This is for the ladies

Jackie Mantey

It’s the second week of November. We can almost see the presents under the Christmas tree, almost taste the eggnog of New Years.

It’s that time of year where if senioritis hasn’t infiltrated our bloodstreams, it will soon. If you’re like me, motivation can no longer be found in a song or bowl of ice cream. If you’re like me, you’re tired, bored and freaking out about upcoming exams, papers, interviews, whatever.

Well . suck it up.

A professor told a class of mine that in so many words, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. We were learning about a slave woman who taught slave children during the night until 2 a.m., only having to wake up three hours later to do back-breaking work again for the master. And I was tired? Wow, did I feel stupid.

The professor’s simple proclamation of our being blessed also got me thinking about the women who fought for and are still fighting for me to have so many chances to make a difference.

Thus, some motivation for my lovely ladies who are running out of gas:

Feeling tired?

See: Harriet Tubman

If you haven’t heard of her, you went to a bad high school, so I won’t go in depth. Just recognize that she rescued as many as 300 slaves during 19 trips on the Underground Railroad. She served as a nurse, spy and scout during the Civil War. If sleeping sounds hard with that schedule, think about the fact that she also suffered from blackouts due to a head injury sustained after being hit on the head with a brick when she was a slave.

Feeling overwhelmed?

See: Margaret Sanger

Despite an entire nation being against her, Sanger never stopped fighting to bring birth control to the United States. After seeing her mother go through the devastating and eventually fatal effects of multiple childbearing with no form of management, Sanger became a social reformer for birth control during a time when even mentioning the contraception was a criminal offense. She was harassed, jailed and vilified, but never stopped fighting until birth control became available to American women.

Feeling dejected?

See: Wilma Rudolph

Being a black woman, this aspiring athlete already had two strikes against her — add on not being able to walk after a bout of polio and you’d feel a little dejected too. But eight years after facing the illness, Rudolph became “the fastest woman on Earth,” becoming the first woman to be a triple gold medalist during the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Feeling rejected?

See: Isadora Duncan

This dancer from the turn of the century shaped art and changed the way we interpret dance. Duncan lived by her own rules and was highly criticized for her fluid movements and choice in attire and music, but she broke boundaries of the artificial, shaping her body and spirit to however she decided during a time when conforming was the key to success. Because of that freedom of expression, she not only shaped dance, but women’s images of themselves.

Jackie Mantey is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].