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.