She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?”
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics.
HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.
CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.
Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.
So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.
To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Chelsea Clinton is a champion for girls and women through her advocacy, writing, and work at the Clinton Foundation. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She lives in New York City with her husband, their children, and their dog.
Table of Contents
Early Inspirations 1
Anna Pavlova, Isadora Duncan, Maria Tallchief, and Virginia Johnson
Margaret Chase Smith
Maria von Trapp
Rigoherta Menchú Tum
Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Florence Griffith Joyner
Education Pioneers 53
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Juliette Gordon Low
Maria Montessori and Joan Ganz Cooney
Mary McLeod Bethune
Patsy Mink, Bernice Sandler, and Edith Green
Ruby Bridges Hall
Earth Defenders 95
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Jane Jacobs and Peggy Shepard
Jane Goodall and "The Trimates"
Alice Min Soo Chun
Explorers and Inventors 127
Caroline Herschel and Vera Rubin
Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper
Margaret Knight and Madam C. J. Walker
Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie
Elizabeth Blackwell, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, and Mary Edwards Walker
Dr. Gao Yaojie
Dr. Hawa Abdi
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Alice Coachman and Wilma Rudolph
Billie Jean King
Venus and Serena Williams
Advocates and Activists 241
Dorothy Height and Sojourner Truth
Ida B. Wells
Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin
Coretta Scott King
Sarah Brady, Gabby Giffords, Nelba Marque/Greene, Shannon Watts, and Lucy McBath
Nza-Ari Khepra, Emma Gonzalez, Naomi Wadler, Edna Chavez, Jazmine Wildcat, and Julia Spoor
Jineth Bedoya Lima
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Elected Leaders 329
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Constance Baker Motley
Kimberly Bryant and Reshma Saujani
Women's Rights Champions 411
Rosa May Billinghurst
Sophia Duleep Singh
Photo credits 449