Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sheroes for peace

Men have fought wars for thousands of years, acting as if it were legitimate. There have always been women questioning and opposing such a destructive method of managing human conflict.

Men who make war have been valorized and held up as our heroes--history books are skewed heavily toward them. Women who make peace or stand in opposition to war have been brushed aside, or, if they couldn't be dismissed immediately, were ignored by history books written by men.

This is to offer some small note of appreciation for just a few of these sheroes for peace.

Jane Addams, founder, Hull House, president of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, pacifist, Nobel Peace Laureate

Joan Baez, singer for peace and justice, promoter of nonviolence

Elise Boulding, co-founder International Peace Research Association, peace activist, led Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, created Inventing a World Without Weapons

Helen Caldicott, founder, Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament

Dorothy Day, pacifist, founder of Catholic Worker movement, jailed many times for peace

Carrie Dann, Shoshone nonviolent Native rights activist

Barbara Deming, peace writer and activist

Mary Dyer, Quaker martyr for nonviolent assertion of freedom of religion

Randall Forsberg, Mother of the Nuclear Freeze

Emma Goldman, anarchist and convert to nonviolence

Jean Gump, Plowshare resister

Julia Butterfly Hill, treesitter and the largest war tax resistance ever

Dolores Huerta, co-founder, United Farmworkers Union, co-leader of immigrant and farmworker's rights nonviolent movement

Kathy Kelly, founder, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, pacifist prisoner for peace

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese leader for nonviolent liberation, Nobel Peace Laureate

Barbara Lee, Congresswoman who alone voted for peace after 9.11.01

Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate synthesized environmentalism, women's rights, peace

Elizabeth McAlister, co-founder, Jonah House and Atlantic Life Community

Margaret Mead, anthropologist, challenged notion that war is our only natural option

Sr. Anne Montgomery, Plowshare resister many times, accompaniment activist for children in hot conflict regions

Lucretia Mott, abolitionist advocate for nonviolence and women's rights

Alva Myrdal, disarmament proponent, Nobel Peace Laureate

Michele Naar-Boertje Obed, Plowshares resister, Christian Peacemaker Teams

Diane Nash, co-founder, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Civil Rights leader

Alice Paul, nonviolent resister for women's suffrage

Rosa Parks, Civil Rights nonviolent resister, inspired the 1955-1965 nonviolent Civil Rights movement

Jeannette Rankin, only Congressperson to vote against entering WWI and WWII

Jodi Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate for her leadership banning landmines

Helen Woodson, Plowshare resister

This list is a barebones beginning and could go on for a good long while. Please add your own.


Green, Monica. Women in the antinuclear movement. 2007. In Stassen, Glen Harold & Wittner, Lawrence S. (Eds.) Peace action: Past, present, and future. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. 89-100.


Terri said...

With deep bows of gratitude to the many women of peace.

From Gandhi, "When woman, whom we all call abala becomes sabala, all those who are helpless will become powerful". Abala means one without strength. Sabala means strong, not brutish strength, but strength of character, steadfastness.

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn illustrate this well in their book Half the Sky. The transformation of one woman has tremendous effect on so many others around her.

Heather K said...

Please correct the spelling of Jeannette Rankin's name in your fine list. JR was the only congressperson to vote against two World Wars. She was known as "The First Lady of Peace." the 130th anniversary of her birth will be celebrated this year. Thanks, Heather K

Tom H. Hastings said...

Thanks, Heather. Done. I guess I must have misplaced that second n in her first name. But thanks to you I found it. She had sabala. And we might all aspire to be in her brigade.

Cherokeemel said...

Buffy Sainte-Marie should be an addition. She has led a truly full life dedicated to ending violent conflict and bringing about equality for indigenous races all over the world. She went from being blacklisted to winning an oscar for her music. She is sabala.

Tom H. Hastings said...

Great addition and agreed. Miigwetch!