Overlooked Women


Cara Kelly, Staff Writer

Virginia Woolf once said, “For most of history, anonymous was a woman.” Over the course of history, women have been constantly overlooked while men are famous for their achievements in the past. So many women have been forgotten either today or in their own time. Jane Austen, the writer of books like Pride and Prejudice wrote anonymously with her first book being credited to “a lady.” She only got credit for her achievements when her final work was published after her death. She did this because at the time women weren’t respected as people. She was only one of many who didn’t get credit for their accomplishments just because they were women. 

Nellie Bly was born May 5, 1864 and died on January 27, 1922. Her real name is Elizabeth Jane Cochran but Nellie Bly was her pen name. An article was published in the Pittsburgh Dispatch that critiqued women working and Nellie, a young woman looking for work to support her family wrote a letter to the newspaper going against the article and George Madden who was the newspaper editor hired her as a reporter in response to the letter. She moved to New York and Nellie was challenged to write about the Blackwell Island asylum by the editor of the New York World. She spent ten days in the asylum and wrote about it. This practice would soon become investigative journalism. In 1889 she decided to travel the world in record time, 72 days. She held the record for a few months until someone beat the record. Towards the end of her life she wrote about WWI in Europe. 

Hedy Lamarr was labeled as the most beautiful woman in the world. She was an actress but was a lot less known for her scientific discoveries. She developed frequency hopping which would be the basis for the invention of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and gps. She is not remembered for this part of her life and is really only known for her beauty. She was born on November 9, 1914 and died January 19th 2000. 

In many ancient mythologies female goddesses were incredibly powerful and respected. In ancient Greek mythology Nyx, the embodiment of night, was the only god or goddess that Zeus, the king of the gods, feared. Themis was the titan of Justice and law. She was a powerful goddess and many gods listened to her ideas. Nike the goddess of victory and Hecate the goddess of magic were also powerful female figures in ancient Greek mythology. In Ancient greek mythology Nephthys and Ma’at were powerful females. Nephtys was the goddess of water, weather, moon, and night. Ma’at was the goddess of truth and Justice. In order to get into the Egyptian afterlife your heart would be measured against a feather of Ma’at wings to see if you deserved to go into the afterlife. Norse mythology shared similarly powerful female beings. Hel was the goddess of the underworld and is depicted as half of her being a beautiful woman and the other half being a withering corpse. Skadi was also a powerful goddess. She was the goddess of winter and hunting. All of these goddesses were powerful and smart. They were equal to the male gods and were equally praised by the people who believed in them.  

All of these examples showed just how overlooked powerful women from history were. Nellie Bly and Hedy Lamarr were amazing women of the 20th century. The ancient goddesses were important to the people who believed in them and showed that women were just as important and powerful as men.