Meet Everyone Monday’s Badass Ladies

Remember the name of the twenty-something latin@ activist who fought in favor Planned Parenthood in Texas? How about the black intersectional feminist scholar who is credited for writing “Ain’t I a Woman?” Here’s an easy one: can you name the Supreme Court Justice who has fought tirelessly for the rights of women in the U.S.? If you can’t, we aren’t here to shame you. Nah, we’re here to help you out! Last Monday during CWO’s orientation week, we played a game that involved identifying the names of famous, influential, and equally inspiring women. At the request of many, we are posting the names and descriptions of the many amazing women we talked about to give you the opportunity to learn their names and further research them (if you so choose). Many of these women have been persecuted for their encouraging and revolutionary messages; their tragic experiences do not have to be in vain. Learn their names, and more importantly, share their names with others.

* Laverne Cox

o This trans woman has become an outspoken advocate for all trans people and women of color

o She grew up in Mobile, AL and has reached fame after starting a recent Netflix original series.

* Ruth Bader Ginsburg

o This woman has been a mother, lawyer, and Supreme Court justice who tirelessly advocates for women’s rights.

* Ellen DeGeneres

o This woman made national headlines when she came out on a sitcom that she wrote.

o She now hosts a successful daytime talk show.

* Malala Yousafzai

o This Pakistani teenager has been a tireless advocate for girls’ education rights and opened a school for girls on her eighteenth birthday.

o She also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

* Maya Angelou

o This Black woman worked as a singer, dancer, and eventually became one of America’s best poets.

o One of her most famous works is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

* bell hooks

o This Black feminist scholar and social activist is best known for her writing on the intersections of race, gender, and capitalism.

o One of her most famous works is “Ain’t I A Woman”.

* Sally Ride

o This woman was the first American woman in space.

* Gertrude Stein

o This artist and write was born in Pittsburgh and spent most of her career in Paris.

o She advised famous artists and writers such as Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.

o One of her most famous works is a autobiography of her life partner, Alice B. Toklas.

* Sandra Bland

o This woman was a civil rights activist in Chicago and was a part of the Black Lives Matter movement before she was unlawfully arrested and imprisoned and died in prison. Her story joined dozens of other stories of Black lives being wrongfully taken by American police officers.

* Toni Morrison

o This woman is regarded as one of the best American authors.

o She is known for creating complex black characters and highlighting the issues of poverty, slavery, and racism throughout the Jim Crow era and the twentieth century.

o One of her most famous works is Beloved.

* Hedy Lamarr

o This Austrian and American actress invented the technology that became the basis for modern Wi-Fi.

o She also used her interest in technology to aid in the defeat of Nazism.

* Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

o Though they are little known in history, these two trans women of color sparked the Stonewall Riots, which are now known as the cornerstone of the LGBTQ rights movement. One woman is Black and one is Latina. Name one of these women.

* Wangari Maathai

o She was the first Nobel Peace Prize winner from Africa, specifically Kenya.

o She was the creator of the Green Belt Movement, which works to economically empower women while creating sustainable farming practices.

o She is also a Pitt alum!

* Alison Bechdel

o This woman is a cartoonist and the creator of the Dykes to Watch Out For cartoon strip, which is where the Bechdel test, a test to determine if a show or film has fair representation of women, originates.

* Sadie Hernandez

o This twenty-year-old Latina activist from Texas recently protested the defunding of Planned Parenthood in Texas outside of the governor’s home to maintain access to cancer screenings and other services to Texan women.

o Wendy Davis, who also is known for protesting for women’s reproductive rights, supported Sadie in her efforts and stood with her.

-Pitt CWO


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