Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Searching, for Justice

The Verdict

Women in History — Women’s History Month Spotlight

Every year since 1987, March has been desig­nated and cele­brated as Women’s History Month. It’s essen­tial to take this time and commem­o­rate the vital role women have played in Amer­i­can history. We cele­brate the count­less women that fought coura­geously for justice and equal­ity in our coun­try, and by further­ing educa­tion on these impor­tant figures, we can continue to fight for advance­ments in oppor­tu­nity for young girls worldwide. 

In an effort to incor­po­rate the commu­ni­ty’s perspec­tives, a survey was conducted to recog­nize the many women who have inspired Justice teach­ers by asking this ques­tion:  In your life, who has been the most influ­en­tial woman in history?

Photo Credit: Ency­clo­pe­dia Britannica

CHOSEN BY ELIZABETH CORBIN: Ruth Bader Gins­burg, or R.B.G., inspired many gener­a­tions of women to fight against gender barri­ers. At Harvard Law School, she perse­vered in a male-domi­nated school where she was one of nine females in a 500-person class. After grad­u­at­ing, Gins­burg was the first woman hired to receive tenure as a profes­sor at Colum­bia Law School. She was involved with the Amer­i­can Civil Liber­ties Union and was central to found­ing the Women’s Rights Project in 1971. Gins­berg then served 13 years on the US Court of Appeals before her nomi­na­tion as an Asso­ciate Justice of the Supreme Court.  Her fight for gender equal­ity included actively disagree­ing with the court’s deci­sion in the Ledbet­ter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. case, deny­ing a woman’s gender pay discrim­i­na­tion claim. Addi­tion­ally, Gins­berg worked to combat pay dispar­i­ties with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on the Lilly Ledbet­ter Fair Pay Act, accord­ing to the National Women’s History Museum. Through all adver­sity, Ruth Bader Gins­berg fought against gender inequal­ity and became an inspir­ing figure in history. 

Photo Credit: National Women’s History Museum

CHOSEN BY SARAH SCHURMAN: Marsha P. John­son was one of the most influ­en­tial figures of New York City’s 1960–70’s gay rights move­ment. John­son was an advo­cate for home­less LGBTQ+ youth affected by H.I.V. and AIDS, as well as gay and trans­gen­der rights. John­son faced bully­ing and assault through­out her youth and was pres­sured to stop wear­ing cloth­ing that truly reflected her sense of self. Right after grad­u­at­ing high school, she moved to New York City with one bag of clothes and $15. It was there that John­son began to embrace her gender iden­tity, adopt­ing the full name Marsha P. John­son- the P stood for “Pay it no mind,” her infa­mous motto, accord­ing to the National Women’s History Museum. At the time, rights for LGBTQ+ people were limited and some­times ignored completely. On June 28, 1969, John­son found herself on the front lines with the resis­tance at The Stonewall Inn, angered by the oppres­sion and fear she expe­ri­enced all her life. In 1970, John­son founded Street Trans­ves­tite Action Revo­lu­tion­ar­ies (STAR), and dedi­cated her legacy to provid­ing shel­ter and safety to young trans­gen­der individuals.

Photo Credit: New York Histor­i­cal Society

CHOSEN BY JULIE REITER: Eliz­a­beth Jane Cochran, other­wise known as Nellie Bly, was a pioneer in inves­tiga­tive report­ing during the late 1800’s. Prior to the intro­duc­tion of “muck­rak­ers,” and find­ing the “story behind the story” in the early 20th century, Bly was one of the first to “expose the ills of soci­ety,” accord­ing to the Women of the Hall. During her career, she had herself commit­ted to a mental insti­tu­tion with the goal of study­ing first-hand how people with mental-illnesses were treated. At this time, she was recog­nized as the “best reporter in Amer­ica,” by the New York Jour­nal. In the early 1900’s she took over her late husband’s fail­ing indus­tries and brought a huge success from these two multi-million dollar compa­nies. When the First World War broke out, she returned to her career as a reporter and covered the war from the trenches. Nellie Bly was a model of courage and achieve­ment for women worldwide.

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About the Contributor
Tess Maloney, Managing Editor
Tess Maloney is a junior in her second year writing for The Verdict, growing from a Staff Writer to the Managing Editor. She has a strong interest in historical literature and opinion based journalism.  Her favorite part of working on the paper is collaborating with other members and revising works for final print. Additionally, Tess is one of the contributing founders and Treasurer of the Journalism Club at Justice. Beyond her time spent towards schoolwork, she loves to read. Her favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

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