CELEBRATING WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
Ruth Handler invented Barbie after she observed that all American girl’s toys in the 50s and 60s were baby dolls. In her autobiography, she said that only having baby dolls as an option, “perpetuated the idea that a girl’s future was defined by being a mother and homemaker,” Holder said. “Barbie was born out of a desire to give girls something more.”
In the 1970s, after enduring a radical mastectomy, Ruth created a line of products called “Nearly Me” to help women cope with the after-effects of breast cancer surgery. From Barbie to Nearly Me, to dozens of other projects throughout her life, Ruth’s entrepreneurial spirit serves as a guide for anyone looking to solve a problem or take on a challenge in their own life.
“My own philosophy of Barbie,” Handler wrote in her autobiography, “was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman had choices.” - Ruth Handler
USWNT Going Big On and Off the Field
The US Women’s National Soccer team is arguably the most successful sports team in US history. The team was formed in the mid-eighties, won the first official women’s FIFA World Cup in 1991, and has never ranked lower than number 2 in the world! The team achieved legendary status with their 1999 World Cup win when Brandi Chastain’s iconic celebration encapsulates their spirit and etched it into the public consciousness. On the field, current teams continue in the mold of US women’s teams; bold, hard-charging, and stylish. The most recent example is the 2019 world cup with dominant goal-scoring performances by Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.
With all their success on the field, the team’s early stars had to fight for equitable pay, travel, and playing conditions. Modern champions like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Becky Sauerbrunn continue that legacy and recently won a wage settlement in favor of the US Women’s National Team. "This will completely change the landscape of the women's game in the country forever," USWNT forward Megan Rapinoe told ESPN. "And I think our commitment was always to that, and always to leave the game in a better place than we found it."
Women superheroes have had a tough come-up. Often relegated to supporting roles or romantic interests, stars like Black Widow, Storm, and Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlett Witch are getting the type of development and attention that they deserve.
The stories available in our culture help us create an identity and make sense of things that happen to us. Seeing a powerful female figure on-screen overcoming adversity, using expertly trained spy skills, mutant weather powers, or powerful sorcery could be a paradigm-shifting experience!
Name: Natasha Romanoff
First Appearance: April 1964
Power: master in the covert arts of espionage, infiltration, and subterfuge who “utilizes advanced weaponry including ‘Widow’s Bite’ bracelets capable of stunning enemies.
Notable: Natasha received her training as a secret spy which involved training as a ballerina as cover.
Name: Ororo Munroe
First Appearance: May 1975
Power: She is able to control the weather and atmosphere and is considered to be one of the most powerful mutants on the planet.
Notable: One of the first black comic book characters, and the first black female comic book character.
Name: Wanda Maximoff
First Appearance: March 1964
Power: Access to magical energies, time manipulation, flight.
Notable: Wanda lost her parents at an early age, and bonded with her twin brother as they learned to control their immense magical powers on their own.
PRODUCTS TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH