Her-Story

Written by Anna Gerrodette-Honda

Harriet Tubman said, “I could have freed a thousand more
If only they knew they were slaves.”
Sarah and Angelina Grimke were abolitionists too.

Supernova pulsars Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered,
Three miles of paper, analyzing data
Only the Nobel went not to her, but her senior.
Rachel Carson, Scientist Author
Your Spring Would Be Silent without her.

Isabella Baufree born a slave, and with a Vision from God, changed her name.
Sojourner Truth said, “Ain’t I a woman?”

Why are all the great artists men, most people recall,
Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, da Vinci, Calder…
On and on white men are decided, and defining what is great.
Names you’ve already forgotten: Helene Funke, Mary Cassatt,
Georgia O’Keefe, Teresa Ries, Tina Blau, and more, why is that?

Baroness Murasaki Shikibu wrote the first novel in 1010, Genji-Monogatari.
Yet she possibly got her name from her book’s heroine.

On Aspasia of Miletas, remembered a prostitute?  Socrates called her his teacher.
Marilyn Waring wrote a book 40 years ago:
If Only Women Counted” and then even 2500 years ago,
Sappho said, “I think that someone will remember us in another time.”
She was called “The Tenth Muse” by Plato.
Instead known now for her sexual preference,
Or a sex symbol,
Not only an actress, Hedy Lamar invented Wireless Communication.
. . .

Her data were critical to Crick and Watson’s work, but a Nobel denied.
Essential discoveries in DNA  and radiation, then died of cancer at 35.
Rosalind Franklin, biophysicist, chemist, biologist, X-ray crystallographer.

Nuclear Fission, discovered by Lise Meitner, while
Alexandrine Pieternella Francoise Tinne discovered the source of the Nile.
Martha Gelhorn, one of the greatest reporters on the frontline,
Endangered at D-Day, in the air over Germany, and Vietnam.

Imagine wearing a tight vest stiffened with whalebones and steel rods.
Saving our day is Mary Phelps Jacob, inventing the Bra.

Nettie Stevens, a researcher who discovered
Organism’s sex is determined by chromosomes.
Textbooks written by men took the credit.

Alice Guy-Blache, pioneering film director, developed techniques:
Narrative, Split Screen, Double Exposure, and Sound
Over a thousand movies, and her own Studio.
Not recognized in Film School.
Yahweh had a wife, Asherah.  Francesca Stavrakopoulou researched her.
Mary Anning discovered Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs.
Other Paleontologists recognize her, but do you?
Unless you remember her by her other job, immortalized:
She Sells Seashells by the Seashore.
. . .

Fossey and Goodall, lifetimes protecting
Endangered primates, their habits collecting.
Mary Anderson patented the windshield wiper in 1903.
Aphra Behn, first professional woman writer in 1670.
Lucy Stone wrote ”A Soul as Free As The Air,” and married.
Entered Civic Record as the First Woman to Keep Her Own Name.

Dr. Estelle Ramey, with wit to make men think
Of the Science of Gender Equality.
Emma Tenayuca established the Minimum Wage for all workplaces.
Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, bulletproof.

Nellie Pucell
Only nine years old,
True Grit personified.

Margaret Fuller and
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody?
Although you’ve heard of Emerson and Thoreau,
Not only men were in “the Transcendental Club.”

During her rule from 1856-1900, Tz’u Hsi revitalized Chinese government ,
Instituted instruction of foreign language and the first Chinese foreign service office,
Stopped the Nien and Great Taiping Rebellions.
At last in 1902, she reversed her thoughts on corruption, working to end it.
Phyllis Wheatley, born in 1753, became the first African American Poet,
Published the first African American book, and familiar with the Classics, wrote
Elegies and poems in heroic couplet.
Anna Keichline, an architect, invented the hollow cement block.
Ruth Wakefield invented the Chocolate Chip Cookie.  ‘Nuf said.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Her-Story

  1. Who made the illustration? It’s good!

  2. This is an Acrostic, where the first letters of each line spell out:
    HIS STORY IS WRONG BY OMISSION. HER NAME IS NOT ANONYMOUS. FEMALE DOES NOT MEAN DISAPPEAR.

  3. Christine Smith

    THANK YOU for this amazing Poem!! I teach a Women in US History course and I so excited to use it. You have included individual women that I have never heard of as well……what a great gift to us.

    • I am very happy and honored you would like to use it in your class. Believe me, it wasn’t easy finding the women I did. Starting with a Google search “Forgotten Women in History” doesn’t yield alot of results, being almost forgotten and all. So I went to women in science, women inventors, women in politics, etc. Still not as many results as there should be!

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