Catharine Montour

Who was Catharine Montour? No one really knows. We know that she was an Iroquois woman with a white great-grandfather. We know that she lived in what is now Upstate New York sometime between 1710 and 1804. After that, the stories get confusing, but her legacy lives on.

Her grandmother was also named Catharine Montour, and history often conflates the two. Not to mention all the Noble Savage, or just plain savage, tales that grew up around the younger Catharine. Continue reading Catharine Montour

Sappho

Sappho was the original female singer-songwriter, an Ancient Greek Carol King or Joni Mitchell, whose songs were so memorable that people were still writing about them and passing them on centuries later.

Today her name is synonymous with lesbianism – indeed the very word ‘Lesbian’ comes from the name of the island where Sappho lived, Lesbos – due to the many lines of her poetry where she expresses strong, and sometimes sexual, feelings for other women. But there was more to Sappho than just her interest in women. Continue reading Sappho

Inez Milholland

The information about Inez Milholland which appears here is kindly taken from the InezMilholland.org website with their permission.

Inez Milholland was an Icon of the New Women in the early 1900’s. She was always known and publicized for her beauty and her brilliance. She was raised by socially-conscious parents and educated at Vassar where she became active in the Women’s suffrage movement and advocacy for the poor.

A rare woman, she earned a Law degree at NYU and promptly became involved with the labor strikes of the Women’s Garment Workers and the Triangle Shirtwaist factory struggle. Throughout her life, Inez worked and fought for the underrepresented and the oppressed. Continue reading Inez Milholland

Women in Medicine – guest post

This post originally appeared on the Inspired by My Mom website, which you can visit here. Many thanks for allowing us to cross post it on Sheroes of History.

Women in STEM fields have had some pretty amazing achievements over the course of herstory including incredible female practitioners in medicine – women who dressed as men to become military doctors; ancient Italian experts on childbirth; and women who broke the mold when they were told that medicine is only for boys.

InspiredByMyMom.com has chosen three women whose contributions may have been gravely overlooked.  Let us celebrate these women in medicine and broadcast their achievements.

Continue reading Women in Medicine – guest post

Julia Varley: champion of the woman worker

In September 2016, as part of Birmingham Heritage Week, Sheroes of History organised an event about Birmingham Sheroes at The Library of Birmingham. It was a pleasure to hear Dr Cathy Hunt speak about Julia Varley. Below is a transcript of her talk. [Not to be cited without the author’s permission.]

The woman I am going to talk about this evening was not a native Brummie. She was born in Bradford in 1871, but I think that the fact that there is a blue plaque on the house in which she lived in Bournville for a large part of her adult life, highlighting the work that she did for women’s suffrage and for trade unionism gives her at least honorary Brummie status – and well deserved it is too. Continue reading Julia Varley: champion of the woman worker

A look back at 2016…

Happy new year! I hope you’ve all had a peaceful holiday season, however you have chosen to celebrate.

As one year ends and another begins I wanted to take the opportunity to look back over the past year and share with you some 2016 Sheroes of History stats & achievements!

  • The blog featured over 50 new inspiring sheroes (meaning there are now over 160 in total – what a great resource!)
  • We had contributions from 32 wonderful, brilliant writers! (Thank you, I love you!)
  • The blog was viewed nearly 40,000 times by 22, 891 visitors who came from 150 different countries around the world!
  • The Sheroes of History Facebook page reached 1, 298 likes and we now have over 2, 600 Twitter followers!
  • The most popular post on the blog was John Hudson’s contribution about Ameila Bassano Lanier, with 1, 678 views!
  • There were a host of Sheroes events, including Sheroes storytelling sessions for Black History Month and a special Birmingham Sheroes event as part of Birmingham Heritage Week.
  • In October I was nominated for a West Midlands Woman of the Year Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education!
  • Finally – not at all Sheroes of History related, but perhaps my biggest achievement was growing and giving birth to a tiny shero!

Thank you all so much for your continued support, whether you have liked a post on Facebook, retweeted, read a post or written one – I am so hugely grateful to everyone who helps this endeavor continue.

You can be sure that 2017 will bring you many more stories of incredible sheroes of history. I continue to be inspired by the courage and passion of these women and consider it a privilege to be able to shine a spotlight on their amazing lives.

 

Qiu Jin – “Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes”

Qiu Jin is sometimes called the Chinese Joan of Arc; she was a feminist revolutionary who became a national heroine in China after she was martyred.

Qiu was born in 1875 in Xiamen, Fujian into a time where women in China were believed to be lesser than men, and were treated as such. When she was five, as was the norm for girls at the time, her family began binding her feet. She came from a wealthy family and as such was lucky to have access to a good education. She loved reading and began writing her own poetry from a young age. She also enjoyed more physical activities, which were less conventional for girls at the time, such as horse riding and sword fighting! Despite this, the expectations put upon her were the same as for any young woman of the time: that she marry and become an obedient wife and mother.  Continue reading Qiu Jin – “Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes”