Organized 20,000 of New York City’s 32,000 shirtwaist trade workers, leading them in a three-month strike which ended in union contracts at all shops— except at Triangle Shirtwaist. The following year, 150 Triangle Shirtwaist workers died in a fire due to the unsafe conditions, which were part of the general strike’s complaints. Founded a working-class women’s suffrage organization. Founded a working class housewives’ union to advocate for housing, education, and consumer issues. While living in a retirement home, convinced the workers there to organize.(Clara Lemlich)
Disobeyed a bus driver’s orders to give up her seat for a white man. Was sequentially arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, Leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and became a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. A long time Civil Rights activist, she also fought for justice for black victims of rape perpetrated by white men, which were almost always ignored by the police and justice system. After her death at 92, her casket was placed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol for two days, so the nation could pay its respects, an honor usually reserved for Presidents of the United States. (Rosa Parks)
Won the Nobel Peace prize in 1992, fought to bring awareness of the genocide in Guatemala, and helped Guatemalans (especially indigenous Mayans) to defend themselves. Was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and founded the Rigoberta Menchú Tum foundation which helped bring exiled Guatemalans back. This foundation helped many people and also played a major role in the Summits of Indigenous Leaders. Requested Spain address the cases of genocide in Guatemala. (Rigoberta Menchú Tum)
Congresswomen stand up for Planned Parenthood. Join them!
This is pretty personal for me, because even though I have always had insurance and a good PCP, even I have used Planned Parenthood— not for an abortion, not even for birth control, but for an HIV test.
I was too scared or nervous to call up my PCP and make an appointment for an HIV test. I didn’t want to say it out loud. I also didn’t want to wait. So one morning, after I couldn’t take worrying anymore, I got up, got on the subway and went down to the nearest Planned Parenthood (because I am lucky enough to live in an area where it is that accessible).
I walked past a woman holding a rosary handing out pamphlets asking me to choose life. I wanted to scream at her What do you think I am doing here?? I was there to find out if I had a chronic illness that would require daily medication for me to live past the next year! I was choosing life at Planned Parenthood! I was potentially saving my own! And you know what, so do most women who go to Planned Parenthood, even going by the anti-choice definition of “choosing life”— only 3% of the total services Planned Parenthood performs are abortions.
I walked through the bulletproof doors and gave the security guard my purse to poke through as I went through the metal detector, and I felt a new wave of anger at the woman out front. She wasn’t going to shoot up the place, I knew that, but her cause was associated with people who would. Who would try to prevent the 3% of women seeking a legal medical procedure from obtaining it— even if it meant killing the doctors, or (with all irony lost on them) killing the women themselves. Funnily enough, abortions are also performed in hospitals, in OB/GYN clinics. I never had to walk through a metal detector to go to them. Only Planned Parenthood is threatened like this, for performing the exact same services as hospitals.
I walked straight to the window and said “I want an HIV test.” This was the first time I had uttered those words. After giving them my insurance card and taking the forms to fill out, I was informed that since I didn’t have an appointment, it would probably take about 45 minutes for someone to see me. 45 minutes? When I was scheduling my annual physical with my PCP, the earliest they could fit me in was 3 months from then— 45 minutes was nothing.
Within a half hour, I was in an examination room and giving the nurse practitioner my sexual history, and what I knew of my partner’s. She assured me that my risk factors were low, but she congratulated me on being responsible for my sexual health and not just relying on my boyfriend’s information— he could be lying (as much as I didn’t want that to be true, it could have been) or the virus could still be lying dormant in him (as he hadn’t been tested there was no way to know for sure). She then put on latex gloves, pricked my finger, and squeezed out enough blood to saturate a little stick. She then excused herself and left me with my thoughts.
My risk factors are low. I do trust him—he’s told me much worse things about his past girlfriends. But oh god, what if—? It’s not a death sentence anymore, and I have insurance, I can get the treatment I need. I’m much more fortunate than a lot of people in that situation. But I don’t want to be in that situation…
Ten minutes later, the nurse came back in. ”It was negative.”
I had my life back. I smiled all the way out of the clinic, though the metal detectors, out of the bulletproof doors, past the woman with her rosary and pamphlets (and a friend who had joined her). It was a gorgeous sunny day, and it wasn’t too far of a walk to my favorite burger joint and comic book store. I pulled up YouTube on my phone and hooked in my earbuds to listen to my favorite songs on my walk.
If that’s how I felt when I needed Planned Parenthood once, I can only imagine what it’s like to need Planned Parenthood all the time. And now how it feels to have your only source of affordable sexual and reproductive health threatened.
This is a war on women. It is a war on me when I was at my most vulnerable. It is a war on the peace of mind of millions of women, men, and teens. And for what— to score petty political points with your “base” in 2012? Pathetic.
Invented the Del-Em, a device to perform menstrual extraction—a form of both menstrual control and very early term abortion, which requires no anesthetic, is controlled by the woman receiving it, and can be performed at home (Lorraine Rothman)
Opened the first legal birth control clinic in the U.S., and the first that was staffed entirely by female doctors and social workers, which received crucial grants from John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s Bureau of Social Hygiene from 1924 onward. Introduced the diaphragm to the the U.S., smuggling them from the Netherlands. Helped organize the first World Population Conference in Geneva. Opened a family planning clinic in Harlem that sought to enlist support for contraceptive use and to bring the benefits of family planning to women who were denied access to their city’s health and social services. Staffed by a black physician and black social worker, the clinic was endorsed by The Amsterdam News (the powerful local newspaper), the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the Urban League, and the black community’s elder statesman, W. E. B. Du Bois. Toured Europe, Africa and Asia in the 1960s lecturing and helping to establish clinics (Margaret Sanger)
The trouble is that if men start to vote, they will vote too much. Politics unsettle men and unsettled men means unsettled bills, broken furniture, broken vows, and divorce………if men were to get the vote who knows what would happen- its hard enough to keep them home know. History is full of unhappy examples of men in public life- Nero, Herod, King John………
Nellie McClung, as “Premier” at her brilliantly satirical mock Parliament in Manitoba where women discussed the “horrible consequences” that would occur should men be given the vote. Two years later, Manitoba granted women the vote in provincial elections.
Escaped slavery and then returned several times to lead 70 other slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War she was a Union Spy, recruited men for the war, led raids that freed hundreds of other slaves, was crucial to several ambushes, campaigned throughout for women’s right to vote, took care of her parents, and died at age ninety-three in a home for elderly African-Americans that she herself had founded earlier in her life. All while having chronic head trauma that caused seizures most of her life. (Harriet Tubman)
[They] say women can’t have as much rights as men, ‘cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Sojourner Truth said this, while raising a good point about Mary and Eve.