Don’t Leave Women in March

Caycee Ohl, Staff Writer

    As March comes to a close, so does Women’s History month, however women and their history should be celebrated always. In order to keep up with notable female activists as well as your home state’s history, I have compiled a list of 19(th amendment) of the most influential women from Pennsylvania. If you’re a woman, us this list to empower you as Abby English, sophomore states, “I feel empowered as a woman because of the women who came before me and paved the way as strong, independent, good humans. Women have so much strength and intelligence that is so often overlooked.” If you’re not a woman, use this list to appreciate the history of the other 50% of the population.


1.) Alison Bechdel


    A female cartoonist from Beech Creek, Pennsylvania, Alison Bechdel is famously known for her cartoon strip “Dykes to Watch Out for.” Bechdel uses her comics to stand up for LGBT+ rights by illustrating lesbian and gay life.


2.) Nellie Bly


    Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman known by her pen name Nellie Bly was born in Cochran’s Mills Pennsylvania. Nellie Bly was an American journalist who was more famously known for her investigative pieces that stood up for the rights of women. Her articles uncovered labor laws specifically aimed towards women as well as Pennsylvania’s divorce laws that once made it difficult for women to be financially independent.


3.) Rachel Carson


    Born in Springdale, Pennsylvania, Rachel Carson is an exceptional representation for women through her work through marine biology and conservatism who can be credited for advancing the global environmental movement.


4.) Lucretia Mott


    Lucretia Mott changed the lives for minority races and women as she helped form the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and was also a founder of the American women’s rights movement. Her feminist philosophy was outlined in her Discourse on Women where she argued for economic equality as well as women’s voting rights.


5.)Fanny Jackson Coppin


    After completing college at Oberlin in Ohio, Fanny moved to Philadelphia PA where she later became a high school teacher at The Institute for Colored Youth after just a year Jackson was promoted to principal of the Ladies department and then was later promoted to principal of the entire institute. She was not only a teacher, but a lifelong advocate for female higher education.


6.) Tara Lipinski


On the skating ranks within Pennsylvania a few decades ago, you would have found young Tara Lipinski working on her turns. After starting figure skating at a young age, Lipinski went on to win a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics.


7.) Betsy Ross


    Believed to have been a great contribution to the designing and making of our nation’s flag, Betsy Ross is a great deal in upcoming of our nation’s identity. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ross now has a major bridge named in her honor located in Philadelphia.


8.) P!nk


Widely known for her punk rock, spunky style, and colorful name,singer, Pink gets less recognition than she deserves. Born as Alecia Beth Moore in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Pink has grown up to be a woman with many roles. P!nk is outspoken in the defense of LGBT+ rights, women’s rights, and animal rights. P!nk also sponsors campaigns such as PETA, Human Rights Campaign, and UNICEF.


9.) Joanna Hayes


    Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Joanna Hayes grew up to become a gold medalist in Track & Field in the 2004 Olympics, she is only the second American who has received this award.


10.) Mary Cassatt


    Mary Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She specialized in painting and printmaking where she invested herself into impressionism. Cassatt later moved to France where she was largely recognized for her work.


11.) Maria Bello


    Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Maria Bello is an American actress and LGBT advocate. Known best for her role in Coyote Ugly (2000) amongst other films, Bello has used her influence as a celebrity to write books about her lifestyle and the story of what it means to be a woman in the LGBT+ community today.


12.) Marian Anderson


    Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was widely supported by her community in becoming a professional vocalist. Anderson was supported economically by her church to go to a music school and later became the first african american woman to perform at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955. Anderson also used her music to influence the civil rights movement.


13.) Elizabeth Jordan


After growing up to become a housewife in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jordan was the first woman to appear on a Democratic or Republican U.S. Senate primary ballot in PA in 1946. However, PA was not in her favor as she lost a 10:1 vote, however, her bravery and the first representation of a woman on a PA ballot is greatly honored.


14.) Dr. Zarina Ali


As Pennsylvania’s first female neurosurgeon, there is no doubt that Dr Zarina Ali is making history. As one of the very few women in the industry, Ali is using her platform to guide and mentor other young doctors.


15.) Crystal Bird Fauset


Crystal grew up in Massachusetts to become the first female African American state legislator of Pennsylvania where most of her political and adult life was spent.


16.)  Alice M. Bentley


Alice Bentley was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. She was the first woman to be elected to the general assembly in Pennsylvania.


17. Kathy Change


Kathy Change was born in Ohio but grew up to attend the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Kathy Change, born as “Kathleen Chang” was an advocate for social change and expressed this everyday for a decade and a half on the University of Penn campus. Kathy would sew political flags having to do with nuclear warfare as well as social issues. She lit herself on fire in front of the Peace statue at University of Penn to draw attention to social change.


18. Amanda Seyfried


As a former Pennsylvania from Allentown. Amanda Seyfried has used her platform as an actor and model to speak up about gender wage gaps and other women’s rights issues.


19.) Alice Paul

How could we forget about the woman who made the largest mark on women’s rights? Although Alice Paul was not born in Pennsylvania, she attended the University of Pennsylvania located in Philadelphia. Alice Paul was the leading activist in the 19th amendment as she co-founded the Congressional Union as well as the National woman’s party in hopes to end women’s suffrage.

.SO the next time you see your mom, teacher, sister, girlfriend or other female counterparts. Remind them of how awesome women were, are, and will be.