“All of our efforts are with the goal of making women’s lives visible, because invisibility is the number one form of bias.”
Interview with Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director National Women’s History Project by Angie Klink. This interview first appeared in Ms Magazine on December 27, 2016.
Molly Murphy MacGregor was a 26-year-old, California high school history teacher in 1972 when a male student asked her a question that would change the course of her life: “What is the Women’s Movement?” Continue reading Molly Murphy MacGregor
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.
Theodora (c.497-548) was born in Constantinople – modern day Istanbul. In her remarkable life she became probably the most powerful woman in Byzantine history. Little is known about her early years, and it is hard to sort fact from fiction in such a colourful story.
The daughter of a bear keeper at Constantinople’s hippodrome, Theodora was put to work there herself at an early age as an actress, dancer, mime artist and comedian. Performing for hundreds of spectators, by the age of 15 she was a successful performer. She was also (as most actresses of the time were) prostituted, and gave birth to her first child aged just 14. Continue reading Empress Theodora
Zenobia was a 3rd century warrior queen who claimed she was descended from none other than Cleopatra. She is known for conquering Egypt and thwarting the Roman Empire.
Born in Palmyra in Syria, Zenobia’s given Roman name was Julia Aurelia Zenobia. It’s reported that as a child she learnt the riding skills which would serve her well in her warrior future. Continue reading Zenobia – Warrior Queen
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is one of Mexico’s greatest artists. Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon in Coyocoán, Mexico City to a Mexican mother and German father, her early life was spent in Casa Azul (the Blue House) which today houses a museum dedicated to her life and work. She was influenced by indigenous Mexican culture as well as religious and political themes, and is most famous for her self-portraits. she once said, “I paint my own reality”. Continue reading Frida Kahlo
Tcheng Soumay (also known as Tcheng Yu-hsiu and Madame Wei Tao-ming) was a lawyer and campaigner for democracy and women’s rights. She was active in China in the first half of the twentieth century when the ancient empire was toppled and competing factions fought for the soul of the new republic.
Soumay (to use her first name) was born to a wealthy family in Canton. Her father was a government official, her mother was the daughter of a general. It was usual to bind the feet of upper class girls, so their gait was ‘dainty.’ Always a rebellious child, Soumay refused to have her feet bound, ripping off the bandages. Her father was sympathetic, he encouraged her inquiring intellect and, wanting to take her around in public with him, dressed her as a boy. Continue reading Tcheng Soumay
South African writer Olive Schreiner was born in what is now Lesotho on 24 March 1855. The ninth of twelve children born to Rebecca Lyndall and her husband, Gottlob Schreiner (1814–1876), a German-born missionary, she and just six of her siblings survived childhood. In adulthood, she suffered debilitating ill-health, exacerbated for a time by grinding poverty.
For a time, Schreiner earned a living as a governess and teacher, but she devoted her free time to writing The Story of an African Farm, a radical feminist novel informed by her experience of growing up in Africa. As soon as she could afford to, she sailed for Britain where she hoped to train as a doctor. Unfortunately, although she attended lectures at the London School of Medicine for Women, established in 1874 by an association of pioneering women physicians, ill-health prevented her from completing her training. Continue reading Olive Schreiner
Lise Meitner was born in Austria in 1878, a time when girls weren’t allowed a public education past age fourteen. Fortunately for the young woman who excelled in physics and mathematics, her parents paid for a tutor so she could continue her studies. Times changed and in 1878, woman were allowed entrance to the universities. She got her doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna in 1905 and shortly after began working with chemist Otto Hahn at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Germany. They would work together for thirty years and he’d betray her at least twice. Continue reading Lise Meitner: The Mother of Nuclear Power
Susan La Flesche Picotte was an Omaha Indian who became the first Native American physician and spent her life caring and campaigning for her people.
Susan was born on 17th June 1865 on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska. Both her parents were mixed race and her father, Iron Eyes (Joseph La Flesche), was the chief of their tribe. It was a time of much change and upheaval for Native Americans, and her father tried to manage this by encouraging people, including Susan and her three sisters, to adapt and become educated in the ways of the white world around them. Continue reading Susan La Flesche Picotte
When Barbara Brenner died, on 10th May 2013 at the age of 61, her partner of a lifetime, Susie Lampert, kept her promise: she made sure that Barbara’s obituary said “she died after a long battle with the breast cancer industry”.
That battle had started twenty years earlier. In 1993, Barbara Brenner had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 41 at that time. A year later, she joined the board of Breast Cancer Action (BCAction), the feminist grassroots organization of which she would become the first full-time executive director in 1995.
Continue reading Barbara Brenner