It is very important that we look at both women and men of history. If not, we are only getting a one sided approach to the story. When I first took Women’s History it was at Santa Barbara City College in the early 90’s. The first thing our teacher had us do was to write down 10 women in history who were not celebrities or first ladies. She knew this would make our job much harder. This was very important because very few people in the class could think of 10 women. Aside from the typical names such as Clara Barton, Betsy Ross, Florence Nightingale, this was really what we knew, nurses or seamstresses. Each week, we began to learn so much more about our history, surprises that women were involved in major historical events and yet we had never heard of them.
One of the most fascinating to me was Victoria Woodhull. I want to write a little bit more about her in the future but I thought I’d get a head start here. Victoria was the first woman to ever run for President. She is from Homer,Ohio but no one has ever heard of her. Not unless they are a woman and a professor of history. What is even more important about Ms. Woodhull is that she spearheaded a campaign in front of the House Judiciary Committee. She was very convincing when she pointed out that we didn’t need to “re-invent the wheel,” so to speak because the constitution did not say women could not vote. Things were turned upside down though because the heads of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, were pretty upset with her because she had been outspoken about one of their brothers who had cheated on his wife and happened to be a minister. This bit of history gets me so upset more than anything else because it is where you see that women have big ego’s, just like men do. These women made sure to overturn the minds of the already convinced men of the House Judiciary Committee and turned Ms. Woodhull’s appearance into a joke. What is the cliché? Wagging the Dog? Ms. Woodhull was also very very much ahead of her time. She was what we would call today a hippie mindset. Back then, it was un-mannerly, not very lady-like. She believed in free-love, was a psychic and ran a commune for some time.
It is amazing when you think about the fact that it took us almost 100 years from the beginning of the suffrage movement until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. Ms. Woodhull would have decreased this substantially. It is this story I like to share with women when they say that we are better at being leaders and running countries and so forth and so on. No gender is better at anything, except what they are only physically capable of doing due to their gender. You can learn more about Victoria Woodhull in the book “Notorious Victoria,” by Mary Gabriel. Lots of photos in here too as well as being a compelling read.
My question next is with all these wonderful books out there that are focused on women’s history, why is it that society, here in America only seems to know about the Suffragette Movement? The movie industry seems to re-hash the concept of women’s right to vote over and over again as if this is the only thing we have ever accomplished in this country. Actresses continue to complain about no good roles out there for older women or even younger women, though are there good roles for men? Being a movie aficionado myself, I can’t even bare to watch American movies anymore because they are so ridiculous. Either focused on a super-hero, chic flicks or just really poor writing. Meanwhile, the rest of the world has no problem featuring women, young and old, in very good storylines. Not only are they doing this, they do not have Actresses who look like a Victoria Secret model either. In fact, Actresses abroad come in all shapes and sizes, just like real people. I have often questioned why these American Actresses, who make millions of dollars aren’t spending their money making good quality films with females in the lead? Telling Women’s History would be a good place to start. We can be very shallow over here. This is why I wanted to do my part in remembering some of these ladies locally, before they are forgotten by a society who seems hell bent on focusing on modern technology and cheap labor in China.
Women worked hard, alongside men to bring us where we are today and we have ruined so much of what we fought for here in this country. At the same time our history is being ruined by the politically correct studios who are catering now to this mindset that we should alter history to make sure someone gets a part so that some group won’t be offended. This means our children are not learning the truth about the past. This is wrong because there is no integrity here. It is very sad and pathetic when we lie about the past.
There is integrity in what I write because I am not trying to spare anyone’s feelings. I am going to write a person’s story in here, based on the facts that I am aware of from the research I have done. Sometimes I will point out, like I did above, that my gender has screwed up their own history and made life miserable for themselves. This is meant to be honest, not anti-women and I also don’t want to be biased. What I would like to do on this website is feature women, past and present that I have been able to relate to and who have really inspired me to put this together in the first place. It is subtitled Transformed Women in respect to my own book that is helping women to become transformed. To become women who are able to have the life they want. A life that can be theirs when they learn to ask for what they want in a wise way vs. a bitchy/Diva way and when they learn to set boundaries for themselves in the same manner. I help teach women in my book how to do this. The women I will write about here have already done their best to make this happen and have made history as a result, whether it was good or bad. Mistakes and all because no one is perfect.
I hope you will enjoy reading some of these stories. I will also gather items off the Internet, such as YouTube videos and photos when I can find them. The cover photo for this website is a cropped version that came from the Ohio Historical Society. This is a photo of women who went to work during WWII and consequently had to go back home and become unemployed when the men came home.
If you are aware of stories of Ohio Women, please let me know about them. If you have any good books you would recommend, I’d love it if you would share this with me as well (no matter where the women came from). I am always looking for a good book to read. Thank you and welcome to my chapter of Women’s History, stories of ladies from here in my home state of Ohio.