Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History
The overlooked, unknown and now, unleashed.
In this modern society today, there are still ways in which women are shunt and kept slightly subset but more so, women are highly valued, empowered and uninhibited these days, far outweighing the lingering oppressive forces that still exist. Even so, women are still very underestimated and mostly, it is by our own selves. The deliberate battles fought, and the women that fought them tend to be overlooked. Women intentionally blazed trails proving we are not only valuable, but prevailing assets to humanity. Yet, defeat and doubt reign amongst us more than ever these days. I believe that’s partially due to the knowledge we lack from our history which has an extensive detailing of influential, and courageous women who changed the course of our entire civilization by epic proportions. These women remain hidden under the radar leaving us without proper acquaintance of what we hold within us from those that went before us.
The power that women possess has been under oppression for a lifetime, and its not hard to see why. A vast number of mighty warriors, way-makers, fearless pioneers, inventors, thinkers, and most strategic rulers were women. Ones with extreme sway who stood in the face of viscous challenges declining to back down. These women inherit our history yet regrettably, they are not well known, if known of at all. These hidden marvels expose a tremendous showing of all that we were gifted with to offer our world. It is time we learn about a few of these stellar women.
So, without further a due I bestow upon you a select seven of history’s most time dividing, moral, impressive, brave, and innovative women to have ever lived. Their stories are filled to the brim with intriguing moments, trials and victories that will leave you more vested as a woman. May this aide us all to the necessary view of strong, independent, driven women across the world, as it should be, especially within ourselves.
Activist and The Coco Chanel of the 1800’s
Amelia Bloomer was a 19th century women’s rights activist and trendsetter with a soul permanently set a fire for change, and advancement. After her marriage to Dexter Bloomer she began writing for his newspaper. The absence of material dedicated to women troubled her, so she went on and established, The Lily, which supported womens suffrage, and the temperance movement. It was one of the first newspapers written, edited and published by women. I’d say, every edition printed had the word, empowerment glaring off it. She too was an advocate for womens clothing reform. That lead Amelia to shake things up in the 1800’s fashion realm, much alike the way our beloved Coco Chanel once did. Amelia voiced women should abandon the corsets and petticoats for looser and shorter skirts with pants underneath. She didn’t design the garments, but she popularized them so well that they became known as “bloomers.” Along with those stirring achievements she worked assiduously to support the rights for women to vote. Her grit caused great movement as her activism helped secure Ohio women the right to vote in 1873. Amelia Bloomer swam against big waves during a time nothing was more challenging than going against the current, and she did it well.
Mary Edwards Walker
Prohibitionist, Prisoner of War, and Civil War Surgeon
Mary Edwards Walker was a devoted woman with guts, honor, and glory. She survived then thrived in a place where she was at first denied acceptance. Mary opted as a volunteer surgeon after her initial application to join the Union Army as a medical officer was rejected. While on duty as a volunteer in April of 1864, Mary was captured by the confederate Army and held prisoner for months at Castle Thunder Prison near Richmond, Virginia. By October, Mary had been released and it was then she was given a commission as acting assistant surgeon. She was the first female physician in the U.S. Army, and is the only woman to receive a Medal of Honor. In, 1865, President Andrew Johnson signed a bill awarding Mary the Medal of Honor due to her patriotic zeal she devoted herself with for the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals. She endured hardships as a prisoner of war and President Johnson acknowledged this in a divine way. During this time-period congress was known to strip members of these medals unless they had engaged in combat. When they came for Mary’s, she refused to give it up, and wore until the day she died in 1919. To add to her moxie, she was known to be a very outspoken and fierce advocate for womens rights, and she was also arrested multiple times for wearing men’s clothing. Mary Edwards Walker is the prime example of what the mixture of gumption, compassion, and cold-stone confidence looks like.
The lethal sniper the Germans were most desperate to stem
Lyudmila is regarded as one of the top military snipers of all time, and the deadliest female sniper in history. The Smithsonian notes, she was described to be an opinionated and independent tomboy who was unruly in the classroom. Having been born in the Ukraine gave Lyudmila quite an advantage for her unknown destiny. Many young people in the Soviet Union were encouraged to participate in OSOAVIAKhIM, a paramilitary sporting organization teaching youth weapon skills, and etiquette. She was one among the many participants. She practiced tirelessly, mostly because she heard boys bragging over their skills and that determined her to show them what a girl could do. Even at an early age intentional ambitions were raging from Lyudmila. As she grew older it was stated she looked like a model with well-manicured nails, fashionable clothes and hairstyles. But, when it came time for battle her thoughts were, and I quote, “There is no rule against wearing make-up, but who has time to think of her shiny nose when a battle is going on?” When Hitler broke ties with Stalin the German troops invaded the Soviet Union. This well-kept woman rushed to join the Soviet Army to defend her homeland, but even with presenting her marksman certificate and sharp shooter badge she was denied entry. They didn’t allow females to join. Even the recruiter laughed in her face questioning her if she even knew anything about rifles. It was insisted upon her to work as a nurse instead, but Lyudmila wasn’t going to take no for an answer. She resorted to all kinds of tricks to try to join but eventually she got her chance; an audition from The Red Army. They showed her two Romanians down range who were working with the Germans. She shot down the two soldiers with ease and it was then she became accepted into the Red Army’s 25th Rifle Division. She quickly made a name for herself, and her reputation earned her more dangerous assignments. She went face to face with one of the German snipers, so it is said that she dueled, and she killed a confirmed number of 36 German snipers. On several occasions she was wounded, but it was the shrapnel she took to the face from her position being bombed by the Germans. That is what took her out of battle. The Germans locked in on her as they were desperate to terminate the ride of her epic and escalating kill streak. They first tried to recruit her but since that didn’t work, they took her out best they could. They sure did not kill her though. Maybe that was a smart move on the Germans part considering Lyudmila quickly distinguished herself as a fearsome, lethal sniper killing 187 Germans in her first 75 days of war. She ended up with a confirmed 309 kills, and a name attached to the skills she had, also defining her as the deadliest female sniper in all of world history. Due to her exceptional record, and efforts she was invited to the Whitehouse becoming the first soviet citizen to be received by the President of the United States. Lyudmila was living proof that women can do anything they set their mind to with passion and perseverance and the mindset, giving up is not an option.
Physician, Activist, Author, Inventor, and first woman to…
Cecilia Grierson’s picture should be next to the definitions of persevere, innovate, and reform in the dictionary due to the impact she had on our culture. She was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Argentina which is a huge achievement that changed the course of history. See, in the 19th century women were forbidden from attending medical school and even secondary education all together. That didn’t stop Cecilia though. Through much perseverance and passion that came from the struggles she faced, Cecilia earned her degree, and became one of the most influential human rights activists to have ever walked this earth. She was vice president of the International Council for Women, a suffragist organization that fought hard for social causes, welfare benefits, maternity leave for working women, and the end of the slave trade. She too was a physician studying gynecology and kinesiology. Webbed into that portion of Cecilia’s life came the idea for medical service vehicles to have alarm bells. Yes, she is the reason we have what we call ambulances today. Cecilia is one of history’s greatest pioneers, activists, and women of inspiration.
Puritan housewife to captured Avenger
Since this woman’s savage like, but very necessary escape from Indian Captors occurred, it has been a topic of controversy among some to decide whether Hannah was a cold-blooded killer or avenging mother. I’ll end that issue right now. The title, avenging mother, takes the cake. Hannah was a colonial housewife, and mother to nine children. During her 40th year on March 15th, 1697 she was captured by the Abenaki tribe of Native Americans during an Indian raid. Along with Hannah they took her 6-day old baby, Martha and her nurse, Mary. Her husband fled with the other eight children. Thankfully they were not to inherit the same traumatic fate his wife and new baby girl did. At the start of their captivity, the Indians killed her baby by smashing it to death against a tree while Hannah was forced to watch. The captors then made Hannah and Mary walk for days to an island in the middle of the Merrimack River. Soon after settling they were told they were being moved to another location. Hannah decided they were not going along. Before that could take place Hannah along with other captives decided to launch their plan of escape. As the Indians slept, Hannah and two other captives found themselves Tomahawks and killed ten Indians. Before leaving, Hannah paused to scalp each of her victims for proof and for the bounty that would be given for them. She then led herself and the other captives to their very own captors canoe. That is the moment they escaped. Successfully making it back to European hands, Hannah along with her two companions received much praise. They collected their bounty as well. Hannah went on to live to be 80 years old and is believed she is to be the first woman with a statue erected in her honor in the United States. The bronze statue was the first of a few placed in Haverhill town square, where it still stands today. Another is on the island of New Hampshire where Hannah and her captive companions killed and scalped the natives that night. Cold blooded murder is smashing a baby to death, not taking whatever measure necessary to escape from the people that did it. Bravery, and a mother with a vengeance is no one to mess with and Hannah Duston’s story keeps that undeniable truth grounded well within the inner truths of a woman.
“The most sensational woman anyone ever saw”
The words from “Live your life”, a poem written by Chief Tecumseh hovers over the lifetime of this stunning woman, Josephine Baker. She lived, loved and beautified her life while respecting others, and demanding they respect her. She was fearless and is one who had prepared a noble death song before the night she died like a hero going home. Josephine’s early life didn’t reflect this well to start as she was abandoned by her father shortly after her birth, worked to support her family at a very young age and was often mistreated. At the age of 13 things came to a point where she knew her worth and she ran with it. Literally. She ran away from home and became a waitress, married a man to only get divorced two weeks later. Little did anyone know that this pained 13 yr. old runaway, would end up becoming one of the world’s most admired, loved and honored women in Europe and The United States. Josephine went on to become a highly favored singer, dancer, and activist. While in New York, she was one of the highest paid chorus girls, and it wasn’t too long before she was among the highest paid and most popular performers in Europe. Her performance in France during its times of obsession with Jazz and all things exotic immediately captured French audiences. The way she moved was said to be hypnotic, and her performance in a skirt that was made of only 16 bananas, immediately gained her the admiration of the French culture including Pablo Picasso himself. Now, when WWII erupted, the lioness in Josephine came to rise. Josephine worked for the Red Cross during the occupation of France. She was also a member of the Free French Forces enabling her to entertain troops in both Africa, and the Middle East. Above all else, during this time she worked for the French Resistance, fearlessly smuggling messages hidden in her sheet music, and even undergarments. Her efforts landed her to receive two of Frances highest military honors. Along with such feats, she also lived her life according to her devotion to fighting racism. Nothing, not even the tasteless Klu Klux Klan could scare her off from this fight. Upon her return to the United States in the 1950s to join the Civil Rights Movement, she fought the ignorance that plagued her home country by demanding that her performance contracts contained a non-discrimination clause and that her audiences were always integrated. If that was not the case, no matter how much she was to be paid, Josephine refused to perform. She also was very much a participant in demonstrations and boycotting. Then in 1963 on that fine day in Washington D.C., she marched right alongside Martin Luther King Jr, and was one of the few notable speakers there that day. She took a troubled start at life and beautified it remarkably. Her funeral attracted more than 20,000 people who all lined the streets of Paris while her life was celebrated and honored with a military ordered 21-gun salute, making her the first American woman in history to be buried in France with military honors. She was a hero, and a celebrity, who used her well-known voice to bring harmonic pleasure as well peaceful shouts to a troubled, and lost nation in desperate need of it. Josephine was epic.
Hydna of Scione
The destroyer of the Persian Navy
(500 B.C. - unknown)
Image Twitter @saintsisters&sluts
Hydna was a Greek swimmer and diver given credit for the destruction of the Persian Navy. She was a strategic warrior with an undeniable strength and skill which can be attributed to her father, Scyllis. He taught her since she was very young to swim in the deepest parts of the ocean as well as to scuba dive. When the Persians invaded Greece in 480 BCE they ransacked Athens. Their goal was to defeat the rest of the Hellenic force in the naval battle at Salamis. Had they won Salamis all of Hellas would have been lost. Yet it remained standing firm due to the courageous acts of Hydna and her father. After the arrival of the Persian Naval ships Hydna and her father decided to volunteer to destroy the ships and how they did this is nothing short of fascinating. With her father by her side, Hydna silently swam ten miles into the sea where the Persian ships were anchored for the night. They swam that distance for this cause during a sea storm. That’s some serious dedication to their country. As they came up amongst the ships they dove underneath each one cutting the ships moorings. This caused the ships to slam into one another, drift apart and run amuck, causing catastrophic damage to each vessel. This heroic act helped to avoid the coming battle for the time being, and saved their home, culture, and heritage and all in one night of deep sea diving. Hydna was credited for this victory and both her and her father were honored with statues as the Hellenic officials found this very pleasing to themselves as well as the Gods. Strategy and strength given to a woman along with her wise father’s help is a recipe for disaster for anyone who strikes against what they cherish and love. Hydna had the heart and mindset of a true warrior.
Those are seven striking women in history. Along with them are more women who are just as striking and have had just as much impact, in their own way throughout history. There was, Lilian Bland, who was the first female to design, build and fly her own aircraft. Helat Cambel is the woman who snubbed Hitler, and there’s Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra who seized Egypt, then conquered much of Asia Minor, then preceded to declare herself independent from Roman rule. History is full of more captivation women than imaginable. I suggest you research them. It’s thrilling to read these factual stories that we can connect to being women. Always remember what Ulrich reminded us of when she stated, “History. It isn’t just what happens in the past, but what we choose to remember.” Choose to remember these women. They are indispensable to our history making their legacies priceless to our future.