The year is 2019 women around the globe around the globe have become warriors for the right to not be sexually harassed while earning a living, to not be forced into arranged marriages, to dress as they please without being raped, to receive an equal pay, the right to an education— in essence women are fighting tooth and nail for basic human rights. These battles were not begun overnight, it begun with women who were fearless enough to speak up and say, “ We’re here too.” Where are these said women? The women whose footsteps paved the path for women to have fundamental rights. When peering through a history textbook which chapter of the book lie their names in bold print telling of their monumental achievements? These are the women who have established the very foundation of women becoming aware of their voices. Who are these wonderful ladies? Don’t look for them in any textbook, none of the, will make an appearance in any chapter.
The fragments of history where women bewilder the world by accomplishing daunting feats have been suppressed",while the stories of men who find glory are revered. In history, stories of fierce, intelligent women are rare and stories of colored women are even more uncommon. Late seventeenth century China, a woman took control over her late husband’s fleet, and became fearsome pirate who ruled with an iron fist. Early eighteenth century India, a mother fought for her kingdom against colonialism, rode into battle with her baby strapped to her back, and two swords in each hand.Do their names pop into mind? Any portion of history that includes women demanding power, having a will of steel, and a heart of gold is something young girls deserve to know. So why haven’t these stories been told for little girls to hear? For the reason that allowing young girls to idolize women who faced unimaginable challenges and did not back down from their individual battles would empower them to want the same.
Originating from the Anglo-Saxon era, one of the most recognized pieces of literature is Beowulf, an epic poem telling the tales of a larger than life hero. Throughout the poem it shows how their society valued strength",and courage. To be able to slay a monster with your bare hands was considered much greater than being intelligent. There is little reference to women in this epic poem, the rare occasion that there is the women is the mother of a monster, who slays men for sport, and she’s eventually slaughtered by Beowulf. Women were valued for their beauty, talents",and prized for their fertility during this era. To breed a strong boy to protect the kingdom was the greatest accomplishment for most women. However there was one women who stood out above the rest, her name was Queen AEthelflaed.
An infinite amount of women have been paving the way for the right to be treated as an equal to men. The battle of equality has been fought for thousands of years, and will continue to be fought for a thousand more. To be considered inferior due to gender is immoral, and ignorant. Ching Shih worked in a brothel during her young adult life, she ended up becoming one of the most feared pirates to sail the South China seas. She ruled with an iron fist, and was never successfully captured. Ching Shih paved the path for Sonita Alizadeh, a young Afghan women whose family attempted to force her into an arranged marriage. She raps about the brutality of child marriage, Sonita raises awareness to the life of suffering these young girls will face if action is not taken.Lakshimbai raised the heir of Jhansi, fought against the British in India. She did this without a king by her side, all for her son to have the chance to rule his rightful kingdom. Lakshimbai paved the path for Dr. Sangduen Chailert, a woman who was determined to save elephants. Chailert opened reserves to protect maltreated elephants. Khutulun was a woman with the uncanny ability to wrestle any man into submission, her father was so impressed he gave her the position of general in the Mongol army. She paved the way for Emma Gonzales, an advocate against gun violence. She is fighting for gun control, and for the safety of kids around the globe.
The origin of Ching Shih’s life is immersed in mystery, no one is quite sure when or even where she was born. Historians speculate that the year she was born was 1775 in Guangdong, a providence in China, and that her birth name was Shil Xiang Gu. During Ching Shih’s young adult life she worked in a brothel, which was how she came to meet her husband.