Women have come a long way in society. Our grandparents and great grandparents can attest to the developments and changes that have occurred for women from the past to the present, and for the future. In the past, occupations that were once deemed ‘men only’ were unheard of for women to pursue. We weren’t allowed to vote, receive a proper education, or procure equal pay.
Thankfully, we had and to this day still have, amazing fierce vinas to buck the gender stereotype and fight for equality. The fight’s a long way from over of course, but below are five empowering vinas who I find created amazing social change in various fields:
One thing I love about the 17th/18th century female literary writers from England is their clever sarcastic wit they used to throw shade at fellow male literary writers who denied female growth. Wollstonecraft is known for her works, A Vindication of the Rights of Man and A Vindication of the Rights of Women. She was one of the first few female literary activists to fight for women to step out of the category of subservient objects and into the role as educators for young children. She also advocated for the equality between men and women from a religious and moral standpoint. AKA she rocks!
Tubman was nicknamed “Moses” for her similarity to Moses from the Book of Exodus where he helped lead the Hebrews to freedom from Egypt. She found freedom from slavery, and wanted to help others get their right to freedom as well. Using her own coded tunes, and the North Star, she would guide others through the Underground Railroad to free states or Canada. She then became the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War, continuing her rescue of hundreds of slaves. Later, she went on to participate and encourage women’s suffrage inspiring future women to advocate for equal rights between men and women. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Borg paved the way for women to pursue a career in the engineering and/or technological field. Excelling in computer science, she wanted women to have the same opportunity to make their presence known in a field that was deemed only worthy of men. Therefore she founded the Institute for Women and Technology, later dubbed Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology after her death, and co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, a conference that gathers, inspires, and celebrates women in the technological field.
Starting by kicking butt as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, she truly embodies the characteristics of the character in her real life today. She pursued an education in English Literature, enjoying the various perspectives of literary works. Just like Hermione creating SPEW (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare) in the novels, in the real world, she created HeForShe, a campaign advocating for gender equality mostly on behalf of women, but for men as well. Watson has showed us that we can pursue our dreams regardless of criticism, and that failure is okay. Failure means we’re learning from our mistakes, and it’s okay to not fit in with the crowd as long as we are being ourselves. 10 points for Gryffindor!
Yousafzai was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize when she was 17 (the youngest recipient ever!), for her struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to be educated. Along with her father, she co-founded the Malala Fund where she uses the organization to travel to encourage young women to pursue and receive a proper education. Additionally, the organization is meant to empower girls to reach their goals and become leaders. She supports women and girls to stand up against those who try to shut them down or tell them what they can and cannot do.
Kudos to these beautiful, intellectual, empowering vinas who have inspired us and helped us make our dreams possible in society. And many thanks to those out in the world who support and encourage equality for all. Share the love and create change for the better.
Which vinas are you most inspired by? Tell us in the comments!
(Featured image via buzzfeed.com)