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I am in the tenth grade and participating in the National History Day competition. I have chosen Women's Suffrage as my topic. Your page helped me to better understand the history of the Women's Suffrage Movement. If you have any information that would help me with my project, I would greatly appreciate it. Your friend, Carrie

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com and for making sure that Women's Suffrage is a part of history. I'm sure that you will inspire your classmates by introducing them to women's history, which is rarely told. Here are some great books that you should reference for your report:

  • The Woman's Almanac by Louise Berkinow
  • A Century of Women: A History of Women in Brittain and the United States by Sheila Rawbotham
  • Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women in the U.S. by Sheila Keenan
  • A History of Women in America by Carol Hymowitz and Michaele Weissman
  • Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America by Sara M. Evans
  • One Woman/One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement edited by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler
  • The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History edited by Wilma Mankiller, Gwendolyn Mink, Marysa Navarro, Barbara Smith and Gloria Steinem. (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA). This is a must have for women's history month--and for every book shelf--especially those of women's studies departments.
  • Feminism in Our Time and Feminism the Essential Writings—both by Miriam Schneir.
  • Woman: A Feminist Perspective, a collection edited by Jo Freeman

I also suggest you visit the National Women's History Project site, and read our feature at Feminist.com entitled Taking a New Look at the Woman Suffrage Movement.

I am a woman and I really believe that a woman's place is in the home taking care of house work and the children. Since women entered the workplace children have been without parents and love which has led to the society that we live in today.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I, too, am a woman, however, I believe that every woman has the right to make informed choices about her life—choices about whether to be a doctor or nurse or have two jobs (one inside the home and one outside) or just one (either inside the home or out of it). I support your choice to be "in the home taking care of house work and the children" as much as I would support any woman who chose to work outside of the home. The keyword is "choice."

Let's face it, even though more women have entered the paid work force, they are still the majority of those who take care of the home and the children. In the words of Gloria Steinem, "have you ever heard a man ask advice on how to combine a career and child rearing"?

And let's face another fact, too, those children who are without parents and love have nothing to do with women in the work place. Every person I know grew up with a mother in the work place—and each of us is loved, supported and nurtured.

Additionally, if we are keeping score—who have been the leaders of the children rights movement? Was it men who fought Nestle from forcing their nutrient deficient baby formula on new mothers? Was it a man who marched children to Teddy Roosevelt's home as a way of exposing and improving on the poor conditions that these children were being subjected to in illegal working conditions? Was it a man who founded and led the Children's Defense Fund that has continually lobbied Congress on legislation that protects the rights of children? Is it women who are 90% of those who abuse children before the age of 18? There are many more examples if these aren't enough to prove that women have always been at the forefront of protecting children and their rights--and most of these women have been in "the work place." Thanks again for sharing —Amy

My daughter, Annie, is 7 years old and in the second grade at Indian Creek Elementary. Annie has been given an assignment to research a famous black figure. She is to provide information, draw a picture of the person and draw five symbols which would represent this person. I am interested in finding a black woman who has made a dramatic impact on the African American female culture in the present time. I am afraid that I am not able to provide that information for my daughter and thought you could possibly suggest or provide articles or resources for us to view. —Jane & Annie

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com and what an exciting project you have ahead of you. There are a number of black women that I would recommend you could do your report on. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Fannie Lou Hamer--from Sunflower Country, Mississippi. She successfully registered many blacks to vote throughout the south and became one of the first black delegates to attend the primary elections. She was a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She also led the crusade to stop the unknown sterilization of black women.
  • Rosa Parks (1913--) She has been referred to as "the mother of the civil rights movement." She is most famous for refusing to give up her seat in the front of the bus and move to the back of the bus, something that was expected of blacks pre-1960s activism. This act led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which many people credit as a first step in the civil rights movement.
  • Sojourner Truth--an abolitionist and women's rights activist, who lived from 1799-1883. She gave a famous speech "Ain't I A Woman?" which demanded that women who are poor and black be included in the category "women."
  • Harriet Tubman (1821-1913) who was a runaway slave and the conductor of the "Underground Railroad," which helped many other runaway slaves. She rescued over 200 slaves. She has been distinguished as the only woman in American military history to plan and execute an armed expedition against enemy forces.
For more contemporary women I suggest: Johnetta Coal (former president of Spellman College); Ruth Simmons (current president of Smith College); Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Senator Carol Mosley Braun; Politician Shirly Chisolm--and so many more.

Good luck. —Amy

P.S. For other women, here are some more suggestions:

  • Susan B. Anthony, suffragist
  • Victoria Woodhull—a pioneer on Wall Street--and the first woman to run for president in the last 1800s.
  • Babe Didrickson, famous athlete.
  • Mrs. Frank Leslie—she was the Queen of publishing row in the late 1800's. She had to keep her husband's name after he died because people didn't take her seriously as a woman.
  • Patsy Mink, Congresswoman from Hawaii.
  • Sarah Josepha Hale was born in 1788 and was responsible for persuading Abraham Lincoln to declare the first Thanksgiving in 1864. She was also the author of "Mary Had A little Lamb" and for 40 years edited the Ladies Magazine, the first literary magazine for women. She was also a fervent opponent of slavery.
  • Jeanette Rankin—the first woman in the U.S. Congress.
  • Amelia Earhart—an incredibly accomplished pilot who made it possible for many more...
  • Sakajawea, who lead Lewis and Clark
  • Delores Huerta, organizer of the Farm Workers
  • Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation

To find other suggestions, I recommend that you reference the following books:

  • Black Women in America: An Encyclopedia edited by Darlene Clark Hine.
  • Herstory: Women who Changed the World edited by Ruth Ashby and Deborah Gore Ohrn. (This includes: Artemisia Gentileschi; Jane Austen; the Grimke Sisters; Golda Meir; Mother Jones; Mary Bethune; Rachel Carson.)
  • Women Imagine Change: An Anthology of Women's Writings on Resistance from 600 BCE to the Present edited by Jean O'Barr, and others (Rutledge Press, 1998). This includes many incredible women whose resistance paved the way for many others who could safely avoid those road blocks.
  • A Book of Women's Firsts

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