Yesterday was International Women’s Day. Thousands of women around the country marched in support of gender equality. One of the efforts was a hashtag campaign called “women you should have heard of” to raise awareness about great women in history.
This is a photo of former Representative Jeannette Rankin (R-MT). She was the first woman elected to Congress. She came into office in 1917 before the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting American women universal suffrage. If I am remembered for no other act,” Rankin said, “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”
Ranking was a Republican and a lifelong pacifist. She voted against U.S. entry into WWI. After serving one term, she lost hr primary election and her seat. Ranking ran again in 1940 and was elected to Congress for a second time. In 1941, following Pearl Harbor, she was the sole “nay” vote for the declaration to enter WWII. “As a woman I can’t go to war,” she said, “and I refuse to send anyone else.” She opted not to run for re-election due to the unpopularity of her vote. She spent the rest of her life working for women’s rights and supporting the cause of pacifism.
If you want to share the legacy of an inspiring woman in the comments, feel free. I always love to learn the stories of admirable women.
I traveled to D.C. to visit some friends and do some networking. I’ve been a little under the weather since my arrival, so I’m going to take tonight to get some sleep rather than blog. The posts will return tomorrow.
Hope you feel better soon.
Another part of Jeanette Rankin’s wonderful legacy is the Jeanette Rankin Foundation (https://www.rankinfoundation.org), a scholarship fund for mature, low income women all over the United States, based in my hometown, Athens GA. With over $2,000,000 in scholarships awarded since her death, her contributions to women are truly remarkable.
One of my favorite women you should have heard of is Nina Allendar, who was a cartoonist for the suffragist movement in the early 1900s. The thing I love most about her was her portrayal of suffragists as young, beautiful, and modern — very different from how many opponents of the time cast the women, and to be honest, very different from how we view those early women’s rights advocates today.