Who Do You Look Up To?
March is Women’s History Month, so let’s talk about women who made history, to counteract how much men dominate the rest of the year.
For example, Elizabeth Cochran Seamn, better known by her pen name Nellie Bly.
She came to fame for her undercover investigation of the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell Island for The NY World, getting herself committed so that she could see what patients experience. She then wrote Ten Days in a Mad-House to tell more of the story of what she saw, and the outrage led to some notable reforms, although obviously limited in scope.
Bly later set out to duplicate the fictional feat of Phileas Fogg by going around the world in 80 days, and managed the trip in 72 days. The World published her stories and promoted her with games like this:
But possibly most importantly, Bly broke a lot of stereotypes of what women journalists were capable of doing. Overwhelmingly the few jobs for women in newspapers were writing about subjects like sewing and cooking, and often articles appearing under the byline of women were actually written by men.
Let’s Talk Noteworthy Women
So let’s talk, Deadsplinterers, about women who make history. World history, national history, or local history. Women in your family history who made things work when nobody else could. Politics, arts, sports, you name it. Ursula Le Guin, Hildegard von Bingen, Shirley Chisholm, Emily Dickinson, Buddug, your great aunt who ran a grocery chain in Kansas City, or anyone else you think has the 200 percent necessary to get half the attention of a less worthy guy.