Women Who Changed History

This month is National Women's History Month, and of course, because Her Campus is aimed at women, I think it's important that we talk about some important women who changed our world to be what it is today. 

  1. 1. Margaret Sanger

    Margaret Sanger, a birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse, is one of the reasons why birth control is more accessible now than it was before. Because she was born in a time where birth control was not widely accepted, Sanger often got into legal trouble for helping women who needed it to control family sizes, especially in poor immigrant households. Contrary to the beliefs then, she believed women had a right to choose what they do with their body, and that women are entitled to sexual pleasure without having to have a child after. Today, she is known to have started some of the organizations that led to Planned Parenthood being developed! 

  2. 2. Henrietta Lacks 

    Henrietta Lacks made one of the largest contributions to modern medicine, without even knowing it. Lacks developed cervical cancer after giving birth to her fifth child, and because hospitals were still segregated, it was harder for her to find somewhere to be treated. When she had a tissue sample taken, it was sent away to be tested without her knowledge. They found that her cells, now known as HeLa cells, can grow indefinitely. This helped create major advances in cancer research and medicine.Yet, this case is bittersweet. Because of Lacks, we do know more about cancer cells, yet it is one of the bigger medical controversies I have heard about. Still, Henrietta should go down in history as being one of the most important women in cancer cell research. 

  3. 3. Marsha P. Johnson

    Marsha P. Johnson is a transgender woman credited with throwing the first brick at stonewall, which ultimately paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights in America. When police hauled out employees and patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City, a massive riot occured where people of all different backgrounds protested outside of the bulding. After the rioters encouraged one another to start throwing things, it is said that Marsha P. Johnson threw the first brick. While this didn't spark the beginning of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, it did lead to an increase in activism in the community. 

  4. 4. Rosie the Riveter 

    Of course, Rosie had to be on this list. Rosie the Riveter, inspired by Naomi Parker Fraley, is a feminist icon that was created in World War II, which encouraged women to step up and take over their husbands' work while they were fighting in the war. After the war was over, women were encouraged to go back to their domestic lives but some women did not want to go back to household work. Rosie, although just a political propoganda figure, helped pave the way for women to be able to get jobs outside of the home in later years. 

  5. 5. Frida Kahlo

    Frida Kahlo was an extremely popular artist in Mexico, who mainly painted portraits. However, she was more than just an artist. She was a political activist for women's rights, and is still a powerful inspiration in Mexico, in people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people. After Kahlo was in a terrible accident, she took up painting to pass the time, and after hours and hours of painting, she beame one of the most famous artists in the world. She was a feminist and integrated that, as well as other social commentary, into her artwork.