womens history month

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In honor of what would have been Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday today, revisit our Women’s Jazz Festival conversation between Candice Hoyes, Aja Burrell Wood, Rommi Smith, Craig S. Harris, and Brent Edwards, who paid tribute to Fitzgerald’s life, legacy, and significant career:

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Born on July 23, 1899, in Springfield, Illinois, Ruth Ellis was the oldest “out” African American lesbian known. 

 She died in her sleep at her home on October 5, 2000.

RIP Ruth Ellis! You will always be a true icon in the LGBT community and real inspiration!

People will always remember your name! Women’s History Month is for you!

#WomensHistoryMonth

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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Our last women’s history month post this month is also in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility on the voice actress Maddie Blaustein. Maddie was a major voice actor and creator in various industries, and if you grew up with anime, you’ve probably heard her voice at one time or another. Maddie was a transgender woman who worked for several companies.

Maddie was born in October 1960 in Long Island, New York. She was the second-oldest of five siblings, and was Jewish. She was born intersex and began transitioning later on in her life. She was a fairly well-known activist for transgender rights within the community. She has been credited with other names in work, including Madeline Blaustein and Kendra Bancroft

Maddie was perhaps most well known for her work as a voiceover actress, primarily in anime. She worked for family dubbing company 4kids, which was a New York-based company that dubbed anime for saturday morning cartoons. Perhaps her most famous role was that of the talking pokemon Meowth in the famous franchise, a role she carried for several seasons. She also portrayed Pokemon characters Lt. Surge and Bill, along with many minor characters. Other famous roles that she took on include that of Solomon Mutou (Yugi’s grandfather) in the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! and  Chef Kawasaki in the english dub of the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!

She voiced a large number of characters in her lifetime, one of her most recent roles being that of Satorious in Yugioh GX. She was arguably one of 4kids’ more famous voice actors, having at least one role in almost all of their properties. Some of the other 4Kids dubs she had a role in include Ultimate Muscle, One Piece, and Cubix. She acted in other things as well, including the characters Li Zhuzhen and Colonel Hyuga in the game Shadow Hearts. She also portrayed characters in Samurai Deeper Kyo and Slayers Try.In the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, she played the robot Omega in several games as well as the president in Shadow the Hedgehog

Maddie did often work outside of animation. She wrote and did art for several comics, including Static, Power Pachyderms, and Hardware. She was an active content developer for the game Second Life under the name Kendra Bancroft, and gained a good reputation for her skills as a 3D modeler. She was also the creative director for the Weekly World News for a time. Her brother Jeremy Blaustein is a translator and video game localizer. 

Maddie passed away in late 2008 from an untreated stomach virus. Memorials poured in from fans who grew up with her work all over the internet.

Her work in anime, comics, and voice acting is not forgotten and lives on with the people who grew up listening to her work. Her impact on the anime industry in the west has been felt by many, and her dedication to excellence as an artist and a person is not forgotten. 

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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.

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Happy Blackout Day! My name is Sophia and I’m a scifi writer! I have two books on amazon. One is a scifi mystery about a black girl named Cosmo. My second book is a short romance story about black love in space!

Also sometimes I tweet things.

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.
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White women need to deal with the fact that most of you voted for Trump. It’s the not the job of black women or any marginalised and oppressed person to take responsibility for the actions of their oppressor or to educate their oppressor.

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.