Women’s History Month


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Grayson Braymiller

Did you know that the highest IQ ever recorded by standardized testing belonged to a woman? Marilyn vos Savant showed signs of high intelligence from a young age, at ten years old she took an IQ test and showed the cognitive ability of a 22 year old. Throughout history women have been doing spectacular things and showing that they were strong and brave. Women like Joan of Arc and Patsy Mink.

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Joan of Arc was born around 1412, she was the daughter of a tenant farmer. Joan wasn’t taught to read or write, but her mother taught her to love the catholic church. At the age of 13 Joan had begun to hear voices, which she determined were sent to her by God to give her the mission of saving France by getting rid of its enemies and allowing Charles to take his place as the rightful king. In May of 1428 she made her way to Vaucouleurs, a stronghold of people loyal to Charles. She was initially rejected by the local magistrate, however she persisted, and had formed a band of followers that believed she was the virgin destined to save France. When the magistrate relented, she disguised herself as a man and made an 11 day journey to Chiron where Charles was and promised him that she would see him crowned king, if he only gave her an army to lead to Orléans, and the under siege from the English. Charles granted her request and Joan set off to fend off the siege of Orléans. She led several assaults against them and had successfully driven the Anglo-Burgundians from their bastion and across the Loire River. In the spring of 1430 Joan confronted a Burgundian assault on Compiégne and was thrown from her horse and captured. In her trial Joan was ordered to answer around 70 charges against her, including hearsay, witchcraft and dressing like a man. Charles, the man she had helped become king, had made no attempt to negotiate her release and in may 1431 she relented and signed a confession that said she had never received divine guidance. Days later however, she defied orders and once again wore men’s clothes, and on May 30 1431 at the age of 19 she was burned at the stake. Joan of Arc is a great example of women all throughout history fighting for what they believe in and showing immense bravery under oppressive circumstances. 

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Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected into the U.S house of representatives, and the first Asian-American woman to serve in congress. Along with writing bills like Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act, and the Women’s Education Equality Act, Patsy Mink was the first Asian-American woman to run for president. Patsy Matsu Takemoto  was born December 6th 1927 in Paia, Hawaii, she was one of two children and her father was a civil engineer. Her junior year at Maui high school she won her first election as class president. In 1944 she graduated valedictorian and after graduation she went to Wilson college in Pennsylvania and the university of Nebraska, however she transferred after facing racial discrimination. The students of color were not allowed to live in the same dorms as the white students, she also got diagnosed with a thyroid condition and needed surgery. Patsy moved to Honolulu to finish her schooling at the University of Hawaii, she had hopes of becoming a doctor. At her new school Patsy joined the debate team and was elected president of the Pre-medicine students club. In 1948 she graduated with majors in zoology and chemistry. Patsy applied to several med schools once she graduated but none of her applications were accepted, so she instead applied to law school and got accepted at the University of Chicago Law School. While at the University of Chicago she met John Mink, who she later married. Patsy Graduated from law school in 1951 and her and her husband moved to hawaii the next year after having their daughter Gwendolyn who would later become an author and advocate for women’s issues. Patsy passed the bar exam but couldn’t get a job because of her interracial marriage. Mink started her own practice and founded the Oahu Young Democrats in 1954, and she became the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in Hawaii.When Hawaii became a state in 1959 she immediately campaigned to become a congress woman, however she was unsuccessful. Patsy Mink reentered politics in 1962 when she won a seat in the state senate, and she continued to campaign for a seat in congress even after the democratic party started to support another candidate. In 1964 with the help of her husband and several volunteers Mink won a seat in the U.S house of representatives. Mink served on several committees while in congress the Committee on Education and Labor, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, and the Budget Committee. Mink used these committees to speak for groups who were discriminated against and in 1974 she was able to pass the Woman’s Educational Equality Act which promoted gender equality in schools. Mink was hospitalized with pneumonia in 2002 and died a month later. Patsy Mink faced several hardships through her life as a woman of color, but she pushed through to make the world better for other people who faced the hardships she faced.


Women all throughout history have been faced with oppression and haven’t backed down so that they could make the world a better place for all women to live in. Women’s history month is a time to celebrate these women and women all over the world who refuse to let the hardships of the oppression they faced break them.