Remarkable Women We Reflected On During Women's History Month
Women’s History Month is officially observed in March across the United States. This 31 day commemoration period was put into effect by Congress in 1987. Ever since then, the nation dedicated the month of March to celebrate the achievement of women in all kinds of fields. Throughout much of history, women have been plagued with inequality. As a result, it’s important to honor their resilience and success in the midst of being affected by gender issues. In light of this year’s Women’s History Month, let’s take the time to reflect on these incredible women from both the past and present.
Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)
“Hope and curiosity about the future seemed better than guarantees. The unknown was always attractive to me… and still is.” -Hedy Lamarr
When it comes to beauty and intellect, Hedy Lamarr possessed both. At the age of 22, she ran away from her controlling husband in Austria and went on to become the highest paid actress in Hollywood. During her prime in the film industry in the 1940’s, Lamarr was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The world demanded her to star in movies because of her looks, but she also gave us the technology we use on a daily basis. In 1942, when World War II was underway, Lamarr developed a radio guidance system to assist American torpedoes. She came to the conclusion that torpedoes can be jammed or tracked, so she produced a frequency hopping signal that would prevent these issues. Wi-Fi, GPS, and bluetooth technology contain the principles of Lamarr’s work here, thus making her very crucial to the electronics we rely on today. However, her acting career overshadowed her scientific career and she wasn’t widely recognized for her this significant invention until a year before her death. Lamarr was posthumously inducted into the Inventor’s Wall of Fame in 2014 due to her contributions in science. Hedy Lamarr was a remarkable woman and her contributions apart from acting deserves to be recognized.
Zendaya Coleman (1996-present)
“A feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else.” -Zendaya
Zendaya Coleman, who is more commonly known as Zendaya, is a talented actress and fashion icon. She became a role model to young girls all over the world by starring in Shake it Up and K.C. Undercover, which are two prominent shows on Disney Channel. Zendaya also hit the big screens and became the first black woman to secure a lead role in a Marvel movie. Last year, she portrayed Michelle Jones in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Zendaya’s awesomeness doesn’t just stop at her talents. She’s notorious for spreading feminism and standing up for what she believes in. For example, Zendaya participated in Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn campaign, which is something she is very passionate about. The actress revealed to Teen Vogue that she would be a teacher if she wasn’t in the entertainment industry because education opens doors to opportunity and girls around the globe should not be deprived of it. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan, you should probably admire Zendaya for her dedication to the cause.
Katherine Johnson (1918-present)
“I felt most proud of the success of the Apollo mission. They were going to the moon and I computed the path to get there.” -Katherine Johnson
Katherine Johnson was a mathematical genius who made incredible progress during an era in which African Americans and women were deprived of opportunities. She graduated from college at the tender age of 18 and was hired by NACA (which later became NASA) in 1953 to calculate test results. Because she was an African American woman, she was discriminated against and segregated from her white colleagues due to her being required to using different restrooms, dining and work facilities. Despite her struggles, Johnson persevered and contributed to NASA’s accomplishments with her mathematical intellect. During the Space Race with Russia in 1961, she calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard, who was the first American astronaut in space. Moreover, the calculations Johnson made for the Apollo moon landing missions were critical to its success. Katherine Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2015 and her achievements were commemorated in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.
It’s important to recognize how far feminism has come with Women’s History Month. However, we should continue to recognize female strength and empowerment throughout the rest of the year as well. As long as we keep empowering this amazing group of people, the world will be brighter for females everywhere.