Though women have endured centuries of being oppressed, deprived of fundamental rights, and pushed to a side, they still pull themselves up, rise to every occasion, and stand tall. Many celebrated feminists throughout history have helped bring women's fight for equality to the forefront of society's consciousness in numerous ways.
Over time, especially in recent years, there has been noticeable progress regarding gender equality. However, many challenges remain, such as the gross underrepresentation of women in positions of political leadership and the ongoing gender pay gap.
We need famous feminists in the USA to use their platforms and continue the struggle. They can enable a woman of the future to be seen and treated no less than her male counterpart. From ancient rulers of the past and pop stars to authors and the teenagers of today, here is a narrowed-down list of some of the most remarkable women in history.
The former first lady of the USA was a vocal supporter of women's rights and the women's activist movement. Her famous say was, "Women are not identical to men; they are equal in many ways but not inherently the same." She studied to understand the role of women to encourage a broad cross-section of American women to engage in public life. She was a board member of the New York State League of Women Voters and a director of national-legislation committees.
She subtly encouraged women to maintain prominent careers. For example, as First Lady, she held multiple press conferences that only female journalists could attend. Through labor unions and other organizations, she played a massive role in supporting the advancement of women in political and professional positions, as well as standing for the rights of working and non-working-class women. Even in the postwar years, Eleanor Roosevelt carried on her advocacy and support of women's rights, both abroad and at home.
The famous feminist is considered a leader of second-wave feminism as she worked interminably as an advocate for a change in how women are perceived. She served as a journalist during the 1960s, when the turning point towards the women's movement occurred after they covered a public hearing on abortion. Towards the end of the decade, she was seen explaining the shared origins of race and gender caste systems. She made appearances at street rallies, community centers, union halls, corporate boardrooms, and campuses to talk about important matters.
Gloria Steinem was why generations of women were mobilized to advance the cause of female liberation. Her powerful methods touched women's hearts and inspired them to kickstart awareness groups, legislative strategies, and many lawsuits. She co-founded the first feminist periodical national readership as well as many organizations. Furthermore, she published countless books on the topic and tirelessly involved herself in many political campaigns.
The leading African-American feminist writer and poet gave a voice to class, gender, race, and sexuality issues. Audre Lorde remained a prominent voice in lesbian and black communities and called for solutions beyond the confines of the patriarchy.
A few of her famous works and sayings were, "You do not need to explain your existence, your silence will not protect you, feminism must be intersectional, and there is always time for a revolution." She is renowned for making long-term contributions to critical race studies, feminist theory, and queer theory through her writing and pedagogy.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Stanton studied law and was appalled and outraged over the discriminatory laws governing women. One example is when women were denied as official delegates during the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London. She frequently spoke on women's rights and circulated petitions that aided in securing passage to married women's property rights.
She was the first woman to arrange the Woman's Rights Convention to start the suffrage movement. Apart from property rights, she advocated for change in women's private and public lives regarding equal employment opportunities, education, child custody rights, and better liberal divorce provisions.
Famous around the globe, the scholar Maya Angelou was a renowned author, dancer, poet, singer, and activist. Even today, she continues to influence generations with her outstanding work. She taught women that being comfortable and having confidence in their skin, regardless of circumstances, can take them far. As an effective feminist writer, she has a great talent for blending the influential voice in her poems to sustain her powerful identity as a woman of color.
Maya Angelou has primarily impacted the American culture as she served as the nation's wise woman, a poet to presidents, and an unapologetic conscience. Her works touched everyone from the commoner and celebrity to political leaders.
Mary Edwards Walker
Commonly referred to as Dr. Mary Walker, she was the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. She worked as the first female U.S. Army Surgeon during the Civil War in the 1900s. She often crossed battle lines to see civilians and soldiers. Additionally, she advocated strongly for women's rights. She argued that women's clothes were uncomfortable and inhibited mobility. Hence, she was famous for wearing pants and promoting the struggle for 'dress reform.' She also played a part in fighting for suffrage and participating in politics. Her work includes campaigning for the U.S. Senate and running as a Democratic candidate for Congress. Today, Dr. Mary Walker's contributions reflect in the form of more females pursuing STEM-based majors and careers.
The Bottom Line
Women's rights should be seen as human and not denied just because of sex or gender. They are enshrined in international human rights treaties. These include rights to life, freedom from discrimination, decent living conditions, privacy, safety, freedom from torture, and lots more. The next wave of feminism is predicted to be a primary part of movements for political power, economic opportunity, and representation.
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