Despite the claims we all made on progressive thinking, gender inequality is one of the major hurdles that keep on plaguing the society. These days, the scenario has changed significantly from around one or two centuries ago. Most of the changes can be credited to the group of few people known as feminists. They raise their voice for the rights of women and it should be equal to men in all ways and it acquired a lot of followers.
From ancient authors to teens and pop stars, we have listed the most popular and greatest feminists in the world.
10. Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was a feminist philosopher and English writer who raised her voice to support gender equality. Her campaign “A Vindication of the Women’s Rights” in 1792 raised the question against female inferiority by Rousseau and acquired a great status in feminist literature. Some of her prominent works are “A Historical & Moral View of the Progress and Origins of the French Revolution (1794)”, “Thoughts on the Daughters’ Education (1787)”, and “The Female Reader (1789)”. She is also the mother of Frankenstein author, Mary Shelley.
9. Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was a French writer and philosopher and a major figure in modern feminism and she was the critic of patriarchal system untiringly. She was the author of “The Second Sex” in 1949 and showed how men denied the identity of women consistently and drawn on art, history, and psychology. Despite the steep criticism and hatred campaigns, she still worked which became a seminal context towards feminism. She spoke against bias on unwed mothers. She was also popular for open relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre, a popular philosopher.
8. Amelia Bloomer
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) was born in America and was a well known advocate for feminism. She was a persistent supporter of women’s rights. Her lack of formal education couldn’t stop her to thrive in teaching and writing. She used to write in her husband’s newspaper for women’s right. Later on, she went on and started her official newspaper, The Lily, which was based only on women’s rights and issues. She appeared for the speeches about costumes scowled through the conservatives and supported dress reforms. The costume was known as the “Bloomers”.
7. Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a famous abolitionist and feminist born in Massachusetts. She decided to keep up with her maiden name after marriage. Being a sign of individuality, it formed a lot of controversy that time. She organized world’s first National Women’s Right Convention in the year 1850. She appealed to many people with her speeches to fight for women’s rights, such as Susan B. Anthony. She founded Women’s Journal in 1870, a leading publication which supported women’s right. She was also the co-founder of American Woman Suffrage Association.
6. Alice Paul
Alice Paul (1885-1977) was a women’s rights activist in the US. She was studying in England and became active in the suffragist movement over there. She was jailed for several times. She was also connected to the National American Woman Suffrage Association but left later in 1913 to form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. It played a vital role to let women achieve the right to vote. She was National Woman’s Party’s first chairperson. The Equal Rights Amendment 1923 was the brainchild of Alice but couldn’t ratify.
5. Betty Friedan
A writer and activist, Betty Friedan (1921-2006) was one of the popular figures in American feminist movement. The Feminine Mystique was her best-selling book published in the year 1963 and it is supposed to bring the renaissance in the movement for women’s rights. The National Organization for Women (NOW) was co-founded by her in 1966 and she served as the president of this movement for 4 years. When this constitution amendment completed its 50th year which allowed women with voting rights, she appealed to thousands of people to her Women’s Strike for Equality. She founded several organizations and wrote several books to support gender equality to strengthen the movement.
4. Carrie Chapman Catt
Carrie Chapman Catt (b. Carrie Clinton Lane, 1859-1947) was one of the most prominent women in America in early 20th century. She was a great supporter of peace and suffrage for women. She was two-time president of the organization “National American Woman Suffrage Association” and played a vital role in the campaign which led to granting of right to vote to women in the year 1920. She was the co-founder of the campaigns “International Alliance of Women” and “League of Women Voters”. She was the supporter of non-violence and co-founded National Committee on the Cure and Cause of War.
3. Susan B. Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) was one of the prominent leaders of anti-slavery movement and American suffragist. She was the organizer of several lectures and campaigns on the issue all around the nation. She was also the instrumental to form the Loyal National League of Women which was the supporter of the policies formed by none other than President Abraham Lincoln. Along with 15 other ladies, she voted in 1872 in the presidential election and she was convicted and arrested for that. She also co-authored the History of Woman Suffrage of three volumes. To be recognized as a US coin, she was the first real woman.
2. Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth (born Isabella Baumfree 1797-1883) was based in New York and she was against gender inequality and racial discrimination. She spent around three decades as a slave and born in slavery and freed in the year 1827. She traveled to distant places on raising voice in support of slaves and women’s right and on preaching missions. She won the lawsuit in the US as the first African American woman in 1836 in the case fought by her for her son who was also a slave. In 1843, the title Sojourner Truth was assumed by her. At Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, she gave a speech “Ain’t I a woman” in 1851.
1. Elizabeth Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) was among the leading figures in America’s early feminist movement. She was also a friend of another feminist Susan B. Anthony. The History of Woman Suffrage was co-authored by her. Initially in 1848, the convention for women’s right at Seneca Falls seen the Declaration of Sentiments conceived by Stanton. It went on to become one of the seminal messages in the movement for women’s rights. For 8 years, she served as the National Woman Suffrage Association president and she also authored “Eighty Years and More (1898)” an autobiography, and a book “The Woman’s Bible (1895)”.