Womens-History

After Mary Anderson submitted her patent for America’s first windshield wiper in 1903, she reached out to manufacturing firms to help create the product for automobiles.

One firm she reached out to responded with, “We regret to state we do not consider it to be of such commercial value as would warrant our undertaking its sale.“

The Rev. Sara-Scott Wingo, Anderson’s great-great-niece, doesn’t know for sure why Anderson’s invention never went anywhere — but she suspects it might have been because Anderson was such an independent woman.

Alabama Woman Stuck In NYC Traffic In 1902 Invented The Windshield Wiper

Photo: Encyclopedia of Alabama

also: happy women’s history month to every trans woman
you’re constantly erased from history and pushed out of women’s spaces but you belong there and you have always been important parts of history.
let’s not forget trans women this year.

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Last year I did a few write-ups and drawings about some lady fighters from history who fought openly as their gender (there are plenty of disguised-as-a-man soldiers and plenty of trans soldiers, but those are outside the scope of this series).  This is by no means an exhaustive list; there were plenty of great figures that my schedule didn’t permit me to tackle (at least not yet).  But as Women’s History Month gets started tomorrow, I thought y’all might enjoy reading about some of history’s toughest broads.

Today is International Women’s Day.

Today also marks the show of solidarity for women’s rights by way of a strike: A Day Without A Woman. Women around the world are refusing to take part in both paid and unpaid labor in the name of justice for all gender-oppressed people of all ethnicities, religions, and sexualities. In doing so, they join the ranks of women who have led protests, strikes, and movements throughout history.

Let’s celebrate a few of those women:

Dorothy Height (March 24, 1912—April 20, 2010)

Originally posted by womenthrive

Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro Women, was one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. She stood near Martin Luther King Jr. during his “I Have a Dream” speech, but did not publicly speak that day. In fact, no woman publicly spoke. “Even on the morning of the march there had been appeals to include a woman speaker,” wrote Height in her memoir. “They were happy to include women in the human family, but there was no question as to who headed the household!“ In 1971, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus with other notable feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.

Marsha P. Johnson (August 24, 1945—July 6, 1992)

Originally posted by dannisue

Marsha P. Johnson spent her entire adult life fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people. She’s credited for being one of the first to fight back in the Stonewall Riots. She started the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries with her friend Sylvia Rivera. Together they provided food, shelter, and care to young drag queens, trans women, and homeless children in need in the Lower East Side of NYC. She fought for what was right, and knew how to live life with exuberance and humor. When asked by a judge what what the “P” stood for, she replied “Pay It No Mind.”

Alice Paul (January 11, 1885—July 9, 1977)

Originally posted by taryndraws

Alice Paul was one of the leading forces behind the Nineteenth Amendment, which affirmed and enshrined a woman’s right to vote. She rallied 8,000 people to march in the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington—no small task in a world before the internet—with an estimated half million people watching the historic moment from the sidelines.

And some good activist blogs to follow:

  • Emily’s List (@emilys-list) slogan is “ignite change.” They aim to do so by backing pro-choice candidates for US office in key races across the country.
  • Women of Color in Solidarity (@wocinsolidarity) focuses on being a hub for the the WOC experience in the US. Original posts, incredibly informative reblogs…this place is wonderful.

“I have as much muscle as any man and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed and can any man do more than that?” -Sojourner Truth

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, or National African American History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

We are beginning by honoring Sojourner Truth, an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist who escaped slavery with her infant daughter in 1826. In 1828, she went to court to get back her son, who had been illegally sold into slavery at the age of 5. She became one of the first black women to go to court against a white man and win the case.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How to use rhetoric to get what you want - Camille A. Langston

Animation by TOGETHER

Support women in STEM

Because they’ve advanced the success and growth of those fields for just as long as men, even when they weren’t afforded the opportunity, the recognition, or the grants. Onward:

Rosalind Franklin (July 25, 1920—April 16, 1958)

Originally posted by bhagatkapil

Rosalind Franklin was a chemist and, get this, X-ray crystallographer. As far as titles go, you can’t do much better than crystallographer. Her work in understanding the molecular structure of DNA laid the foundation for the discovery of the double helix. She also made significant contributions to understanding the structures of RNAs. And viruses. And coal. And graphite. Her work was not fully appreciated until after she passed away. Two teams of all-male scientists who used her work to discover great things later went on to win Nobel Prizes.

Rebecca Lee Crumpler (February 8, 1831—March 9, 1895)

Originally posted by pylonss

Rebecca Lee Crumpler spent most of her professional life being the first at things. She was the very first Black woman to become a physician in the United States. The first (and only) Black woman to graduate from New England Female Medical College. She authored Book of Medical Discourses, one of the very first medical books written by a Black person. Every obstacle she powered through was done in an effort to provide care for other people. Hero. 

Mary Anning (May 21, 1799—March 9, 1847)

Originally posted by rejectedprincesses

Mary Anning discovered the first full Ichthyosaur skeleton at 11,  the very first Plesiosaur at 22, and then opened up her own fossil store front a few years later. We repeat: She opened up her own fossil store. We could go on and on, but Rejected Princesses (@rejectedprincesses​) already did it best in this biographical comic. While you’re over there, check out their whole archive and the dozens and dozens of women’s life stories within.

Follow these too:

  • She Thought It: Crossing Bodies in Sciences and Arts (@shethoughtit​​) is a database dedicated to shedding light on women making strides in both science and the arts. A whole bunch of great things.
  • Lady Scientists of Tumblr (@scientific-women​​) promises everything you could ever want from a feminist science round-up blog: intersectionality and equal representation of all scientists who identify as female. Hell yeah.
  • Math Brain (@ihaveamathbrain​​) backs the novel idea that women are indeed capable of understanding math. Shocking. With the perfect amount of sarcasm, they tackle the idea some bozos have that women just don’t have the mind for mathematics.

Women that have made history (and their signs)

Aries: Billie Holiday (African American jazz musician)

Taurus: Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court)

Gemini: Chien Shiung Wu (Chinese American nuclear physicist that contributed to the Manhattan Project and is often recognized as the First Lady of Physics)

Cancer: Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter known for her powerful self-portraits and artwork)

Leo: Amelia Earhart (first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo)

Virgo: Mother Teresa (20th Century symbol of humanitarianism known for her charity work and dedication to the Catholic Church)

Libra: Eleanor Roosevelt (changed the role of the First Lady as an activist, politician, and diplomat)

Scorpio: Elizabeth Cady Stanton (early leader of the women’s rights movement and writer of the Declaration of Sentiments)

Sagittarius: Emily Dickinson (revolutionized the world of poetry with her unique and unconventional writing style)

Capricorn: Zora Neale Hurston (African American novelist and anthropologist that gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance)

Aquarius: Corazon Aquino (first female president not only in the Philippines but in all of Asia as well)

Pisces: Kate Sheppard (appears on New Zealand’s 10 dollar note as a result of being the country’s most famous suffragette)

Today is the first day of Women’s History Month, Tumblr. For the next 31 days we’re going to celebrate women’s accomplishments, honor women’s stories, and draw attention to struggles women are still facing, even in 2017.

How we’re celebrating:

This special Women’s History Month explore page will be frequently updated with the top WHM posts found on Tumblr, because the best stuff always comes from you. Answer Times will be held, and important topics will be explored over on Action (@action). We also made some highly relevant stickers for you to put on your photos and GIFs, available right now in the Tumblr app. Take a look:

Why this matters:

👆 See that Planned Parenthood sticker? While we’ve got plenty to celebrate, we also have crucial fights to fight. Women around the world are currently facing the possible revocation of basic human rights and access to adequate health care. Here in the US, Planned Parenthood (@plannedparenthood) is set to lose all federal funding. 5 million people use PP’s services every single year. That includes access to sex education, birth control, prenatal care, STD testing, cervical cancer screenings, abortions, and so much more.

How to help:

We ask that you join us in donating to this irreplaceable non-profit or help out any other way you can, if you have the means for either. If you don’t, maybe you know someone who does. Could you pass it along to them?

Tumblr stands with Planned Parenthood. Tumblr stands with women everywhere, regardless of sexuality, race, religion, or gender identity. We’re in this together.

Oh, and If you’re attending SXSW this year, we’d like to invite you to a couple things jointly held by Tumblr and Planned Parenthood. There will be a panel on activism and a rally featuring live performances by Sleigh Bells, Girlpool (@girlpoool), Hoops, and PVRIS (@thisispvris). Find the details here.