Tag Archives: women who rock

Hatshepsut, The Cross-Dressing Pharaoh

If you haven’t noticed, we’re a bit obsessed with women throughout history. National Women’s History Month may be over, but we can’t help but to keep highlighting interesting women from the past. My sister got me a subscription to National Geographic for Christmas, and the April issue introduced me to Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh who ruled Egypt form 1479 to 1458 B.C. Since it’s now 2009 A.D. and the U.S. still hasn’t had a female president, you can imagine that it was a pretty big deal for Hatshepsut to rule back then.

The pharaoh’s body was discovered two years ago, and we still don’t know much about her life, but what we do know is rather scandalous. Hatshepsut was the eldest daughter of Thutmose and Queen Ahmose. Because they believed so much in strengthening royal bloodlines, incest wasn’t a bad thing and Hatshepsut married her half-brother Thutmose II, producing one daughter with him. Thutmose II’s heir, however, was a son by another woman. Thutmose III was super young when his father died, so Hatshepsut stepped in to help him out. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Marvelyn Brown

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

MARVELYN BROWN (1984- )

Marvelyn Brown probably never expected to make it to “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” Early in life, she may not have thought she was going to be featured in Newsweek, Ebony, and Fortune. No doubt she wishes she was featured worldwide for a different reason other than having HIV, but her strength to speak out is admirable.

What makes Brown an amazing woman is not all of the media attention. It’s not about having a book out called The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive. What makes her amazing is that on July 17, 2003, when she found out she was HIV positive at the age of 19, she immediately reached for her cell phone to notify all of her sexual partners. It’s difficult enough to digest that kind of news, but from her hospital bed she took responsibility for it. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Josephine Baker

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

JOSEPHINE BAKER (1906-1975)

Josephine Baker, born on June 3, 1906, was the quintessential “wild child” of the 1920s. She was born Freda Josephine McDonald in East St. Louis, Ill., to Carrie McDonald. Although it’s not known exactly who Josephine’s father was, it’s believed that he was McDonald’s white employer at the time. At least that’s what Josephine believed.

Baker’s childhood was not what anyone would call easy. At either, she was abused by a lady she was working for because she used too much soap in the laundry. By the time she was 12, she had dropped out of school and had become one of the “street children” that slept in cardboard boxes and ate from garbage cans. She earned money by dancing on street corners.

She got her start in Vaudeville at 15 in the chorus line. There was no turning back. Josephine Baker broke the color barrier in theater and movies. She made her name in the Follies Bergères, and was recipient of the Croix de Guerre for her war efforts on behalf of her adopted country of France.

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Women Who Rock: Mary McLeod Bethune

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday. Since today is the last day of this awesome month, we’ll be going out with a bank, spotlight FIVE women who rock.

MARY McLEOD BETHUNE (1875-1955)

Born July 10, 1875, Mary McLeod Bethune made great strides in education, social justice and positive thinking for women, children and African-American society.

Mary McLeod Bethune is best known for founding Bethune-Cookman University. Though the school is a prestigious university today, it began as a small school for disadvantaged African-American girls.

Mary McLeod Bethune fought for the rights of women, for education without segregation, health care for black children, and much more. She did all this while still focusing on her school. Through the years, Mary McLeod Bethune championed many human rights causes and served as an adviser to five American presidents.

In addition, she served as president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, founded the National Council for Negro Women, was appointed to the Child Welfare Conference under the Coolidge administration, and served in many other important roles.

Wherever Mary McLeod Bethune saw need for social remedies, she found ways to help. She opened a hospital to serve the African-American population when a sick black man was turned away from a Daytona Beach hospital.

Mary McLeod Bethune is known for saying, “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” She truly lived by those words, and though she died on May 18, 1955, her legacy continues. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Gilda Radner

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

GILDA RADNER (1946-1989)

She strides across the stage trailing that impossible cloud of wild curly hair behind her. She stops, smiles sweetly, and sings, “Let’s talk dirty to the animals.” Or she’s Rosanne Rosanna Dana reading a viewer’s question: “I have a question about breastfeeding. Do I have to keep my breast in the refrigerator between feedings?” As Baba Wawa might say, Gilda Radner was a “wiving wegend,” adding just enough absurdity to the most mundane situations to make her a star on “Saturday Night Live,” and to fill concert halls.

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Women Who Rock: Grace Hopper

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

GRACE HOPPER (1906-1992)
Born on Dec. 9, 1906 in New York City, computer scientist Grace Hopper led an extraordinary life. She earned a doctorate in mathematics from Yale in 1934 at a time when it was rare for women to earn such degrees. Hopper then became a professor at Vassar college where she remained until 1943, when she joined the U.S. Navy reserves. Having a passion for both math and computers, Hopper joined Harvard’s Computation Laboratory as a research engineer in 1946. She became only the third person to work on Harvard’s Mark I computer, the first automatic digital computer in America. (The military used the Mark I until 1959 for ballistics calculations.) It was during this time that she coined the term computer “bug,” after a moth caused a giant malfunction in the Mark I’s operation. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Patsy Cline

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

PATSY CLINE (1932-1963)

It is visceral; we have to stop and listen every time a Patsy Cline song comes on the radio. That smoky, silky, sultry voice pulls you in and makes you live the lyrics that she sings.

She was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on Sept. 8, 1932, in Winchester, Va., to Sam and Hilda Hensley. Though she had an unhappy childhood, the home appeared happy to others. Patsy was the “poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks.” Sadly, her father abandoned the family when Patsy was 15. Hilda supported the family with her sewing, becoming a master seamstress and making most of Patsy’s “cowgirl” costumes over the years. But Patsy ended up challenging the fashion of country music by ditching the gingham and cowgirl look for cocktail dresses and sequins. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Benazir Bhutto

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

BENAZIR BHUTTO (1953-2007)

Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953 in Karachi, Pakistan. Her parents were well known politicians — her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was a former prime minister. Bhutto was educated at Harvard and Oxford, studying government and law. She was the first woman to lead Pakistan as a prime minister, serving two terms as leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party. She was only 35 when she was elected to her first term, breaking barriers not only as a woman, but also as being the first woman to lead a Muslim-dominated country. Keep reading »

Women Who Rock: Julia Child

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

JULIA CHILD (1912-2004)

Was there more to America’s first celebrity chef than what we read and saw? Most definitely. Julia Child had a past that most wouldn’t believe, and a number of accomplishments that chefs around the world would envy.

She was born Julia McWilliams on Aug. 15, 1912. After a childhood spent attending Katharine Branson School for Girls, Julia attended Smith College in Massachusetts. Instead of marrying and settling down, she volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to today’s CIA. While her title was research assistant, she was actually a spy during World War II. It was during this time that she met Paul Child, her future husband.
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Women Who Rock: Judy Blume

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

JUDY BLUME (1938- )

Born Feb. 12, 1938, Judy Blume is one of the best known authors in America. She has written numerous novels for children and young adults, including Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Deenie, Forever, and Blubber. Her total U.S. book sales exceed $80 million.

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