Cool Chicks from History Challenge
March is Women’s History Month and I’m hoping some of my followers might be up for a simple challenge to put more women’s history on tumblr from March 1 to March 31.
Make one women’s history post or make thirty, it’s up to you. Please source your photos and quotes if possible. There aren’t any prizes, the point is just to put more women’s history on tumblr. Posts don’t have to be in English. Tag it cool chicks from history challenge so it is easy to find.
I plan to reblog some (though I”ll warn you, I’m super picky) and I’m a history tag editor, which means I can promote 10 posts a day to explore. Plus if it is all under one tag, anyone can easily check them out, whether or not they follow me or the person who posted.
Code name: Inka.
Danuta Siedzikówna was born in September 1928 in a village called Gluszczewina. Her life—and her death—would come to be defined by the events of the Second World War.
In 1943, at the age of fifteen, she became a member of the Armia Krajowa—the Polish underground “Home Army,” one of the most active resistance forces in Europe. Between 1944 and 1945 she received medical training, in order to serve as a medic for these resistance forces. Her father died in Tehran, having gone there to join Gen. Anders’ Polish Army. Her mother was arrested in 1942 and executed nearly a year later for collaboration with the underground.
The same fate, eventually, awaited Danuta. Even after the war’s official end, an underground anti-communist resistance movement remained active in Poland. These men and women would come to be called “cursed soldiers,” people for whom the war could not end. The remnants of the officially disbanded Armia Krajowa were characterized by the communist state apparatus as a “hostile element which must be removed without mercy.”
On June 6, 1945 “Inka” was arrested and taken to Bialystokn for aiding guerilla fighters in the forest around Hajnówka. This time, however, she and the other prisoners were freed by an Armia Krajowa reconnaissance unit based in Wilno and operating, temporarily, from Spieszyn. It was here, under the command of “Łupaszka” (Maj. Zygmunt Szendzielarz) that she began work as a medic.
This unit was disbanded later in 1945, and Danuta began to work in Miłomłyn for the forest service there. This activity was cut short in 1946 when the unit resumed operations. “Inka” returned to her service as a medic, this time under “Zelazny” (Lt. Zdislaw Badocha), and also took on the role of a courier.
She was arrested sometime during the night of July 19-20, 1946 based on information extracted from another captured nurse. “Inka” herself, however, was said to have revealed nothing about her unit when interrogated. Her trial was held on August 3.
Danuta was executed on August 28, 1946 with another member of the resistance—Feliks Selmanowicz, called “Zagonczyk.” According the account provided by the priest who performed their Last Rites, the condemned refused to have their eyes covered. They were read the refusal to pardon them, and, when the order was given to fire, Inka and Zagonczyk together shouted “Niech żyje Polska! Niech żyje Łupaszko!” Long live Poland! Long live Łupaszka!
There, in a prison in Gdansk, they died. The site of their burial is unknown.
let me lay some shit on you about Rosalind Motherfucking Franklin.
you motherfuckers see this bitch right here? she’s the baddest motherfucker you’ll ever hear of. rosalind franklin was an x-ray crystallographer. what the fuck does THAT mean? oh, nbd, just a technique where you fucking cRYSTALLIZE MOLECULES and shoot FUCKING X-RAYS at that shit, while you sit back in your shades and your lead apron looking cooler than young clint eastwood and take pictures.
so what exactly did rosalind franklin do that was so FUCKING COOL???
OH NOTHING, JUST THIS
rosalind franklin is most famous for her work on the structure of DNA, which she was conducting at king’s college round about the time THESE FUCKERS
were doing their work at nearby university of cambridge. who are these sluts, you ask???? these fuckers are james watson and francis crick, the men who would later win the nobel peace prize for determining the structure of DNA.
watson and crick wouldnt be anything but shit stains on the underwear of science if it weren’t for franklin’s crystallography of DNA, which was shown to them WITHOUT HER PERMISSION by franklin’s boss, who saw “no harm” in showing watson and crick SOMEONE ELSE’S FUCKING RESEARCH before it was published and without asking the researcher - because despite the fact that she was one of the best x-ray crystallographers in the lab, she was a WOMAN, after all, so her work must not have been very important.
WELL WAKE THE FUCK UP. using rosalind franklin’s crystallography and data, watson and crick managed to make a model of DNA with a double-helical structure - the model we use today.
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF ROSALIND FRANKLIN BEFORE? I BET YOU HAVEN’T. WANT TO KNOW WHY?
she died in 1958 of pneumonia, ovarian cancer, and complications of cancer, thought to be largely due to exposure to x-rays over her career. watson and crick were awarded the nobel peace prize for their work on nucleic acids (read: DNA) in 1962, and because the nobel peace prize can’t be awarded posthumously, franklin’s contributions were not recognized.
why the FUCK does she matter? sit the fuck down and let me tell you, you little shit.
without motherfucking rosalind franklin, biologists everywhere would be sitting around with their fingers in their fuckin noses going ‘durrrrrr i don’t know how heritable material works’. we’d still be stuck in the 20th century with our medicine and genetics and biology.
so you can thank MOTHERFUCKING ROSALIND FRANKLIN for EVERYTHING. and you can bet your ass she’s one of the coolest chicks in history.
Margaret Brent: Take all, pay all.
Photo: Maryland State Archives
In answer to Cool Chicks from History’s Women’s History Month challenge, I would like to submit Margaret Brent, who is famous in St. Mary’s City for going before the colonial Governor and assembly and demanding not one vote, but two- one for herself, as a landowner, the other as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. It being 1648, she was of course shot down.
Mistress Brent had, however, been taking names long before that. Born into a family of means, she had the luxury (in a place where men outnumbered women) to never marry, owning her property, running her own business, and even representing herself in court. She chose to stay in St. Mary’s City after a devastating raid by a Protestant seacaptain (St. Mary’s City was at this time a Catholic stronghold) that saw most of the settlers flee to Virginia. Perhaps this was what caught the eye of Leonard Calvert, then Lord Baltimore, or maybe by this point Mistress Brent had become infamous. Either way he named her executor of his will upon his death, famously instructing her to “take all, pay all”.
Which of course is what she did, even though she had to sell Lord Baltimore’s estate to pay and feed the soldiers. Lord Baltimore, despite having told Mistress Brent to “take all”, was upset enough to result in the Brents leaving Maryland for Virginia where she would live until her death. The Maryland assembly, however, disagreed with Lord Baltimore and told him so:
“we do Verily Believe and in Conscience report that it was better for the Colonies safety at that time in her hands then in any mans else in the whole Province after your Brothers death for the Soldiers would never have treated any other with the Civility and respect and through they were even ready at times to run into mutiny yet she still pacified them till at the last things were brought to that strait that she must be admitted and declared your Lordships Attorney…or else all must go to ruin again and then the second mischief had been doubtless far greater than the former. We conceive from that time she rather deserved favor and thanks from your Honor for her so much Concurring to the public safety then to be justly liable to all those bitter invectives you have been pleased to Express against her.”
Source: Maryland State Archives
“Yes, I am a Free Lover. I have an inalienable, constitutional and natural right to love whom I may, to love as long or as short a period as I can; to change that love every day if I please, and with that right neither you nor any law you can frame have any right to interfere.”—Victoria Woodhull (the first female candidate for President of the United States), on Free Love in New York City, November 20, 1871.
Women's History Month: Alice Paul
On March 3rd 1913, the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, Alice Paul organized a previously unparalleled parade of over 8,000 women to march from the Capitol to the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall for women’s suffrage. Drawing a crowd of approximately one million people, many of them verbally harassing the protestors, troops had to be called in to escort the suffragists to their destination — it took six hours.
The parade generated enough publicity to spur awareness amongst legislators in Washington. On March 17th, Alice Paul and other suffragists met with President Wilson who appeared only mildly interested and claimed that the time was not right for women’s suffrage.
In 1916, the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage (CUWS) and Women’s Party (established by Paul) merged together to form the National Women’s Party (NWP) under Paul’s leadership. Alice called for an end to pleading for women’s suffrage and mounted a campaign to instead demand an amendment to the constitution, known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.
The fight for a women’s suffrage amendment had been going on for almost 70 years at this point. Women had gained the right to vote in 12 western states and Jeannette Rankin of Montana was elected as the first female congresswoman in 1916. Despite this, a national amendment had not been passed for women’s suffrage.
In January of 1917, the NWP began picketing the White House. Known as the Silent Sentinels, they were the first group in the United States to wage a nonviolent civil disobedience campaign.
Spectators began to harass the women verbally and physically while the police stood idly by. In June, police began to arrest the suffragists for “obstructing traffic”. As the women continued to picket, the jail terms grew longer. Finally, on October 20th, 1917, police arrested Alice Paul and sentenced her to 7 months in jail.
Alice was placed in solitary confinement for two weeks and began her hunger strike. Others joined in after she was released from solitary and sent to the prison hospital. In an attempt to discredit her as insane, jail officials placed Paul in the psychiatric ward. Despite being forcibly deprived of sleep and doctors’ threats to move her to the notorious St. Elizabeth’s Asylum, Paul continued her hunger strike. In the final week of her 22-day hunger strike, doctors forcibly fed Paul through tubes three times a day. Despite the pain and illness it caused, Alice Paul refused to end her hunger strike.
Hundreds of suffragists had also been arrested, with 33 of them placed in the Occoquan Workhouse. The women were subjected to force-feedings, unsanitary conditions, rough-handling, violence at the hands of prison guards, and worm-infested food.
Newspapers across the country ran stories about the conditions that the suffragists faced in jail. Under mounting public pressure, the government released the women.
A week after the release of the suffragists, congress reconvened. With increased American support and the support of President Wilson, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment that Alice Paul had proposed was debated in the House of Representatives and narrowly passed. The bill failed to be passed in the senate and was short by two votes. The NWP continued to pressure politicians by burning President Wilson’s speeches at monuments. Hundreds more women were arrested. The NWP urged its supporters to vote against anti-suffrage politicians in the 1918 elections.
Following the election of 1918, the 1919 congress passed the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. On August 26th, 1920, Tennessee was the final state to ratify the amendment.
Women voted for the first time in the 1920 elections. The fight for women’s suffrage lasted 72 years, spanning 18 presidencies and 3 wars.
In 1923, Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She continued to reintroduce it until it finally reached congress in 1970, however the amendment failed to ratify within the necessary time frame.
Alice Paul expanded the activities of the NWP, establishing the World Woman’s Party (WWP) in 1938. From 1938 to 1953, Alice worked closely with the League of Nations and later with the United Nations in trying to achieve equality for women worldwide. The WWP was responsible for establishing the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in 1948.
Alice Paul remained active throughout the 1950s and lobbied for the addition of a sex discrimination category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Paul continued to protest the Vietnam War in the late 1960s despite being in her 80s.
Alice Paul died of heart failure in 1977 at 92.
To this day, the NWP continues to fight for the ratification of the ERA along with other women’s rights issues.