The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes. – Bella Abzug
Although it seems a little premature to celebrate Women’s Equality Day since gender equality has not yet been achieved, this day is a chance to recognize the great women who fought for the rights that all women enjoy today. To celebrate this occasion, I decided to do a little research about Bella Abzug, the incredible woman who is responsible for this national holiday.
Nicknamed “Battling Bella” for her strong personality and willingness to fight tirelessly for equality, Bella Abzug was a lawyer, congresswoman and feminist activist. After being denied admittance to Harvard because they did not accept women, she earned her law degree at Columbia. She went on to serve three terms as a Congresswoman for New York, a position that allowed her to advocate for women’s rights. She played an important role in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX and the Equal Credit Oppotunity Act, as well as the creation of this holiday.
Bella was known for her large hats and even larger personality. Her hats became an icon of the women’s liberation movement, but they were actually another one of Bella’s ways of fighting against patriarchal society. Bella explained, “I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee”.
Although she held some unpopular opinions, Bella was never afraid to speak her mind and demand equal rights for women. Bella broke down barriers for women in politics and without her hard work we would not have a holiday to celebrate today – so thank you Bella!
We are coming down from our pedestal and up from the laundry room. We want an equal share in government and we mean to get it. – Bella Abzug
- Bella Abzug – On Becoming a Lawyer. (lynngilbert.wordpress.com)