By Emma Gibson
Rosie the Riveter is one of the most iconic images of working women during World War II. Rosie represented the women of that era and she still inspires and represents women in the present day. National Women’s Month is a month to celebrate and embrace women through history and women in the present day.
Social Studies teacher Rebekah Cunningham has many female role models—such as Elizabeth Cady, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Olympe de Gouges—who inspire her.
“I find women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Olympe de Gouges to be inspirational because they stood up for women’s rights at a time when it wasn’t popular, respectable, or Instagram worthy. They faced a lot of criticism for their ideas but pushed for change regardless of the hurdles and they demanded this change in an honest, respectable, and dignified manner,” Cunningham said.
Female student Mackenzee Daugherty experiences the struggles and stereotypes many other females face in today’s world.
“Stereotypes that females face are that we aren’t as strong or as powerful as males and we can’t do the same work as men especially when it comes to politics,” Daugherty said.
Girls Inc. is the national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. This company was founded in 1864 by Rachel Harris Johnson, to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Director of Public Policy at Girls inc., Lara Kaufmann, describes struggles that women often face in their daily lives.
“Sexism is still deeply rooted in our society. Sexual harassment is pervasive, and the threat of sexual assault makes it hard for women to feel safe as they move through the world. At work and in politics, women are held to higher standards than men. Stereotypes about women are still widely held, even if it’s subconsciously,” Kaufmann said.
These challenges have been continuous all through history especially with women who have been the first of their kind to be brave and stand up against what are considered “norms.” Women such as Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony lived these struggles.
According to americaslibrary.gov, Rosa Parks, famously known for refusing to surrender her seat on a bus to a white passenger, was arrested for civil disobedience on Dec. 1, 1955: “She sat down and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, she was arrested for disobeying an Alabama law requiring black people to relinquish seats to white people when the bus was full.”
Parks’ arrest lead to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It also led to the banning of segregation on public transportation, which was a supreme court decision made in 1956.
The definition of women’s suffrage is the right of women by law to vote in national or local elections, according to britannica.com.
Many more women other than Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony were a victim of either women’s suffrage or civil disobedience for standing up for equality.
According to crusadeforthevote.org, from 1840 to 1861, women were constantly fighting for equality and the right to vote, but efforts for the suffrage movement came to a halt because of the civil war.
In 1888, the National Council of Women in the United States was established to promote the advancement in society, and women weren’t allowed to vote until the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Although equality among women and men isn’t the same, these are the types of brave women who made Women’s History Month possible, as well as more rights designated towards women.