Women’s History Month – Sally Ride

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Sally Ride (1951 – 2012), reached for the stars for women, becoming the first American woman in Space.  In 1983, twenty-three years after the first man in space, she brought women as close to equality in space as possible at the time.

In 1973, she received a physics degree.  And continued to receive her masters and doctorate in the same subjects.

Her work for NASA didn’t end when she finished her space missions.  She created a company to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps, into science and space.

Women like Sally Ride give us a glimpse of the future, when women will have opportunities to be equal to men.  It isn’t easy.  It’s a fight every day.  When women only receive $0.70 for every $1.00 a man is paid for the same job, there is a long way to go.  With so many pioneers behind us, we only have to reach for the stars to find equality.  It’s out there, if enough are able to fight for it.

http://www.biography.com/people/sally-ride-9458284

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Women’s History Month – Mary Jemison

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Mary Jemison (1743 – 1833) is a symbol of the tens of thousands of children captured and raised by Native American tribes who did not want to return to the colonial lifestyle.
This says a lot about the colonial lifestyle.
These children were captured and raised as a member of the tribe.  Equal to all other members, and expected to do the work to maintain the tribe.  Their affiliation with the colonials was forgiven, and forgotten by all, including themselves.
Mary was 15 when she was captured.  At that time, it was common for 16 year old women around the world to be considered an adult, and married.  So, technically, she could left on her own within one year.
Instead, she remained.  Married, and raised a family.  She refused to return to her colonial roots, no matter how much the government expected her to.  Among her adopted family, she had rights that would never be granted a woman in colonial society.
There are many articles and books about Mary’s life among her adopted family.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5794/

Women’s History Month – Rowe Versus Wade

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

The Roe versus Wade case was decided in January of 1973.  It is being fought in the streets (and courts) again, two generations later.

It took 3 years to determine if women had the right to choose an abortion, and at what point during the pregnancy abortions were no longer considered legal.

At a time when an understanding of genetics was just beginning to be proven, many people recognized the dangers of child being born from rape and incest, which accounted for the majority of abortions.

Even today, the majority of abortions are for young women, many whom have been in sexual relationships since pre-teen years with male family members.  It is not uncommon for the young woman to have no memory of the sexual contact, they are often groomed and drugged during the experiences.  Even if the young woman is no longer with her abuser, she may still be in an abusive relationship which leads to her having no control over the choice of sex or not.

There are a small subset of women who may choose abortion when they are poor, simply because they do not have the money to support a pregnancy, even if they work full time.  That isn’t their failing.  That is societies failing.  Full time work should support a family.

Rowe Versus Wade gave women a chance to protect themselves against the men who choice to force their bodies on them without permission.  Today, those men are more aggressive, and are fighting to regain total control over women’s bodies.  Most women who have an abortion never had any say so in the choice to get pregnant.  When we take away the ability to protect themselves, and society, from the abusers choices, we threaten society with generations of children out of control, and more violent than any we have seen in decades.

Rather than punish the women (and preteen girls) for the rest of their lives, we need to punish the men who do these things to them.

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/abortionuslegal/p/roe_v_wade.htm

For further information check the CDC site:  https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/index.htm

Women’s History Month – Harriet Quimby

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Harriet Qumiby (1875 – 1912) was a woman who wasn’t afraid to try new things.  She pioneered many paths for women.  She was a writer, a critic, listed herself as an actress, and worked as a photojournalist.
These activities kept her on the forefront of the news of the times.  She was able to follow and join in many exciting opportunities that presented themselves.
In 1910, she interviewed a pilot, and discovered that she wanted to fly.  She was the first licensed female pilot in the US.  Only one other woman in the world had received her license at that time.
Flying was a rather new opportunity for anyone.  In fact, to increase awareness of flying, many pilots put on fancy shows to demonstrate their skills.  She was no exception.  At least there, on dancing on the tip of a plane wing, she was allowed to wear pants rather than a dress, which would have ended up wrapped around her face, and possibly caught in the wings, causing a crash.
Her biggest glory was eclipsed by the sinking of the Titanic.  The was the first solo flight by a woman across the English Channel.
Less than three months later, on June 1, 1902, she and her passenger were killed during an air show.  Her work was considered an inspiration for other female pilots of the time including Amelia Earhart whose plane was lost during a flight around the world in 1937.

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/aviationpilots/p/harriet_quimby.htm

Women’s History Month – Anna Howard Shaw

Anna Howard Shaw (1847 – 1919) spent her life fighting for women’s rights.  She came to this country when she was four years old.  She witnessed the Civil War and World War 1 in the US.

She decided to go to college, at time that women often did not.  She also decided to be a preacher, at a time that women simply didn’t.  Or, didn’t become licensed to do so.  She was the first female Methodist Protestant minister.

She didn’t end her education.  In 1886 she earned her medical doctor degree as well.  Although online reports don’t show how she used this degree, it fit in well with her other accomplishments, and helped break down doors for future female doctors.

She used her position to preach politics, and women’s wrights.  Susan B. Anthony was among her friends.  She chaired many committees over the years for women’s rights, temperance, and national defense group for women.

Her death from pneumonia occurred a year before women gained the right to vote in 1920.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

http://www.biography.com/people/anna-howard-shaw-9480841

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Anna-Howard-Shaw

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Sacagawea

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) is well known to most school children as the woman who smoothed the way for the men of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the frontier of America before paved roads, cars, planes, TVs, or phones existed.
Many facts about Sacagawea are lost in the mists of myth.  Her early years are partially documented.  She was born to a Shoshone tribe.  And kidnapped as a child by a Hidatsa tribe.  This tribe traded, or sold her to a French trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, as a “wife.”  He was asked to join the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Sacagawea joined them, even though they would walk much of the way, and she was pregnant.  The Journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.
After her son was born, she continued the trek, and carried him along.  She was able to met with her long lost brother at a critical moment in the journey.  If she hadn’t met him, the team would have been killed.  In many other ways, she saved them, through languages they did now speak, medical care, cooking, and reminding them of why they took the journey.
After the trek was over, her history starts to get murky with mists.
According to most sources, she gave birth to a daughter in 1812 and died.  William Clark then adopted her two children, although the man who is supposed to be her husband, is still alive for nearly 30 more years.
There is also another documented story, that claims she survived and left to marry a Comanche and lived to be over 100 years old.
She was a true pioneer for women’s right’s to make their own decisions, and did what she could to teach others to treat women with respect.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

http://www.sacagaweafacts.net/

http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/inside/saca.html

Women’s History Month – Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson

Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson (1912 – 2007) lived a very full life, and cannot be summed up easily in 250 words.  She believed in, and fought for equal rights and opportunities for all, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
She went to college to be a journalist, and then married the political Lyndon B. Johnson.  She pushed him to continue his political career.
Perhaps, she saw this as the best way to help women and ethnic groups.  Within politics, a whisper and whisper there could lead to change.
While her husband was president, he signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This act outlawed discrimination based on race.  She encouraged him to face those who were angry at him for passing this law.  He traveled the country, and spoke to those who would spit on him for daring to think people of various ethnicities had the same rights as he did.
She also created and helped run the Head Start program.  While the program isn’t perfect, none can be, it does help many disadvantaged students who would be dumped into a daycare while both parents work to provide food, clothing, and housing.  These students get a chance to learn the beginning of life skills their parents do not have time to teach them.  It has changed focus over the years to more of a disability equalizer program.
Besides helping others, she lived up to her name by helping the environment through the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.  Her work encouraged preserving the California Redwoods, rather than cutting them all down and turning them into furniture.  She served on the National Park board, wrote about the parks. She also founded the National Wildlife Research Center in Austin, Texas.

Let us hope all the work she did will continue to advance and equalize the country.  May it never be undone.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/lady-bird-johnson/

http://www.pbs.org/ladybird/politicalwife/politicalwife_index.html