Feminists You Might Not Know, but Definitely Should!

Written by: Ly Phan

In the 20th century, there are Margaret Atwood and Susan B. Anthony. In the 21st century, there are Beyonce, Oprah and Sheryl Sandberg. These women are “the face” of “feminism” movement. They are the one everyone thinks of when hearing the word “feminist”.  However, there are plenty of other amazing women who helped shaping this movement. Let’s take a look at a few of them and their stories.

Victoria Woodhull

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While Hillary was running for this year election, a lot of us thought that we were going to have a first female president. But, did you know, she was not the first one to run for this position? Victoria Woodhull was. She was the first woman to be nominated and run for the President of the United States in 1872. This is especially impressive given the fact that 1872 is more than 40 years before when the 19th Amendment that gave women the rights to vote was passed.

Her life story is not being forgotten. A movie about Woodhull is being produced by Amazon Studio starring Oscar winning actress – Brie Larson.

Valentina Tereshkova
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When speaking of famous astronauts, everyone will think of Neil Armstrong and his achievement of being the first man landed on the moon. However, today, let’s learn more about Valentina Tereshkova. She was born in 1937. At the age 26, she was chosen to pilot the Vostok 6 which made her the first woman ever to fly in space! Her flight lasted for more than 70 hours. After her mission, she received the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Additionally, she also received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace by being a spokesperson of the Soviet Union.

Margaret Hamilton
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Previously, we mentioned Neil Armstrong as the first man to walk on the moon. However, a woman actually enabled that to happen! That woman is Margaret Hamilton. This picture shows her standing next to a stack of code that she had written for the Apollo 11. Specifically, the code that she wrote was for the Apollo Guidance Computer, the software that made it possible for the mission to land on the moon. Recently, Hamilton received the Presidential Medal of Freedom alongside other famous honorees such as Bill and Melinda Gates and Bruce Springsteen.

Dorothy Height 78736411-032312-national-dorothy-height-history

Dorothy Height had one career for 80 years fighting for racial and gender equality. She was the leader of the National Council of Negro Women for 40 years. During this time, she fought for different social issues such as voting rights, poverty and AIDS. She was the only woman in the civil rights movement’s inner circle. Even though she is lesser known compare to her male peers, she is without a doubt one of the most influential civil rights leaders of her time. Although she passed away, Height will forever be remembered as an unsung heroine of the movement.

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Recap: Ustocktrade Information Session

Written by: Savanna Illinger

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Recently, herNetwork had the pleasure of hosting Ustocktrade for our first meeting. The company was originally started by Tony Weeresinghe as a way to fund a charity project he was working on at the time. Since then the website has taken off.   In a wonderfully succinct, impactful and well-organized presentation Tony’s wife, Cindy Weeresinghe and her daughter made stock trading seem approachable.

They presented us with a disconcerting statistic: only 2% of their users are women. In an effort to change that low number, Ustocktrade has developed a program called “Ladies in Training” that is aimed at women with no previous stock exchange knowledge or experience. They also offer an online training program available to anyone looking to begin stock trading or are simply curious about what it actually is. Not only was their enthusiasm infectious, but also their message was important. This is a field in which women are almost wholly absence simply because many of us have never been familiarized with stock trading as a concept. Ustocktrade offers a simple plan that allows women, and anyone new to trading, to put their foot in the door.

Women in Combat

Written By: Nicole Renteria

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In recent headlines, women have been making more appearances in large corporations across the country. Due to new data, it has been proven that the gender diversity in the boardroom has significantly increased the productivity of companies. But what about the diversity outside of the conference room, on the battlefield?

 

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has recently approved a new lift on gender restrictions in military services, allowing women to join military combat positions. This January there will now be about 220,000 jobs opened to women, originally only occupied by men. These positions range from infantry, armor, reconnaissance, and some special operations units. What does this mean for women all across our military services? If they can pass the gender-neutral performance standards and requirements, they will be able to do things such as: drive tanks and lead infantry soldiers directly into combat.

 

This new stride for gender equality caused several Marine Corps officers to raise several questions concerning the change. After numerous studies were conducted, women were proven more likely to be injured during combat, therefore slowing down some aspects of the procedures. However, Carter’s decision to diversify the infantries emphasizes the strengths women are able to bring to the Armed Forces. Similar to the work women contribute to the boardroom, they are able to enhance the productivity during combat due to personality differences. During his announcement at the Pentagon, Carter said “And even more importantly, our military will be better able to harness the skills and perspectives that talented women have to offer.”

 

Although there has been controversy surrounding this event, the overflowing support for it has been overwhelming. Carter has received support from the Army, several other infantries, and even from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During an event in New Hampshire, Clinton praised the move and offered encouraging support for women who are qualified for these positions “to compete and win them”.

 

With only two female soldiers recorded for completing the vigorous Army’s Ranger School, there is still several obstacles in the way for women looking to join the newly offered positions. For someone who aspires to one day join the Marine Corps, it is inspiring to learn that women now have equal opportunities as men in combat. To one day apply for a position as coveted as a special operations soldiers is a dream, made reality. Women have a lot to offer, whether that’s in the boardroom or in combat, and to be able to fight for the same job as a man is tremendously important.

Study Suggests Businesses Need Women in Leadership

By: Esha Deshmukh

I recently read an article from TIME titled “Having Women in the Boardroom Is Good for Business, Study Finds”, which I thought was really applicable to what herNetwork stands for. According to the article, businesses are more successful if they have women in leadership; the article states “American publicly traded companies with all-male executive boards missed out on $567 billion in 2014, according to a study by global accounting firm Grant Thornton, titled “Women in Business: the Value of Diversity.”

I think this study suggests that businesses actually need women in leadership to offer different perspectives in boardroom meetings, objectives for projects, etc. Personally, this article motivated me to take on more leadership roles whether it be leading my team for my business classes on an idea in a meeting or simply not being afraid to speak up during class debates. I think this article should motivate women to actively pursue leadership positions because organizations, such as companies in this study, can benefit from the different skills, knowledge, and beliefs that women can bring. I found this study to be empowering for women to be confident and take on a leadership role because this could end up really lifting up the organization they work for.

To read the article, click here.

A Movement for Gender Equality

Emma WatsonBy Nicole Renteria

Two months ago, on September 20th, Emma Watson spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. The actress was appointed seven months ago to be the Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, and has since then worked diligently to bring awareness to the issue of gender equality. During her empowering speech, she announced a new campaign called “HeForShe”, and addressed several issues concerning feminism and the inequality gap for both men and women.

The new campaign, HeForShe, was created to encourage men across the world to be more actively involved in the fight for women’s rights. The campaign is striving to unite the efforts of both genders to simultaneously change the inequalities and discriminations women still face today. They ask anyone who is interested to visit their website and pledge their commitment to actively help their cause. By keeping count, the public can see how many men in each country have chosen to be an advocate for such an important battle. As of today, 484,912 men have agreed to support the campaign across the globe. They have also launched an impact initiative, branching out to the head of states, corporations and universities to support their cause. From Presidents and Prime Ministers to CEOs and Chairmen, several countries have had strong male leaders come forward and pledge to fight for the women amongst their community.

As Watson’s speech continued, she brought to light a topic that has recently become increasingly sensitive. She spoke on behalf of the infamous word “feminism”. If you have ever uttered the word, and received a back lash of judgmental glares or sighs, then you can understand my enthusiasm to hear Watson address this issue. The actress goes on to explain the misunderstanding of the term and the negativity that accompanies it. Two synonyms, “man-hating” and “bossiness”, go hand-in-hand when women attempt to explain their feminist point of views. As she says during her speech, along with the fight for equality, we need to end the scrutiny for feminists as well. If you can not support the word, look deeper and at least understand the cause.

She then turned the attention to the men in the audience, addressing social issues and stereotypes. Watson explains that the standards in which men are held to are also a huge role in gender inequality for women. Because men are expected to be the stronger, more controlling presence in society, women are suppressed to feel the need be the weaker gender of the two. She encourages both genders to start accepting each other for who we truly are, rather than what we are expected to be, which is the general concept for the HeForShe campaign.

To wrap up her speech, Watson addressed why she is confronting this conflict. In her final thoughts she emphasizes that now is the best time to stand up and fight for what you strongly believe in. Not one country can attest to achieving gender equality for both men and women, and that is why HeForShe was created. With her final sentence she asks for those listening to take this opportunity to get involved; “Ask yourself if not me, who? If not now, when?”.