What about the Ladies?!

Alright guys, it’s President’s Day. And I love presidents day. But it is a holiday that celebrates great men, and I think it only necessary to point out that we celebrate great men way more frequently then we celebrate great women. History is still really skewed (thesis alert!!!) and so we gotta try extra hard to remember the ladies that were also doing really dope things, even in times when they were encouraged to sit down shut up and look pretty. Here, in no particular order and oh so briefly, are some of my personal dope female heroes:

Lilith: Adam’s first wife.

Didn’t know Adam had a chick before Eve? That’s because those big bad religious texts have editors, just like this blog (well that’s just me, and I’m pretty shoddy…). Lilith was kicked out of the garden because she was disobedient, and feminists love how she is sassy and also how she got hung out to dry by the dudes who put together the Old Testament. She is usually depicted with flaming red hair to symbolize her uncontrollable sexuality, and a snake (which was actually an ancient symbol of wisdom and the sacred feminine, and it got turned into a symbol of treachery and deceit by the writers who were trying to get believers on their side. The whole snake thing was just political propaganda, but I digress). She is my favorite disobedient housewife, and I love how she sticks around despite attempts to erase her.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Dopest First Lady

Wife to one of the greatest President’s, this woman did some totally amazing shit. My favorite things include drafting ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ for the UN and chairing the Kennedy administration’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She is a native New Yorker born right here on the island, probably had some lesbian affairs, gave birth to 6 children and cared for an ailing husband who just happened to be Commander and Chief. And her own work leaves a legacy that is almost unmatched. So dope.

Margaret Sanger: Birth Control Pioneer

This lady had a serious mission, and that was to get health and contraceptive information out to women when it was actually against the law to do so (sounds kind of familiar, huh…). She traveled extensively to find the most effective methods of birth control, and to promote contraceptive knowledge. She wrote illicit material, distributed it, lectured across the nation, I mean this woman was fearless. She founded the first legal women’s health clinic, and eventually the organization known today as ‘Planned Parenthood.’ She had an unwavering commitment to a cause that she knew was of the utmost importance for women everywhere, and it is this commitment and dedication (enacted with grace and ferocity) that I so admire.

Billie Jean King: Women’s Sport Dynamo

Most of you may have heard of BJK thanks to a match she played against Bobby Riggs which was called ‘The Battle of the Sexes.’ She won, but I am here to tell you that her career means WAY more than that. This woman was  number 1 in the world, earning 129 titles including 6 Wimbledons and 4 US Opens. She founded the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Association, as well as World Team Tennis. She was an early and relentless advocate for equal prize money (which is only just happening), and she has personally helped me with my serve. No seriously.

 

check that fresh tennis gear!
I am SO attentive!

Marilyn Monroe: Icon

Marilyn has one of the best known faces in 20th century culture. But she was so much more than just a stunning beauty. In the face of ridiculous odds, she built a career and a legacy that even she herself never believed in. She was an orphan with a familial history of drug abuse and mental disease. All of the men in her life used and abused her, and the men with power did not believe in her talent or encourage her almost at all. She was ravaged by insecurity and a crippling drug habit (uppers, downers, uppers, downers, uppers, downers…). Did I mention that everyone, even people supposedly in her corner (studio execs, acting coaches, Strausberg, Arthur Miller, Sinatra), just used and abused her to promote their own needs/careers? Despite all this, she sparkled on screen and created a new kind of female character. Her talent, as far as I’m concerned, is still under-appreciated. The fact of her broken-ness hidden behind such a dazzling facade is one of the most tragic stories I’ve ever read. (This biography is wonderful, if you want the whole story.)

Ok so there you have it. Some of my favorite ladies, and their stories in my own personal and so incomplete words. Oh, wait, one more:

Patricia ❤

Isn’t my mom thebomb.com?!?!

PS Please comment with a mention of your own personal fav dope lady ❤

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