Today is Women’s Equality Day, a commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote and a day to acknowledge the courageous women who fought (and who are still fighting) to secure the rights and protections that we enjoy today.
Like many parts of my personality, my feminism was strongly influenced by the books I read growing up. Louisa May Alcott had a huge impact on me. Not only did she create Jo March (one of the earliest literary feminist role models), but she was the gateway that launched me into an obsession with reading biographies of great women in history. I started with Invincible Louisa and was fascinated by Alcott’s life working as an abolitionist, suffragette, and social reformer. After that, I spent two years obsessively devouring every book in my school library about women like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, and Madame Curie and it left me with a deep and abiding respect for the women who paved the way for girls like me.
I spend so much time talking about my favorite fictional characters but on this very important anniversary, I wanted to take a moment to thank the real life heroines whose dedication and bravery made the world a better place for women like me.