working conditions for female domestics in the boston area by the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union. Following that job she was appointed as the first superintendent of the Massachusetts Parole Department for delinquent girls between 1900 and 1912. Later in her life she was made the leader of the Women’s Joint Legislative Conference where she demanded that the hours women and children in industry work was limited to 48 hours a week. Her main goal was to bring more women into politics and encourage them to take leadership roles. She trained them and took roles herself as well. (Mary Williams Dewson).
Septima Clark created a program where she held informal literacy classes to help teach african american adults to learn how to read and write so they could attempt the difficult process of registering to vote. She also educated them in state government and election procedures. She was Director of Workshops at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee and trained teachers for citizenship schools all while working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Andrew Young, and assisting in SCLC marches and protests. She also wrote two autobiographies about her philosophy of nonviolence. (Clark, Septima Poinsette…)
In 1968 a woman named Ellen Willis joined New York Radical Women, an early feminist group. She published essays and articles on issues including the abortion, sexuality, family, marriage and other feminist issues. Willis was also the very first music critic for the New Yorker, and also wrote and edited for, Dissent, The Nation, Rolling Stone, Salon, Slate, and the Village Voice. She wrote many essays and books and articles. She joined the pro-abortion action group No More Nice Girls in the 1970s. When she died in 2006, she taught at the New York University in the Journalism Department. (She’s Beautiful when She’s Angry).
Lori Piestewa was the first Native American to die serving in the U.S. Armed forces in the first war that allowed women to risk their lives on the front lines. Lori had a mountain named in her honor as well as an education initiative for Hopi children and an annual motorcycle ride for fallen soldiers. Lori was killed in a humvee ambush in iraq in 2003. (Janos).
Ranking these women is nearly impossible due to each of their individual contributions to women’s rights and equality. I am actually not going to rank their achievements because i feel that it is very demeaning to what they each sacrificed as women and people. I think after listing what these women did for us today it is counterproductive to rank them in anyway. Each woman had a big impact on inequality or the views of bigots. Ranking women is unprofessional and it’s hard to compare the actions of these women because they all did things so differently. I accept that I may be docked a grade for not meeting one of the requirements of the paper but I choose not to compromise my own morals and beliefs for a college paper.
In conclusion all of these women accomplished what they could in their lives. They worked hard and voiced their opinions and views on inequality and strived for a better tomorrow. Ranking these women is out of the question because they accomplished what they could and their actions should not be compared. All twelve of these women did their best and should be honored equally like they would have wanted.