How Has Women’s History Touched Your Life? Tell the Ms. Blog!

For 24 years, March has been recognized nationally as Women’s History Month, celebrating the accomplishments of women and feminists in U.S. history. The theme this year is “Our History is Our Strength.”

One of our missions at Ms. is to honor pioneering women–and now it’s your turn as well.

Here’s the challenge: Send us your stories of women who have inspired you in your life, your career or in your continuing fight for women’s rights. It could be women you’ve read about, or women whose writing you’ve read. It could be a famous woman you’ve met, or someone you wish you could meet. It could be your pioneering grandmother. You can write down your story, video-record it, sing it–we want it all.

All month, we will select entries to post onto the Ms. Blog. Every entry will also be put into a raffle to win prizes ranging from T-shirts to a subscription to Ms. magazine.

Please send your submissions to ashields@msmagazine.com.

Here are some examples from Ms. magazine and the Ms. Blog of what we’re talking about–

Molly E. McCluskey wrote in Ms. about a great woman baseball player:

Five years ago I met Mamie “Peanut” Johnson. An unsure 22, I was fresh out of college, scared of the world. When my boss told me he would be profiling the first female pitcher of the men’s Negro Leagues for a television show on careers, I had no idea what to expect.

She was fearless, graceful, comfortable in herself. I wanted to be her, not because I would ever throw a curveball, but because she’d carved out her own path and made it sound so easy, so … possible .

And Loretta Ross wrote for the Ms. Blog about how the work she does now was inspired by civil rights/women’s rights activist Dr. Dorothy Height:

Much of the work I do now at SisterSong is inspired by the mentoring her generation in general, and Dr. Height in particular, offered to mine. We’re fighting again for abortion rights in the black community against these dreadful billboards here in Atlanta, proving that eternal vigilance is not just an empty phrase.

Now, it’s your turn. Let your voice be heard! Celebrate the past to help shape the future for women around the world. Become tomorrow’s pioneer.

Photo of Dr. Dorothy Height from Wikimedia Commons.

Comments

  1. Laura Dresow says:

    I've always been feminist-leaning, but I called it other things: "I'm for women's rights, but I'm not a feminist." "I'm for gender-equality, but I'm not a feminist." That sort of thing. Then I took this class at my local college called, "Women in Literature." At the beginning of the quarter, my wonderful, strong feminist professor went around the class asking if we were feminists. Most answered no, saying thinks like, "I think men and women are complementary, not necessarily equal," or, "I think women should have rights, but I like my bra and makeup (to laughter)." My wonderful professor kept a smile on her face and didn't attack anyone. She nodded and listened, and at the end introduced herself as a feminist and explained why she was. I don't really remember her exact explanation — something about how women had suffered, been imprisoned, and even died while agitating for the rights we take for granted today.

    Over the course of the quarter, we learned about that history more in depth. We learned about Emily Dickinson and Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley and Zora Hurston and Sojourner Truth. We read the stirring words of, "Ain't I a Woman?". We examined the abolitionist, women's suffrage, and civil rights movements — and the roles women played over generations in bringing them to their apex. We talked about gender identity and culture and perception. And on the last day of class, when my professor asked each of us how we would define feminism and our role within it, each of us said, "I am a feminist, and I'm proud to be a feminist."

    We no longer associated it with bra-burning, man-hating, hairy-armpit, angry women. We associated it with brave, intelligent, thoughtful, loving, and generous (and yes, rightfully angry) women — women who stood up for not just themselves, but for the rights of every woman, man, and child. They knew what is too often taken for granted in our modern western society — as women gain rights, choices, and safety on an equal footing with men, society as a whole stabilizes and becomes stronger, more healthy, and more humanitarian.

  2. Wow, what a cache of inspiring information you will receive! So many women, from Madame Walker to Mary Baker Eddy, have prompted me over the years, not because they were female but because they evidenced feminine wisdom, strength, and beauty.

  3. I'm inspired by the women who came before us and fought for the rights we have today in the US – like voting! Suffrage activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton said this and told a reporter to quote her in capital letters.

    SELF-DEVELOPMENT IS A HIGHER DUTY THAN SELF-SACRIFICE.

    I am working on equal rights and equal power for women through a new website and book in progress -The Girl's Guide to Swagger. Women from all over the world – Belgium, Cuba, Guam, Malta and the Mideast – are joining the Swagger Movement.

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GirlsGuideToSwagger

  4. Please check out mylivinglegacy.net, and see how women can relate their life story.

    They can share their struggles,failures,successes, and what gave them the strength to keep on going. It is a cd that teaches people how to videotape a life story for future generations to share.

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