Sometimes in life, there is a need to fight in order to achieve one’s goal and blossom. This is because life sometimes is really not fair. We wiil be discussing some women in that line. These are women that really decided not to give in to any withering counter actions from any quarter.
They saw the need to fight to achieve their aims and destinies. They are the ones that stood up to fight back against any intimidation and then forged on, making the most of their life dreams, visions and inclinations. In claiming their rights, these women stood up against all gender inflamed blockades and harassments. They are epitomes of esteemed womanhood and feminine strength.
Also and most importantly, they are encouraging examples to all aspiring and progressive females all over, who also don’t want their rights trampled on.The women mentioned in the former post 10 women sadly prevented from living a blossom life were also of remarkable personalities but these are the ones that are fortunate to achieve fully their glory in their lifetime. Here are 20 women that decided to fight to claim their visions, dreams and destinies back.
1. Elizabeth Blackwell
In 1849, she was the first person ever to earn a medical degree. This was a tremendous achievement for a woman that was rejected from all the medical schools she applied to, on the basis of her gender.
After lots of rejections, she continued to fight and press on until Geneva medical college gave her a chance. It was a worthwhile fight. It is an interesting fact and a pride to the female gender that the first person to achieve such a pace-setting feat was a woman.
2. Marie Curie
During the pursuit of her career, she left Warsaw, Poland because of persecutions. She and her husband made up their minds to fight and endure financial hardships and stresses during their various researches and experiments. Curie and her husband won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1903.
3. Valentia Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova in March 2017
A former factory worker turned astrounant, ValentinaTereshkova refused to be discouraged when the female astrounant programme was disbanded in Russia.
In 1963, still on the fight for her inner conviction, this impressive, energetic woman went to space as the first woman to break the barrier of sidetracking on the basis of sex intimidation and achieved this record-breaking venture.
4. Junko Tabei
With the peak elevation of 8848m (29029 ft), Mount Everest stands as the highest mountain in the world. Junkun Tabei, in 1970, daunting all excruciating hardships (even for tough men) decided to fight her way through and climbed to the top. She became the legend who history will not forget as the woman that performed that spectacular task.
5. Ann Dunwoody
In 2008, she was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of a four-star general in the US. Achieving this after her fight against some male unfriendly attitudes, and achieving the ground breaking goal, she later remarked, “Some officers feel really uncomfortable seeing me in such a position in the division. “(paraphrased)
6. Kathryn Bigelow
For her work in the film, ”Hurt Locker,’ Kathryn Bigelow fighting through all conventional traditions, she became the first woman to win the best director, in the Hollywood Oscar award on March 7, 2010.
7. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti
In Africa, Nigerian Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a tough woman who relentlessly was at the forefront in the fight for women rights. She made history as the first woman to drive a car in Africa. This was a time that cars were even exclusive privileges for the most upper class among men in that part of the world. She was also the first girl to attend Abeokuta Grammar School.
8. Oprah Winfrey
Although born into poverty and subsequently abused in childhood, Oprah Winfrey decided to fight her way through her hamperings. She became the first African – American billionaire in the world. She was also named, ‘The most influential woman in the world,’ in the year 2007. A show host, TV personalty and media executive, ‘The queen of all media, ‘ as she is also called, made a major global mark through her program, ‘Oprah Winfrey show,’ that syndicated for 25 years from 1986 to 2011.
9. Trotula of Salerno
As far back as the 11th century, the first gynecologist ever was Trotula of Salerno. Just like her medical peer – Elizabeth Blackwell, Trotula also took it upon herself to fight hinderances to her life passion for the sick, especially women and also for their maternal well-being.
10. Margaret Anne Buckley (James Barry)
For 56 years, Margaret Anne Buckley disguised as a man named, James Barry(actually her uncle’s name) in order to join the army and practice her life dream -medicine. This obviously was to beat some gender hindrances at that time. Rising to the post of general in the army, she made history as the first doctor to perform successfully, a caesarean operation in 1815 in Africa. Her fight is actually worth it, taking into cognizance the lives saved including the newborns.
11. Rena Kanokogi
Propelled by her passion and dream, Rena Kanokogi disguised as a man to compete in the YMCA judo championship in 1959. She eventually won.
She is typically a case of a woman that can stop at nothing to reach their goal, even using disguise. She was stripped of her title though, when the trick was found out. But she later became the first woman to train with men in Tokyo and founded the first female International judo championship.
12. Kathrine Switzer
Her bold attempt to run in the marathon race in difiance to rules led to her harassments (she was forcefully dragged out of the race). This resulted to the lifting of ban on women in the sports. She also was a woman like the two mentioned before her that employed disguise as a flight to reach their goals. in 1967, she disguised as KV Switzer to run in the Boston Marathon and won the New York City Marathon, in 1974.
13. Sarah Edmonds
The list of exemplary bold women disguised as men for spectacular successes continue. Sarah Edmonds(disguised as Franklin Thompson)put up a gallant fight as a soldier in the American civil war. She was known as an outstanding brave soldier.
14. Joan of Arc
Also known as the ‘Maid of Orleans,’ Joan of Arc dressed as a man, led the French in the war against England in 1430. Although captured and killed (but after winning many battles). She went down as one of the most fearless vision charged women in history. Dying at only 19 years of age, she was afterwards beautified in 1909 and cannonised in 1920, earning a posthumous title of ‘saint’.
15. Joanne Rawlings
The first billionaire author in the world is Joanne Rawling. Deciding to fight against all gender bigotry, she used the name, JK Rawlings, a seeminly maie name to push her best-selling book, ‘Harry Potter’ past the gridlock of male blockades.
16. Rosa Park
Another tough woman with an inner conviction in the days of heavy racial oppression and segregation in the United States was Rosa Park. She was riding on a bus to work in December 1956, when as the usual practice, she was told to give her seat in front in a bus to a white man. Rosa Park bluntly refused. This singular incidence made her to be a voice for the rights of the black people in America and earned her the name, ‘The first lady of civil rights,’ by the United States congress.
17. Harriet Tubman
A stunt anti-slavery campaigner, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery and made bold, remarkably successful attempts to free lots of slaves like herself in her various daring missions.
18. Jeanne Barrett
Imaginary picture of her dressed as a sailorman
Already mentioned in our last post, Jeanne Barrett, a botanist, was also a woman of unparalled, inner power and resolve, even among men.
19. Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of soul,’ as she was widely known, made a prominent mark both as a secular and gospel singer of significant note. In 1987, she was inducted into the notable and prestigious, ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’ becoming the first female performer to be given such an honour.
20. Florence Nightingale
Nicknamed, ‘The lady with the lamp,’ Florence Nightingale saved countless lives of soldiers during the historical Crimean war between Britain and Russia from 1853 to1856. She earned the nickname from her nightly visits to the sick and wounded soldiers, tending and caring for them. This reduced greatly the number of death especially from typhus, typhoid, cholera and dysentery – the ravaging diseases of soldiers during the war. She was reputed to be instrumental in establishing an effective medical services in the military and was known as the mother of modern nursing practice. In 1883, Nightingale became the first recipient of the Royal Red Cross. In 1904, she was appointed a Lady of Grace of the Order of St John (LGStJ). In 1907, she became the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit. In the following year, she was given the Honorary Freedom of the City of London. Her birthday is now celebrated as International CFS Awareness Day.
All these women had the same thing in common – they fought back! Sure they did, but how? What is our take from this? Is it a belligerent and rebellious confrontation? Or is it about realising who we really are and the unique power inside us as females?
Sure, there are lessons to learn from all of these female stalwarts. In the film, ‘What Men Want,’ Ali Dants (played by Taraj B Henson) was an hardworking and aspiring female coperate executive but as it’s always the case sometimes, she was bogged down on her way to success and fulfillment by hostilities in a male-dominated sector. In desperation, she went to her father, a boxing trainer for advice. “Dad, how do I survive in a society that is against me?” she asked.The dad, apparently speaking from his pugilistic approach to life answered, “When they hit you, you hit them back harder!” This is actually not a bad advice from a concerned father. This is his only way to fight back.
The movie is an attempt by Universal Pictures to depict women’s plight in the struggle for recognition and excellence in some gender oppressive situations. But this approach may well not really be all that it takes for us as women to fight to blossom.
We can employ a more decisive and non-confrontational approach as said earlier, by looking inward to deploy our inner strength. We will dwell extensively more on this and others, further in subsequent posts.
See you next week. Cheers!