For this Feminist Friday we have highlighted some of the most iconic feminists of all time who work not only in the realm of gender equality.
Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 to a wealthy family in England. She wrote in an iconic fashion about women’s rights and published her first novel in 1915. She lived in a traditional household of her father earning the multitude of money but she grew up to be an influential feminist and often questioned the woman’s role at home. Her brothers all went to Cambridge, yet her sisters did not receive a college level education like many other women of the time. Woolf did get to take some language classes at the King’s College London. Her arguably most influential book was titled A Room of One’s Own, in which she states her opinion that women should have a time and place to be creative and to express themselves. This is still one of the greatest books of all time, and formulates such an influential outlook on women’s impact and how they live their lives. Throughout her iconic writing career she brought up some taboo topics such as homosexuality, feminism and mental illness. She suffered from depression and she committed suicide at the age of 59 in 1941. Her books and stories will never be forgotten as some of the most iconic writing of the 20th century and for her profound look on women’s roles that guided future feminists into the late 1900’s and into the 21st century.
Sonia Sotomayor is best known for being the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. She went to Yale, continued on to pass the bar in 1980, first became a U.S. District Court Judge in 1992, then became appointed to U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998 and finally in 2009 was elevated as a Supreme Court Justice. She knew she wanted to be a judge or lawyer from a young age, and after her father died in 1963 her single mother worked very hard to make sure her children received a good education and sacrificed a lot so that that could be done. Sotomayor started off her law career by working in the Law Firm of Pavia & Harcourt and later in 1988 became a partner in her own firm. She has had a major impact on Supreme Court Laws and rulings by being among the majority for both the Affordable Care Act and for the legalization of Same Sex Marriage in all fifty states. She has made history for both females in the world of law and for Latinos. She strongly supports equality of the sexes and of the races and her accomplishments are and will be so important for the successes of Latina women and women all over the world.
Maya Angelou is known as one of the most influential, iconic, talented and incredible people ever. She is best known for writing a book called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which is a memoir of her life and is acclaimed as one of the greatest works of literature. She had an extremely difficult early life, including the split of her parents, sexual assault and extreme racism. At sixteen she had her first child and worked many jobs to support herself and her child. She started her life as a performer in which she was very successful. She was a dancer and an actor appearing in many shows. After her performance career she wrote, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which was a literary breakthrough and changed the world educationally and socially. It was the first nonfiction bestseller by an African American woman. After this she continued with her writing career by publishing poetry and screenplays, writing plays and dramas. She has been nominated for an Emmy and a Tony, and has won a Grammy. She was also the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced. She passed away in 2014 and is still greatly mourned. She is celebrated for her incredible pioneering in the world of literature as one of the most influential women in history. As one of the greatest advocates for women’s rights she is regarded with so much respect from her truly incredible literature and for her work for racial and gender equality.
Mia Mingus is an iconic feminist who works as a public speaker, writer, educator and an organizer. She identifies as queer and advocates not only for women’s rights but for stopping sexual abuse (specifically for children), LGBTQ+ rights and to end discrimination towards people with disabilities. As a disabled woman, she has experienced both prejudice towards those with disabilities and ableism, she works very hard to end these prejudices. As a Korean woman who was raised in both the Caribbean and the U.S. South she also has experienced racism, and so she is an advocate for equality of the races too. She supports numerous efforts towards equality for all different types of people. Mingus has won a Creating Change award in 2008 for her work toward LGBTQ+ rights and a Community Activist award in 2007 for her overall support in activism for equal rights. She is one of the more current feminists who are speaking and changing the world of gender equality right now and she is often recognized for her efforts in a diverse number of social movements.