By Journey Bubar
“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.” These words were spoken by the great English Victorian Novelist, George Eliot in the 1800s. He wrote at least seven books in his life and was also a poet, journalist, and translator. But the most interesting fact about George Eliot is that he was, in fact, a woman.
[Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Eliot]
As a female writer in the 1800s, Mary Ann Evans wanted her work to be taken seriously as men dominated the field of writers, so she took up the pen-name George Eliot. This wasn’t that uncommon and surprisingly still happens today with writers such as J.K. Rowling. Her publishers thought that putting her full name on the book covers would discourage potential young male readers, so they had her pen-name be her initials only.
Feminism has been a long, ongoing process. It became a well-known word in the 1900s when women were fighting for the right to vote. That era is known as the “First-wave Feminism” which happened during the 19th and early 20th century. But today, feminism looks different. We no longer need to fight for the right to vote, but we are still fighting for other rights.
You may have seen in the news that the United States Women’s National Soccer team has filed a class-action lawsuit against the USSF for allowing the U.S. Men’s team to receive higher pay, despite the fact that the women’s team holds the most World Cup titles in history. On top of that, they also bring in about $1 million more in gate revenue than the men’s team does, and yet they make about $40,000 less than the men make.
For years women have not been viewed in the same light as men. When Eliot was talking about the roses, I think it can apply to the subject of change and rights. If we want something as women (or as a society) we have to fight for it because it will not be given to us. If we want justice, rights, and our voices to be heard, we have to act. We have to strike. We have to protest. We have to march. We have to be anything but quiet and complacent.
Throughout this semester, I’ll be writing about many topics that fall under the subject of feminism. I plan to write about female writers, artists, activists, and leaders in our society and history that inspire me. I hope throughout these next few months, you’ll be able to find some inspiration as well!