5 Women Who Did More Than You Learned About In School

The more I learn about history, the more I learn how much I thought I knew was wrong. I’m lucky in that I’ve had a number of history teachers throughout my education who taught us about more than the America-rah-rah, white-upper-class-Christian-European-male-centric stories, but even so I’ve come to learn that there are so many stories I was never told, and so many stories that were so much more interesting and in-depth than I ever knew. So many of these stories are about women, either women whose accomplishments have been undeservedly forgotten in history, or women who are remembered in a too-superficial way, not celebrating the complexity of their lives and achievements. Here, for International Women’s Day, are five women you probably learned about in history class, but not the way you should have.

Helen Keller


I remember reading The Miracle Worker in middle school. The story of how Anne Sullivan helped Helen Keller learn to communicate is one of the most inspiring tales of perseverance and triumph I can think of. But that’s pretty much where things ended; we got a brief summary of Keller’s work as an adult, but as far as our education was concerned, she was forever a little girl learning to spell out words on her teacher’s palm .

But if Helen Keller’s childhood is an incredible story of determination, her adulthood is even moreso. Of course, she was a staunch advocate for people with disabilities (a cause that still often goes unrecognized in feminism today), but she was also a feminist, a pacifist, an anti-racist activist, and a socialist. Her writings on workers’ rights and equality are as powerful as her ability to overcome her physical obstacles, and tend to be overlooked in favour of telling her “miracle” story.

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Wait, they don’t love you like I love you

When I was younger, there were a couple of career goals I had to give up pretty early in the game. My first dream of being Thomas the Tank Engine when I grew up was hardly practical. Becoming an architect was a more serious aspiration before I realised I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in such a mathematical occupation. Then it, too, fell by the wayside along with critic, teacher, and eventually journalist. All of these jobs occasionally show up in my life as hobbies (with the exception of talking cartoon train). And all of them are pretty normal answers to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (again, with the exception of Thomas). But there is another job I’ve always dreamed about, and though I’m fine with the fact that it’s a career goal I’ll probably never realise, it’s something I’ve always kept in the back of my mind as something rare about me, something most people don’t aspire to do.

via twistedsifter
via twistedsifter

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