Airman provides insight on true value, meaning of Women’s History Month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nancy Rouse
  • 95th Mission Support Squadron
March is the month we as Americans set aside to observe the great achievements women have accomplished. 

I am filled with a sense of pride when I reflect upon all the accomplishments women before me have attained. These great achievements have made my success possible. 

The right to vote, the women's movement, the first female pilot and the first female doctor were all accomplished by courageous women. Even fair wages in the workplaces took all types of women -- old, young, quiet, loud and, yes, even the aggressive ones who stood up and achieved what seemed impossible. 

We have many great and heroic women in our past such as Matilda Joslyn Gage, a women's rights activist. Ms. Gage was a prolific writer and editor, best known for her work on the first three volumes of "A History of Woman Suffrage, Woman Church and State," and her newspaper, "The National Citizen and Ballot Box" written with Elizabeth Stanton and Susan Anthony. Ms. Gage once wrote: 

"The injustice of man towards woman under the laws of both Church and State engrafted upon society, have resulted in many evils unsuspected by the world, which if known would strike it with amazement and terror. Women desire freedom in order to become what she has the innate power of becoming. She is a living growing organism as much as is a tree, and like that tree, she needs room and freedom. A tree planted close beside a stone wall, cannot grow upon the side next to the wall. Sunshine and air may meet it upon the opposite side, its branches may put forth in one direction, but the stone wall prevents its becoming a tree of symmetrical proportions. People demand the overthrow of those restrictions which press the hardest upon them. She believed that our acts will influence the future; we must look back and see what influence the past had had upon us." 

Another heroic woman of our past was Amelia Earhart, the renowned woman aviator. Ms. Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, and the second person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. Her actions put women on the map, achieving what many men believed would never be done by a female. 

Elizabeth Blackwell, in 1849, became the first woman to receive a medical degree. She struggled against the widely held views of the time that claimed women were less intelligent than men, too emotionally unstable, and too physically weak to withstand the rigors of a medical education. 

In 1849, Blackwell proved them all wrong by graduating at the top of her medical class. She made it possible for women today to become doctors. 

As we progress through this month, let us not forget the accomplishments of these heroic women of our past and of those who are making history today.