Kickass Women in History

Kickass Women in History: Elizabeth Packard

This month’s Kickass Woman was brought to my attention by the book The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, and the Men Who Tried To Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore. Kate Moore is also the author of The Radium Girls: The Dark History of America’s Shining Women. I recommend both books with the caveat that they will induce feelings of rage, as Moore brings historical cases of systemic … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Elizabeth Packard

Kickass Women In History: Louise Little, Alberta Williams King, Berdis Jones

For this month’s Kickass Women in History, I’m highlighting the book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs. I was so impressed and moved by this story of three kickass women who have been largely ignored by history: Louise Little, Alberta Williams King, and Berdis Jones. The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and … Continue reading Kickass Women In History: Louise Little, Alberta Williams King, Berdis Jones

Guest Kickass Women in History: Elizabeth Heyrick

This guest post for Kickass Women in History was written and researched by J.A. Miller: “I am a retired systems analyst and ex-historian who now writes political fantasy. I became involved with the Quakers here in Lenni Lenape lands thanks to General Smedley “War is a Racket” Butler, aka the Fighting Quaker. Though I have left academic-style history behind I still love to snoop historically and have been delighted to learn about the numerous and … Continue reading Guest Kickass Women in History: Elizabeth Heyrick

Kickass Women in History: Anne Brigman

Recently I read Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger, and discovered a new Kickass Woman in its pages. One of the characters is loosely based on real-life photographer Anne Brigman, a passionate traveller and artist who was a leading figure in the Photo-Secession Movement in the arts. The real-life photographer was in California later than her fictional counterpart, but the real and fictional women share a common artistic style and personal philosophy. Anne was born … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Anne Brigman

Kickass Women in History: Josephine Cochrane

For this month’s Kickass Women in History we turn to the nerdy end of the spectrum with Josephine Cochrane (sometimes spelled ‘Cochran’). She was the inventor of the modern dishwasher. Born 1839, Josephine Garis came from a nerdy family of engineers and inventors. In 1858 she married a wealthy man, William Cochran, who had earned a ridiculous amount of money as a dry goods merchant. When they married, Cochrane took her husband’s last name as … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Josephine Cochrane

Kickass Women in History: Philomena Franz

This month in Kickass Women, let’s talk about Philomena Franz, a Romani author and activist. The Romani have a complex history and culture. I am not an expert on Romani history and I’ve noticed that even among Romani writers there isn’t always consensus about certain words. According to Time Magazine, Roma and Sinti people, often derogatorily referred to as “gypsies,” are members of an ethnic group with deep roots across Europe. While Sinti are of … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Philomena Franz

Kickass Women in History: Queen Nanny

This month in Kickass Women in History we salute Queen Nanny (also known as Granny or Grandy Nanny and Nanny of the Maroons) a hero of Jamaican history. Jamaica’s original inhabitants were the Arawak and Taino people. Upon Columbus’ landing in 1494, the island became the property of Spain and most of the Arawaks and Tainos were murdered or killed by disease. Spain “imported” African slaves, many of whom escaped during the violent transition from … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Queen Nanny

Kickass Women in History: Sophia Tolstaya

After years of being vilified, Sophia Tolstaya has finally gotten some validation as a Kickass Woman in the last ten years or so. The wife of author Leo Tolstoy, Sophia raised children and managed an estate while serving as Leo’s editor and agent and while being an artist in her own right. Sadly, the Tolstoys started marriage as a madly-in-love couple but ended in a state of mutual frustration and misery. However, it is clear … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Sophia Tolstaya

Kickass Women in History: Virginia Hall

This month I’ve been reading about Virginia Hall, one of our better known Kickass Women. Virginia Hall was an American spy who recruited and organized resistance workers in France during WWII. She had a brilliant mind, a relentless work ethic, and an unparalleled ability to keep secrets and evade discovery despite being a tall, beautiful American who spoke French with a distinctly American accent and who walked with the aid of a wooden leg named … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Virginia Hall

Kickass Women in History: Milicent Patrick

For Halloween, I give you Kickass Woman Milicent Patrick, also known as Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi, one of the first women in animation and the designer of the ‘Gill-man’ from The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Born Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia Rossi in 1915, she grew up in San Simeon, California where her father was the superintendent of construction at Hearst Castle (designed and overseen by another Kickass Woman, architect Julia Morgan). As an adult, … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Milicent Patrick

Kickass Women in History: Ogino Ginko

Thanks to Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History, by Sam Maggs , I heard about Ogino Ginko, the first woman doctor in Japan. This woman broke barriers by means of intelligence and persistence, and to the question “marriage or career?” she answered, “Why not both?” Ogino was born in 1851. She married a banker when she was sixteen and divorced him three years later after he gave her gonorrhea. Her treatments … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Ogino Ginko

Kickass Women in History: Balloonomania Belles

Today’s Kickass Women doubles as a SQUEE grade book review. Balloonomania Belles by Sharon Wright is a comprehensive, fun, and sometimes harrowing look at female aeronauts (who flew balloons) and parachutists (who jumped out of them) from the first days of ballooning through the Edwardian Era. This book is easy to read, well organized, and comprehensive. However, it’s not very technical so for the mechanics of ballooning and parachuting, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Additionally, … Continue reading Kickass Women in History: Balloonomania Belles

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