Badass Women

March 01, 2011

No, being a badass is not about wild women (well, maybe sometimes it is), nor is it meant in any derogatory manner. It is all about women in history who have changed our world whether personally, nationally, or globally.

It is in honor of my mom, who when she first heard the term “badass” about fell off her chair with shock and then laughter. A pioneer in her own right and denied a college education because it was “not the thing for a girl,” she ultimately became the first woman bond salesman on the West Coast, or so she was told. I distinctly remember her asking, “Have I earned my badass badge?” Her accomplishments gave her such pride; the boost to her self-esteem was amazing to see.

Despite women’s roles in our personal, everyday lives and in more public arenas, we’ve been given the short end of the stick during any history lesson. Many “unknown” deeds, words, or thoughts are now being attributed to women as historians take another look. By typing “unknown women” in my usual search engine, I found all kinds of information. (No, I’m not really interested in Tiger Woods’ “unknown” women, even if it could be argued that they made history!) I’ve listed what look to be interesting links below.

  • Women’s History: Seven collections from the U.S. Library of Congress. Wow, if you are into American history like I am, you’ll love this.
  • The National Women’s History Project: “Our history is our strength.”
  • The National Women’s History Museum: A better world awaits the generation that absorbs what women and men have to share about life from a joint perspective. Together, all things are possible,” says Founder Karen Staser.
  • Women Who Changed History: A scholastic resource for teachers focusing on Women’s History Month (which starts today) and examples of pioneering women
  • Women’s History via About.com: Many links to interesting women and topics, including the recent blog “Was Cleopatra Black? Weighing the Evidence
  • Women’s History Month via History.com: Includes links to numerous women’s history videos
  • · Women in World History: A project from the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
  • The Radical Women’s History Project: “Just as women have been mostly left out of the broad discourse we call ‘history,’ women of color, indigenous, queer, trans, disabled, and non-Western women (and women living within all the intersections thereof) have been further marginalized, mostly left out of or tossed in as an afterthought in feminist attempts to add women to existing history,” says organizer Shelby Knox.
  • Women artists via Wikipedia: “In the latter part of the 20th century, historians have endeavored to rediscover the artistic accomplishments of women and to give these artists their due place in the narrative of art history.”
  • On Twitter? Follow #wmnhist, #herstory, @Wikipatia, and @chickhistory for wonderful information on women in history.

These are only the tip of the iceberg. What resources do you know and love? What women do you honor and why? March is Women’s History Month, and we will be posting as many links as possible, so please share!

By:   |   March 01, 2011

6 Comments

  1. eleanor roberts says:

    Does this count as badass?

    A couple jobs ago, my boss tried to get me to go to a conference with him, a 2-day thing requiring a stay overnight. Actually it was just a sales preso from Halliburton about one of their oilfield database products that, from a systems and api perspective, stank to high heaven.

    I initially reluctantly agreed — but when I called the hotel to find out what the internet options were for the room he’d booked, I discovered (surprised?) he’d only booked one room — with double occupancy planned.

    He asks me at meeting the next day in front of pretty much the whole company (about 10 people) with a sort of insinuating tone whether I was “ready” for our little trip.

    “Oh, no, I’ve got rehearsal that night — band practice. Can’t miss it. Sorry!”

    “Oh? You’re in a band? What kind of music do you play?”

    “We play both kinds — Country *and* Western. You know, cheatin’ songs…murder ballads. That kind of thing.”

    He went white as a ghost. Fired me the following week. I may have been very briefly unemployed, but I’m pretty sure he is still a complete a-hole.

    If this earns me my badass merit badge, I promise to sew it on to my sash, right next to my open source badge. :)

    and no, that’s not my real name.

  2. Carrie Childress says:

    Thank you for these wonderful resources!

  3. Anita says:

    This is terrific! There are so many women to honor this month (and every month!). MomsRising featured a blog carnival for Black History Month on mothers, grandmothers and family that highlights stories from and about amazing women: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/celebrating-black-motherhood-and-families-a-black-history-month-blog-carnival/

  4. About 2.5 years ago I began writing a story on the internet about what happened to me when I entered truck driver training.

    I was astounded how many “Official” entities tried to cover up & discredit the truth I was writing to help warn other Women so they would not be hurt like so many others are.

    What was most sickening is that it was an actual Non-Profit Women’s Trucking Organization who tried the hardest to cover up not only my story by down play & enormous class action suit against one of their sponsors.

    Thank goodness for social media!

    My Story has since become the basis of 4 Dan Rather Investigative Reports into truck driver training & a segment was also included in a Workplace Bullying Documentary among numerous other articles on the topics I have raised.

    There is still so much to be done because at the end of the day, I am a truck driver and the crowned spokeperson for us is actually the enemy in my opinion.

    I wrote my story mostly via smartphone, in a very cloak & dagger manner each night as I continue to be employed by the same carrier where I drive cross country as a long haul truck driver.

    I was inspired to keep plugging away after watching Lilly Ledbetter give her speech on the TV in my truck during the Democratic National Convention.

    I continue to speak out using twitter with my tags “TruckerDesiree” & ‘Women Truckers”

    I find that Women are being used & positioned in power situations to accommodate bad behavior rather than correct it and this is going to be a very long fight.

    I daily have to take a peek at the AAUW tag, Lisa Maatz, Holly Kearl , & so on to inspire me to keep going.

    In trucking, we have some unethical women representing women truckers in Washington DC and most Women Truckers are not computer literate, they are intelligent but do not have communication abilities.

    Their are many similarities to what has been occurring to Women Veterans & what has been happening in trucking and it is being covered up, YET, there is a push to target them for recruitment.

    Many leave feeling shamed in the 1st year because of what happens to them during training.

    It is ironic that the symbol of a Woman Trucker is attractive to people as a symbol of strength & courage because real women truckers know to keep their mouths shut about what goes on in trucking because retaliation is very real in this industry.

    I find it necessary to keep exposing this until we can get help & I am inspired daily by other strong Women leaders, past & present who keep speaking out, even when it seems like no one was listening.

    Thanks for these resources & for inspiring me

  5. Connie says:

    We all stand on the efforts of our foremothers. Thanks also, for the great work by the young feminists out there. Will they have a better future and better treatment in history? I certainly hope so!

  6. christyjones says:

    I love that some of you shared your stories, they are powerful and need to be heard. I also agree we “stand on the efforts of our foremothers” – great statement. And if you haven’t visited the MomsRising world (per Anita’s comment), please do so as every day something new and interesting.

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