Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday - Female Role Models

Today is International Women's Day.  So let's get to it.

(Organized by birth date)

1.  Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906):  For her work as an abolitionist and as a crusader for women's rights, especially suffrage.

2.  Harriet Tubman (1822 - 1913):  For freeing slaves through the Underground Railroad and her work as a Union spy during the Civil War, and after the war as a campaigner for women's suffrage. 

3.  Helen Keller (1880 - 1968):  Though both deaf and blind she learned to communicate and read Braille.  She graduated from Radcliffe with a B.A.  I still can't wrap my head around this one.

4.  Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962):  First Lady of the United States (1933 - 1945), U.S. delegate to the United Nations (1945 - 1952), Chairperson of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (1946 - 1952), Chairperson of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961 - 1962).  As First Lady, she was an outspoken civil rights activist and was the first Presidential spouse to write a syndicated newspaper column.

5.  Frida Kahlo (1907 - 1954):  One of the most admired artists of the 20th century, despite severe health problems (due to a bus accident at age 18) that left her bedridden for months at a time and required 35 operations. Self-portrait:

6.  Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911 - 1956):  She was the AP Female Athlete of the Year six times and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1951. She won two gold medals and a silver in track and field at the 1932 Summer Olympics. She was also an All-American basketball player.

Let's see what sportswriter Joe Williams, of the New York World-Telegram, had to say about her golf career at the time: It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.

7.  Sally Ride (1951 - 2012):  Ph. D. in Physics from Stanford.  NASA 1978 - 1987. First American woman in space in 1983.  Professor of Physics at U.C. San Diego, researching nonlinear optics and Thomson scattering.  As one does.  Only person to serve on both the Challenger and Columbia disaster investigation committees.

8.  Rita Dove (1952 - living):  Won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987.  U.S. Poet Laureate 1993 - 1995. More importantly, a poet I don't mind reading.

9.  Jodie Foster (1962 - living):  Winner of two Lead Actress Oscars (The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs), as well as the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2013 Golden Globes.  While a freshman at Yale, she was stalked by John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Reagan to impress her.  She graduated magna cum laude, with a degree in Literature, in 1985.

10.  Angelina Jolie (1975 - living):  Winner of three Golden Globes (George Wallace, Gia, and Girl, Interrupted) and an Oscar (Girl, Interrupted).  She is a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, having participated in dozens of field missions to refugee camps and war zones. She has funded wildlife preserves in Cambodia and the Kalahari Desert, advocated for and helped fund children's education in conflict-affected regions, funded several Council on Foreign Relations reports, and fronted a campaign against sexual violence in military conflict zones.  She has also done some other stuff, but I don't want to be typing all day.
Anyway, this list probably isn't as diverse as it should be.  But I hope there's a decent mix of accomplishments, goodness, and overcoming of obstacles.

Check out this blog if you want to see more Top 10 Tuesdays:




  1. I love your list! Amazing how many women were beaten and placed in jail all because they wanted to vote and not get pregnant every year. I live in a city where a local hotel(now a student residence) was the end point for the Underground Railroad and Tubman was here in my city! Helen Keller not only knew English but learned other languages as well which just is mind blowing to me. There are so many women that could be on this list and I would like to add Florence Nightingale, Marion Anderson and Hedy Lamarr who was not only beautiful but co-invented something to do with radar which is now used for cell phones. See I read it more than once and still don't get it... Oh well, my mind is not one for science.

    1. That's cool about Tubman. She was certainly a brave one.

      I don't know why I didn't think of Florence Nightingale. I recently made some flashcards for a nursing student I know and she was on one of them as the founder of modern nursing.