We Honor 3 Women


This month we honor 3 pioneers whose unique contributions you probably have not heard of before.

1.Betty Friedan
2.Nannie Helen Burroughs
3.Helen M. Todd

Each has a particular achievement that is especially relevant to us in 2022.
They made history. And we all have benefitted.

Betty Friedan: Partner with Men
On the edge of the 60th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s breakthrough book, The Feminine Mystique, we honor her unique contributions in Women’s History Month. Her book arguably laid the foundation for Title IX legislation in the United States, which was passed less than 10 years later.

Here’s 3 central things to know about Betty Friedan’s contributions, all relevant to today.
1.Partnering with men to advocate for women’s rights was strong advocated by her.
“The new feminist experts are still engaged in the old battles, of women versus men. The new structures for the new struggle can only come from pooling our experience.” She welcomed men and encouraged women to work with men, not separate from them, for equality.

2.One of the most famous leaders of the Second Wave of feminists, she saw progress for women, men and children as both economic and sexual. “We have to break out of feminist rhetoric, restructure our institutions on a basis of reality for women and men, so we can live a new ‘yes’ to life and love.”

3.Betty vociferously opposed “raising boys like girls,” which Third Wave anti-male feminists have suggested for the last 35 years. A mother of two sons and a daughter, she knew the value and differences of each gender and their complementary role in supporting each other.

Nannie Helen Burroughs: Education for Black Girls and Women
Nannie Helen Burroughs was a Black woman religious leader, adult educator and social activist who made major contributions to the education of Black women and girls for public service and Christian leadership.

Here’s 3 central things to know about Nannie Helen Burroughs.
1.She founded and ran The National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls, a nationally known center for the training of black women and girls. The buildings later became the HQ for the National Baptist Convention, which Martin Luther King helped start.

2.”Learn how to do at least one thing superbly well” she advocated. Burroughs believed in lifelong learning, urging all to study and read the best literature.

3.The first biography of Nannie Helen Burroughs was written by Dr. Opal Easter, a continuing educator who served on the LERN Board of Directors. It was published in 1995, during her service to LERN.

Helen M. Todd: Stop Hitting Children
A suffragist and advocate against child labor, Helen M. Todd was one of the principal educators to establish legislation for universal high schooling and eliminating corporal punishment in schools.

Here’s 3 central things to know about Helen M. Todd’s contributions.

1.She was a nationally known suffragist who toured all around the United States supporting the right for women to vote.

2.A factory inspector, she surveyed 800 children as to why they preferred to work in a factory rather than go to school. The reason: you don’t get hit in the factory like you do in school.

3.She testified before Congress in 1924, testimony that led almost immediately to the passing of legislation establishing universal high school, and at the state level, the decline in the hitting of children (mainly boys) in school.

This brought children, mainly boys, back into education and allowed for the great economic success that Canada and the United States enjoyed throughout the 20th century.

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