31 Days of Women: The Final Week

Well ladies… March has come to an end, which means the end of National Women’s History Month and our celebration of 31 historical women. I know, I’m sad too. But don’t you worry, here at Her Campus we are always celebrating women! So, wipe your tears and let’s learn about our last set of women.

Janet Mock (1983 – Present)

Janet Mock is an American writer, TV host, transgender rights activist, and author of the New York Times bestseller, Redefining Realness. She also works as contributing editor for Marie Claire. Mock came out publicly as a trans woman in a Marie Claire article in 2011, which led to the beginning of her career as a media advocate. She has appeared on many talk shows and television shows, and even started a Twitter hashtag called #GirlsLikeUs, in order to empower transgender women. In 2015, Time magazine named her one of “the 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.”

Information obtained from Wikipedia

Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992)

Audre Lorde, born to Caribbean immigrants, was a black writer, poet, feminist, womanist, and civil rights activist. Lorde used her writing as a way to fight injustice and advocate for civil rights. She also made a significant impact in Berlin, Germany where she helped create the Afro-German movement. She encouraged the women of Germany to speak up and often reached more than just the black community, but the white community as well. In relation to non-intersectional feminism in the United States, Lorde famously said,

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference -- those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older -- know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”

Information obtained from Wikipedia

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, someone you have probably heard of, was an author, lecturer, and chief philosopher of the woman’s rights movement. She, with the help of Lucretia Mott, held the first Woman’s Rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. She wrote “The Declaration of Sentiments” which called for changes in law and society, and demanded the right to vote. She served as president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and traveled the country speaking and debating the major issues of the time.

Information obtained from www.nwhm.org

Yuri Kochiyama (1921 – 2014)

Yuri Kochiyama, born to Japanese immigrants, was an American activist. Influenced by her time spent in an internment camp after Pearl Harbor, and her association with Malcolm X, she spent her life advocating for many causes, including Black separatism, the anti-war movement, Maoist revolution, reparations for Japanese-American internees, and the rights of people imprisoned by the U.S. government. Kochiyama met Malcolm X at a protest in 1963 and eventually joined his pan-Africanist Organization of Afro-American Unity. This inspired her lifelong activism for not just Asian Americans but every marginalized group. In Debbie Allen’s television series Cool Women (2001), she stated, “The legacy I would like to leave is that people try to build bridges and not walls.” Kochiyama has won countless awards and recognition for her admiral work but has also received backlash for controversial statements, including one made after the terrorist attack on 9/11 in which she claimed to admire Osama bin Laden, along with other controversial figures like Fidel Castro. Regardless, it can’t be denied that Yuri Kochiyama was a revolutionary force for change.

Information obtained from Wikipedia

Qiu Jin (1875 – 1907)

Qiu Jin was a Chinese writer, poet, feminist, and martyr. She dreamed of becoming a famous writer but found herself in an oppressive marriage. When she left her husband, she moved to Japan to study. There she became an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and encouraged Chinese women to take action. She returned to China and joined the Triads, an underground society who advocated for the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty. She founded her own journal, Zhongguo nubao and was appointed head of the Datong school. She was publically executed in 1907 because of her involvement in a failed uprising against the Qing Dynasty. Her death sparked action from the Chinese against the dynasty and led to Jin becoming a national hero. One of her poems begin with the line, “Don’t tell me women / are not the stuff of heroes.”

Information obtained from www.amazingwomeninhistory.com

Maria Corazon Aquino (1933 – 2009)

Maria Corazon Aquino, popularly known as Cory Aquino, was a Filipino politician and the first female president of the Philippines, as well as the first female president in Asia. After the assassination of her husband, Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., Aquino emerged as the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, running for president against the authoritarian ruler, President Ferdinand E. Marcos. After electoral fraud that claimed Marcos as the winner of the election, the armed forces and the Catholic hierarchy assisted the ousting of Marcos and the accession of Aquino. Her presidency emphasized civil liberties and human rights, and focused on creating a socially responsible economy. Aquino was named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986.

Information obtained from Wikipedia

Madam CJ Walker (1867 – 1919)

Sarah Breedlove, known to the world as Madam C. J. Walker, was an African-American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. Walker is considered the first female self-made millionaire in America. She founded her own business called Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company which she used to develop and market her line of beauty and hair products for black women. This line is what created her fortune and made her one of the wealthiest African-American women in the country and one of the most successful African-American business owners ever. Walker also assisted many well-known African-American activists of the time and became a member of the executive committee of the NAACP.

There ya have it! 31 women to celebrate the 31 days of March, our favorite month here at Her Campus DePaul. I would like to give a special shout out to future historian, Brianna Kadlec, for providing me with a list of historical women that became this series of articles. And thank you to all of you that have taken the time to read all of these articles and celebrate National Women’s History Month with us!

Cover photo is courtesy of esubulletin.com