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famous women > activist list | a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i-j | k | L | m | n-o | p | r | s | t-u-v | w-z > Pioneers of Women’s Rights Movement Posters < social studies

Notable women activists ~

Susan LaFlesche
Mary Lasker
Julia Lathrop
Margery Latimer

Mary Elizabeth Lease
Ann Lee
Gerda Lerner
Doris Lessing

Sara Jane Lippincott
Belva Ann Lockwood
Juliette Gordon Low
Mary Lyon

Native American Doctor: The Story of Susan Laflesche Picotte
Native American Doctor: The Story of Susan Laflesche Picotte

(no commercially available poster)

Susan La Flesche Picotte
b. 6-17-1865; Omaha Reservation, NE
d. 2-17-1932

Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first American Indian woman to become a physician in the US. She cared for both Indian and white patients, opening a hospital on the reservation in 1913. Her sister Susette LaFlesche was an artist and writer, their brother Francis was an anthropologist.

Mary Lasker, photo
Mary Lasker, photo

Mary Lasker
b. 11-30-1900; Watertown, WI
d. 2-21-1993

Health reformer Mary Lasker was insrumental in education for birth control. She and her husband were the first to use modern advertising and promotion to fight cancer with TV ads to counter cigarette advertising. Lasker was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969, the Four Freedoms Award 1987 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1989.

Julia Lathrop, print
Julia Lathrop,

Julia Lathrop
b. 6-29-1858; Rockford, IL
d. 4-15-1932

Social reformer Julia Lathrop met Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr at the Rockford Female Seminary and then worked a Hull House. She was the first woman member of the Illiois State Board of Charities, appointed as the first head of the Children's Bureau by President Taft in 1912, and to the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations in 1925.

My Friend, Julia Lathrop

Guardian Angel and Other Stories, Margery Latimer
Guardian Angel and Other Stories, Margery Latimer

Margery Latimer
b. 2-6-1899; Portage, WI
d. 8-16-1932; Chicago (child birth)

Writer, feminist theorist, and social activist Margery Bodine Latimer published two highly respected novels and collections of short stories. She was often compared to Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and D. H. Lawrence.

Latimer was descended from Anne Bradstreet and John Cotton, was friends with author Zona Gale and Meridel Le Sueur, artist Georgia O'Keeffe and married to author Jean Toomer.

Mary Elizabeth Lease, print
Mary Elizabeth Lease, print

Mary Elizabeth Lease,
née Clyens
b. 9-11-1853; Ridgway, PA
d. 10-29-1933; Callicoon, NY

Mary Elizabeth Lease was a lawyer and gifted speaker who ran for office in Kansas as a member of the Farmers' Alliance, or Populist Party. She was referred to as the “People's Joan of Arc.” After leaving politics she wrote for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World newspaper and, though raised a Catholic, became a Christian Scientist.

Queen of Populists: The Story of Mary Elizabeth Lease

Ann Lee Religious Enthusiast, Giclee Print
Ann Lee, Religious Enthusiast, Giclee Print

Ann Lee
b. 2-29-1736; Manchester, England
d. 9-8-1784; Watervliet, NY

Mother Ann Lee is remembered as the founder of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, also known as the Shakers, a religious movement that taught celibacy and female divinity.

Ann Lee quote ~
• “We [the Shakers] are the people who turned the world upside down.”

The Shaker Experience in America: A History of the United Society of Believers

The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: From the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy; Gerta Lerner
Gerda Lerner:
The Creation of
Feminist Consciousness

Gerda Lerner
b. 4-30-1920; Vienna, Austria
d. 1-2-2013; Madison, Wisconsin

Historian, author, and professor Gerda Lerner was one of the founders of the field of women's history and a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

In her autobiography “Fireweed: a Political Autobiography” she described how she learned everything she needed to get through the rest of her life while being held prisoner for six weeks by the Nazi's at age 18, in part by the sharing of food by two gentile women.

Lerner also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1964 film Black Like Me, which her husband Carl directed.

Gerda Lerner quotes ~
• “All human beings are practicing historians. As we go through life we present ourselves to others through our life story; as we grow and mature we change that story through different interpretations and different emphasis. We stress different events as having been decisive at different times in our life history and, as we do so, we give those events new meanings. People do not think of this as “doing history”; they engage in it often without special awareness. We live our lives; we tell our stories. It is as natural as breathing.”
• “Women's history is the primary tool for women's emancipation.”
• “In this age, when warfare involving major nations has become unthinkable, the theories and practice of transforming social movements offer the only real hope for social change. Feminism represents such a movement.”
• “I try, in my private life, to live as simply as possible and to be mindful of conserving resources and respecting nature. I try to be part of and build community in the various aspects of my life and to move from self-absorption to altruism. In none of this am I sure that I can succeed, but I can and must strive to succeed. As a survivor of several major disasters I remain, as I said at the outset, a skeptical, and at times despairing optimist. As all such creatures, I need an utopian vision - mine is a world in which women and men will have freed their minds from patriarchal thought and which will therefore be free of dominance and hierarchy, a world that will be truly human.”
• “We can learn from history how past generations thought and acted, how they responded to the demands of their time and how they solved their problems. We can learn by analogy, not by example, for our circumstances will always be different than theirs were. The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events.”
• “Perhaps the greatest challenge to thinking women is the challenge to move from the desire for safety and approval to the most "unfeminine" quality of all – that of intellectual arrogance, the supreme hubris which asserts to itself the right to reorder the world. The Hubris of the god makers, the hubris of the male-system builders.”
• “Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin helping them. Such a world does not exist – never has.”
• “Patriarchy is a system of dominance based on the “invention” that arbitrary differences among people can be used to construct categories by which the unequal distribution of resources and power by small elites over large and diverse populations can be justified, explained and made acceptable to those exploited. In short, “difference” can be used to create and maintain power. The differences used can be based on race, class, sex, physical makeup or any other arbitrary distinction, body image, sexual preference....
• “... It is not “difference” that is the problem. It is dominance justified by appeals to constructed differences that is the problem.”
• “I think that we are for the first time now at a point where both men and women are beginning to see that the world was not just made by men, that civilization was not just made by men, and that women are as capable as men of giving leadership, innovating social ideas and solutions.”
• “When you get older, you have a desire to look at your whole life, not just the end result and not just a particular point.”
• “The appeal of the New Right is simply that it seems to promise that nothing will change in the domestic realm. People are terrified of change there, because it's the last humanizing force left in society, and they think, correctly, that it must be retained.”

Stories - Doris Lessing
Stories -
Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing
b. 10-22-1919; Iran

Doris Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature for “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny”.

Doris Lessing quotes ~
• “A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.”
• “It is the mark of great people to treat trifles as trifles and important matters as important.”
• “I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.”
• “Literature is analysis after the event.”
• “If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.”
• “That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way.”
• “With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one - but no one at all - can tell you what to read and when and how.”

The Golden Notebook

Grace Greenwood, née Sara Jane Clark, Historic Print
Grace Greenwood,
née Sara Jane Clark, Historic Print

Sara Jane Lippincott, née Clark
pen name Grace Greenwood
b. 9-23-1823; Pompey, NY
d. 4-20-1904; New Rochelle, NY

Sara Jane Lippincott was published under both her maiden and married name and her pseudonym Grace Greenwood. As one of the first women to gain access to the Congressional press galleries she raised questions about social reform and women's rights. She wrote for the New York Times, Saturday Evening Post and the London Journal. Her obituary ran on the front page of the New York Times.

Stories from Famous Ballads by Grace Greenwood

Belva Lockwood, Historic Print
Belva Lockwood,
Historic Print

Belva Ann Lockwood, née Bennett
b. 10-24-1830; Royalton, NY
d. 5-19-1917

Belva A. Lockwood overcame social and personal obstacles to become an educator, attorney, and author active in working for women's rights such as equal pay for women. Lockwood was the first woman to be sworn in as member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar and in 1880 she became the first woman lawyer to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lockwood, who ran for president in 1884, reportedly receiving 4,100 votes. She also supported the movement for world peace and temperance.

Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President

Juliette Gordon Low House, Art Print
Juliette Gordon Low House,
Art Print

Juliette Gordon Low
b. 10-31-1860; Savannah, GA
d. 1-17-1927; Savannah (breast cancer)

Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912. Juliette Gordon Low's childhood home was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Juliette Gordon Low

Mary Lyon, Historic Print
Mary Lyon,
Historic Print

Mary Lyon
b. 2-28-1797; Buckland, Massachusetts
d. 3-5-1849

Mary Lyon, who grew up in a farm family where everyone had to work, managed to attend school intermittently. She began teaching in 1814, eventually being able to attend two secondary schools, and to serve as an assistant to her friend Zilpah Polly Grant, the founder of the Ipswich Female Seminary.

Lyon went on to found Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College), which resembled Grant's schools in many respects but was intended to draw its students from a wider socioeconomic range. Lyon managed to keep the cost of attending her school low by requiring students to do domestic chores (work/study) and by paying her teachers poorly.

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Pioneers of Women’s Rights Movement Posters

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