Friday, March 22, 2013

Women's History Month: Boston Women's Memorial

Abigail Adams, Phyllis Wheatley, and Lucy Stone are some pretty big names in Women's History.   Not only were they pioneering feminists, but they are also depicted in the ONLY memorial in Boston dedicated to women.

This isn't your high school history lesson, but it is important to remember that, at their time, these women were forging history and shaping the future.  Not only was Abigail Adams influential in her husband's (John Adam's) presidency, but also she was a strong advocate for women's property rights and for the education of women.  Phyllis Wheatley first published poem, On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin, was both written and published at age 12 while she was still in slavery.  Not only did she become the first African American to publish a book, Poems, but she was also the first African American woman to earn a living from her writing.  Lucy Stone was the first woman in Massachusetts to receive a college degree.  She was an abolitionist and a suffragist and, in protest to the marriage laws at the time, refused to take her husband's last name.  FUN FACT: She was also a pioneer of the women wearing pants trend.  Which turned out to be pretty permanent, if you haven't noticed.

Even before they had the right to vote, these women fought for equality.  You can see the testament to their bravery and perseverance in the field of women's rights, by artist Meredith Bergmann, on the historic Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston, between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets.  

Next time you're in Back Bay, take a visit, walk around, interact with them; understand that the forging of history is not yet done.  Thanks to Abigail Adams, Phillis Wheatley  and Lucy Stone, women's equality has come so far, but we still have a long road ahead of us.  Through the rest of Women's History Month and for months to come, at the monument and at home, let their passion inspire you.