Essay On History Of Women In Teaching

Radical History Review
Articles and Essays in Gender History and Women’s History, 1978-2010

(Click links for full texts of articles, and abstracts when available)

Henry Abelove
The Queering of Lesbian/Gay History
Radical History Review 1995(62): 45-57.

Elaine Abelson, David Abraham, and Marjorie Murphy
Interview with Joan Scott
Radical History Review 1989(45): 41-59

Barbara L. Allen
Digitizing Women’s History: New Approaches to Evidence and Interpretation in Museum Exhibits
Radical History Review 1997(68): 103-120

Aufderheide, Pat
Interview with Natalie Davis
Radical History Review 1984(28-30): 136-139

Leora Auslander
Feminist Theory and Social History: Explorations in the Politics of Identity
Radical History Review 1992(54): 158-176

Beth Bailey and David Farber
Hotel Street: Prostitution and the Politics of War
Radical History Review 1992(52): 54-77.

Ann Barr Snitow
Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women is Different
Radical History Review 1979(20): 141-161.

Rosalyn Baxandall
A Tribute to Sheila Rowbotham: Activist, Provoker of Thought and Action
Radical History Review 1995(63): 151-158 (1995).

Gail Bederman
‘Civilization,’ the Decline of Middle-Class Manliness, and Ida B. Wells’s Antilynching Campaign (1892–94)
Radical History Review 1992(52): 5-30

Gail Bederman
Teaching the U.S. Women’s History Survey at a Catholic University
Radical History Review 1996(64): 38-57. (teaching essay)

Daniel E. Bender
Inspecting Workers: Medical Examination, Labor Organizing, and the Evidence of Sexual Difference
Radical History Review 2001(80): 51-75.

Sue Benson and Barbara Melosh
The Fourth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women
Radical History Review 1978-79(19): 143-148.

Holly Blake and Melissa Ooten
Bridging the Divide: Connecting Feminist Histories and Activism in the Classroom
Radical History Review 2008(102): 63-72. (teaching essay)

Sharon Block
Early American Sexuality: Race, Colonialism, Power, and Culture
Radical History Review 2002(82): 159-169. (teaching essay)

Paul Buhle
Bread and Roses: A Response
Radical History Review 1996(65): 84-90.

Antoinette Burton
Recapturing Jane Eyre: Reflections on Historicizing the Colonial Encounter in Victorian Britain
Radical History Review 1996(64): 59-72.

Antoinette Burton and Jean Allman
Gender, Colonialism, and Feminist Collaboration
Radical History Review 2008(101): 198-210.

Gabriela Cano
History and Feminism in Mexico
Radical History Review 2001(79): 85-86.

Jane Caplan, Victoria de Grazia, Laura Frader, and Martha Howell
Patrolling the Borders: Feminist Historiography and the
Radical History Review 1989(43): 23-43.

Hazel V. Carby
The Multicultural Wars
Radical History Review 1992(54): 7-18.

George Chauncey
The Social History of American Sexual Subcultures
Radical History Review 1995(62): 219-224. (teaching essay)

Dominique Clément
“I Believe in Human Rights, Not Women’s Rights”: Women and the Human Rights State, 1969 – 1984
Radical History Review 2008(101): 107-129.

Patricia Cline Cohen
Unregulated Youth: Masculinity and Murder in the 1830s City
Radical History Review 1992(52): 33-52.


Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Historical Denial of Lesbianism
Radical History Review 1979(20): 60-65.

Nancy F. Cott
Letter to the Editors
Radical History Review 1993(55): 201

Dina M. Copelman
The Gendered Metropolis: Fin-de-Siècle London
Radical History Review 1994(60): 39-56.

Andy Daitsman
Unpacking the First Person Singular: Marriage, Power, and Negotiation in Nineteenth-Century Chile
Radical History Review 1998(70): 26-47.

Nelcya Delanoë
France Celebrates the Bicentennial: Interview with Madeleine Rebérioux
Radical History Review 1990(48): 134-141

John D’Emilio
Homophobia and the Trajectory of Postwar American Radicalism: The Career of Bayard Rustin
Radical History Review 1995(62): 81-103.

Tom Dublin
Working Women and the “Womens Question”
Radical History Review 1979-80(22): 93-98.

Ellen Carol DuBois
Making Women’s History: Activist Historians of Women’s Rights, 1880–1940
Radical History Review 1991(49): 61-84

Ellen DuBois
Historical Reflections on Teaching Women’s History
Radical History Review 1996(64): 6-11. (teaching essay)

Documents in Hopi Indian Sexuality: Imperialism, Culture and Resistance
Radical History Review 1979(20): 99-130.

Bruce Dorsey
History of Manhood in America, 1750–1920
Radical History Review 1996(64): 19-30. (teaching essay)

Lisa Duggan
Gender and Cultural History
Radical History Review 1996(64): 31-37. (teaching essay)


Dora Dumont
Women and Guilds in Bologna: The Ambiguities of “Marginality”
Radical History Review 1998(70): 4-25.

Erik Esselstrom
The Life and Memory of Hasegawa Teru: Contextualizing Human Rights, Trans/Nationalism, and the Antiwar Movement in Modern Japan
Radical History Review 2008(101): 145-159.

Yaël Simpson Fletcher
Teaching the History of Global and Transnational Feminisms
Radical History Review 2005(92): 155-163. (teaching essay)

Jay Garcia
Race, Empire, and Humanism in the Work of Lillian Smith
Radical History Review 2008(101): 59-80.

Sherna Berger Gluck
Special Topics in Women’s Oral History: Towards an Inclusive History of U.S. Feminist Activism
Radical History Review 1996(65): 142-147

Claire Goldberg Moses
Debating the Present, Writing the Past ‘Feminism’ in French History and Historiography
Radical History Review 1992(52): 79-94.

Alan Eladio Gómez
Feminism, Torture, and the Politics of Chicana/Third World Solidarity: An Interview with Olga Talamante
Radical History Review 2008(101): 160-178.

Linda Gordon and Allen Hunter
Not All Male Dominance Is Patriarchal
Radical History Review 1998(71): 71-83.

Yukiko Hanawa
The World of Suzie Wong and M. Butterfly: Race and Gender in Asian America
Radical History Review 1996(64): 12-18. (teaching essay)

Bert Hansen
The Historical Construction of Homosexuality
Radical History Review 1979(20): 66-73.


Donna Haraway
The Biological Enterprise: Sex, Mind, and Profit from Human Engineering to Sociobiology
Radical History Review 1979(20): 206-237.

Deborah E. Harkness
Beyond Midwives: Teaching Gender, Science, and Medicine from Antiquity to the Present
Radical History Review 1999(74): 162-172. (teaching essay)

Elizabeth Heineman
The History of Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: Conference Report
Radical History Review 2008(101): 5-21.

Ellen Herman
Good Gays and Bad: The Respectability Question in Gay and Lesbian History
Radical History Review 1993(56): 144-148

Dagmar Herzog
Topics in the History of Sexuality: 19th- and 20th-Century Europe
Radical History Review 1995(62): 209-213. (teaching essay)

Kim Hewitt
Women and Madness: Teaching Mental Illness as a Disability
Radical History Review 2006(94): 155-169. (teaching essay)

Anne Higonnet
Secluded Vision: Images of Feminine Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe
Radical History Review 1987(38): 17-36.

John Howard
The Library, the Park, and the Pervert: Public Space and Homosexual Encounter in Post-World War II Atlanta
Radical History Review 1995(62): 166-187

Martha Howell
The Women Bush Forgot
Radical History Review 2005(93): 142-148.

Joseph Interrante and Carol Lasser
Victims of the Very Songs they Sing: A Critique of Recent Work on Patriarchal Culture and the Social Construction of Gender
Radical History Review 1979(20): 25-40.

Temma Kaplan
Unruly Women and Political Culture
Radical History Review 1995(63): 145-150.

Temma Kaplan
The Disappearing Fathers Under Global Capitalism
Radical History Review 1998(71): 84-90.

Rebecca E. Karl
History and Gender in China
Radical History Review 2000(77): 142-156. (teaching essay)

Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy
Telling Tales: Oral History and the Construction of Pre-Stonewall Lesbian History
Radical History Review 1995(62): 59-79.

Louis J. Kern
Ideology and Reality: Sexuality and Women’s Status in the Oneida Community
Radical History Review 1979(20): 181-205.


Terence Kissack
Freaking Fag Revolutionaries: New York’s Gay Liberation Front, 1969–1971
Radical History Review 1995(62): 105-134.

Claudia Koonz
A Response to Eve Rosenhaft
Radical History Review 1989(43): 81-85.

Seth Koven and Sonya Michel
Gender and the Origins of the Welfare State
Radical History Review 1989(43): 112-119.

Seth Koven
Dr. Barnardo’s “Artistic Fictions”: Photography, Sexuality, and the Ragged Child in Victorian London
Radical History Review 1997(69): 6-45.

Jan Lambertz
Feminist History in Britain
Radical History Review 1978-79(19): 137-142.

Susan Lee Johnson
Bulls, Bears, and Dancing Boys: Race, Gender, and Leisure in the California Gold Rush
Radical History Review 1994(60): 5-37.

Ian Lekus
Queer Harvests: Homosexuality, the U.S. New Left, and the Venceremos Brigades to Cuba
Radical History Review 2004(89): 57-91.

Harry Liebersohn
The Fascist Imagination
Radical History Review 1979(20): 53-58.

Erik S. McDuffie
A “New Freedom Movement of Negro Women”: Sojourning for Truth, Justice, and Human Rights during the Early Cold War
Radical History Review 2008(101): 81-106.

Conor McGrady
Sonia Báez-Hernández
Radical History Review 2008(101): 131-143.

Robert McRuer
We Were Never Identified: Feminism, Queer Theory, and a Disabled World
Radical History Review 2006(94): 148-154

Teresa Meade
Graduate Seminar: History of Latin American Women
Radical History Review 1995(61): 154-156. (teaching essay)

Teresa Meade and Pamela Haag
Persistent Patriarchy: Ghost or Reality?
Radical History Review 1998(71): 91-95.

Barbara Melosh and Christina Simmons
From Martha Washington to Alice Paul in Our Nation’s Capital
Radical History Review 1981(25): 101-113.


Michel Melot
Landscape of the Body: Nineteenth-Century Photographic Images in Review
Radical History Review 1987(38): 72-78.


Michael Merrill
So Whats Wrong with the “Household Mode of Production”?
Radical History Review 1979-80(22): 141-146.


Sonya Michel
Feminism, Film and Public History
Radical History Review 1981(25): 47-61.

Kevin Mumford
Black Global Metropolis: Sexual History
Radical History Review 2009(103): 175-186. (teaching essay)

Nima Naghibi
Revolution, Trauma, and Nostalgia in Diasporic Iranian Women’s Autobiographies
Radical History Review 2009(105): 79-91.

Harvey Neptune
Manly Rivalries and Mopsies: Gender, Nationality, and Sexuality in United States–Occupied Trinidad
Radical History Review 2003(87): 78-95.

Ifeoma C. K. Nwankwo
Insider and Outsider, Black and American: Rethinking Zora Neale Hurston’s Caribbean Ethnography
Radical History Review 2003(87): 49-77.

Arzoo Osanloo
Whence the Law: The Politics of Women’s Rights, Regime Change, and the Vestiges of Reform in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Radical History Review 2008(101): 42-58.

Robert Padgug and Jon Wiener
From the Abolitionists to Gay History: An Interview with Martin Bauml Duberman
Radical History Review 1988(42): 65-86

Bryan D. Palmer
Bread and Roses: Sheila Rowbotham—The Political and the Accessible in the Writing of Gender History
Radical History Review 1995(63): 159-165.

Geeta Patel
Crosscultural Sexuality
Radical History Review 1995(62): 203-208. (teaching essay)

Susan Pedersen
The Failure of Feminism in the Making of the British Welfare State
Radical History Review 1989(43): 86-110.

Donna Penn
Queer: Theorizing Politics and History
Radical History Review 1995(62): 24-42.

Liz Phillips
Women’s Livedwomen’s Work: Materials for the High School Classroom
Radical History Review 1979(20): 132-139.


Mark Pittenger
Evolution, ‘Woman’s Nature’ and American Feminist Socialism, 1900–1915
Radical History Review 1986(36): 47-61

Vivian H. Price
War, Sex, and Resistance
Radical History Review 2005(93): 149-158.

Catherine Raissiguier
The Sexual and Racial Politics of Civil Unions in France
Radical History Review 2002(83): 73-93.

Elizabeth Reis
Teaching Transgender History, Identity, and Politics
Radical History Review 2004(88): 166-177. (teaching essay)

Rochelle Rowe
“Glorifying the Jamaican Girl”: The “Ten Types – One People” Beauty Contest, Racialized Femininities, and Jamaican Nationalism
Radical History Review 2009(103): 36-58.

Lyndal Roper
Will and Honor: Sex, Words and Power in Augsburg Criminal Trials
Radical History Review 1989(43): 45-71.

Dorothy J. Rosenberg
Women’s Issues, Women’s Politics, and Women’s Studies in the Former German Democratic Republic
Radical History Review 1992(54): 110-126

Eve Rosenhaft
Inside the Third Reich: What is the Women’s Story?
Radical History Review 1989(43): 72-80.

Ellen Ross
Rethinking “the Family”
Radical History Review 1979(20): 76-84.


Sheila Rowbotham
Women and Radical Politics in Britain, 1820–1914
Radical History Review 1978-79(19): 149-159.

Theresa Runstedtler
Visible Men: African American Boxers, the New Negro, and the Global Color Line
Radical History Review 2009(103): 59-81.

Leila J. Rupp
Teaching about Transnational Feminisms
Radical History Review 2008(101): 191-197.

Nancy Sahli
Sexuality in 19th and 20th Century America: The Sources and Their Problems
Radical History Review 1979(20): 89-96.

Kelvin A. Santiago-Valles
“Higher Womanhood” Among the “Lower Races”: Julia McNair Henry in Puerto Rico and the “Burdens” of 1898
Radical History Review 1999(73): 47-73.

Jennifer Scanlon
Material, Girls: Women and Popular Culture in the Twentieth Century
Radical History Review 1996(66): 172-183. (teaching essay)

Patricia A. Schechter
“All the Intensity of My Nature”: Ida B. Wells, Anger, and Politics
Radical History Review 1998(70): 48-77.

Joan Wallach Scott
The Campaign Against Political Correctness: What’s Really at Stake
Radical History Review 1992(54): 59-79

Christopher Sellers
Body, Place and the State: The Makings of an “Environmentalist” Imaginary in the Post-World War II U.S.
Radical History Review 1999(74): 31-64.

David Harley Serlin
Christine Jorgensen and the Cold War Closet
Radical History Review 1995(62): 137-165.

Francis Shor
The IWW and Oppositional Politics in World War I: Pushing the System Beyond its Limits
Radical History Review 1996(64): 74-94.


Sharon Sievers
Gay and Lesbian Research in the 1980s: History and Theory
Radical History Review 1991(50): 204-212

Pete Sigal
To Cross the Sexual Borderlands: The History of Sexuality in the Americas
Radical History Review 2002(82): 171-185. (teaching essay)

Nikhil Pal Singh
Sex and Sexuality in the U.S. Since 1800
Radical History Review 1995(62): 214-218. (teaching essay)

Barbara Clark Smith
From Another Site: Comments on “Digitizign Women’s History”
Radical History Review 1997(68): 121-125.

Karen Sotiropoulos
Open Adoption and the Politics of Transnational Feminist Human Rights
Radical History Review 2008(101): 179-190.

Judith Stacey
What Comes After Patriarchy? Comparative Reflections on Gender and Power in a ‘Post-Patriarchal’ Age
Radical History Review 1998(71): 63-70.

Marc Stein
Sex Politics in the City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves
Radical History Review 1994(59): 61-92

Steve J. Stern
What Comes After Patriarchy? Reflections from Mexico
Radical History Review 1998(71): 55-62.

Susan Strasser
Exhibit Review of “Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender and Power”
Radical History Review 1991(49): 101-108

Ulrike Strasser and Heidi Tinsman
Engendering World History
Radical History Review 2005(91): 151-164. (teaching essay)

Margaret Strobel
Sex and Work in the British Empire
Radical History Review 1992(54): 177-186

Patricia Tilburg
“The Triumph of the Flesh”: Women, Physical Culture, and the Nude in the French Music Hall, 1904-1914
Radical History Review 2007(98): 63-80.



E.P Thompson
Happy Families
Radical History Review 1979(20): 42-50.

Martha M. Umphrey
The Trouble with Harry Thaw
Radical History Review 1995(62): 9-23.

Jyotsna Uppal
Teaching across Borders: Katherine Mayo’s Mother India
Radical History Review 2005(91): 165-169. (teaching essay)

Judith Van Allen
“Bad Future Things” and Liberatory Moments: Capitalism, Gender and the State in Botswana
Radical History Review 2000(76): 136-168.

Martha Vicinus
Lesbian History: All Theory and No Facts or All Facts and No Theory?
Radical History Review 1994(60): 57-75.

Jeffrey Weeks
Movements of Affirmation: Sexual Meanings and Homosexual Identities
Radical History Review 1979(20): 164-179.


James W. Wessman
A Household Mode of Production—Another Comment
Radical History Review 1979-80(22): 129-139.

Kath Weston
Families in Queer States: The Rule of Law and the Politics of Recognition
Radical History Review 2005(93): 122-141.

Merry Wiesner-Hanks
Women’s History and World History Courses
Radical History Review 2005(91): 133-150.  (teaching essay)

Barbara Winslow
Women’s Revolutions: The Work of Sheila Rowbotham, a Twenty-Year Assessment: Introduction
Radical History Review 1995(63): 141-144.

Joel Wolfe
“Father of the Poor” or “Mother of the Rich”?: Getúlio Vargas, Industrial Workers, and Constructions of Class, Gender, and Populism in Sao Paulo, 1930–1954
Radical History Review 1994(58): 80-111

Natalie Zemon Davis
Yom Kippur in Moscow, 5750
Radical History Review 1991(49): 155-160.

When I think of a woman who had an important place in history and still has an impact today, I instantly think of Eleanor Roosevelt. As the wife of a popular United States president, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City, October 11, 1884, and died November 7, 1962. She was an active worker for social causes and was a well known humanitarian. She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, and in 1905 she married her cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Although she was extremely shy, Eleanor was a spectacular worker. 

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made herself a strong speaker on behalf of a wide range of social issues, and was even considered the most influential First Lady. She even served on Brandeis University’s Board of Trustees from 1949 until her death in 1962 and was Visiting Lecturer of International Relations from 1959 to 1962. Her lectures included, but weren’t limited to, youth employment and civil rights for African Americans and women. She did all of her work in self-confident, authoritative, independent, and clever ways. 

Eleanor Roosevelt wanted improve the living conditions of the nation’s people. She was very vocal about her support of the American Civil Rights Movement and of African-American rights. She made multiple visits to civilian and military morale while she served on a national committee on civil defense. In 1943, Eleanor, established Freedom House, because of her concern for peace and democracy. 

Last, Eleanor strongly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because it would prevent Congress and the states from passing special protective Legislation that she believed woman workers needed. She also played an important role in drafting the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Roosevelt served a the very first chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission. 

Eleanor started new paths for women and led the battle for social justice everywhere. Today, she is still a powerful inspiration to leaders in both the civil rights and women’s movements. Eleanor broke down the usual submissive image that was cast by traditional First Ladies, and reshaped it around her own skills and commitment. She was the first woman to speak in front of a national convention, to earn money as a lecturer, to be a radio commentator, and to hold regular press conferences. She worked many hours of the day helping in whatever way she could during World War II. Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the most inspiring women in history, even in this day and age. 

Student: Sarah Ross – 10th grader at Sterling Heights High School, Sterling Heights
Teacher - Mr. Cutlip 

I met her running.  She teaches me chemistry in school and about life outside of school.  I’ve only known her for two years, but she has made a big impact on my life.  This is Coach Willie.  I met her my freshman year, in the summer when I joined cross country. She is the assistant coach for cross country and the head coach for track and field.  I participate in both sports and I have a lot of fun doing it.  Willie seems to always know exactly what to say and how to say it to keep me motivated and interested both in school and out.  She cares a lot about what she does and encourages her athletes and students to not settle for the minimum because she knows we can give a lot more than what we sometimes want to give.  She is at every meet and practice running with us, being there supporting us, giving us pointers and helping us get through the rough days and enjoy the easy days.  She keeps us positive during our hard work outs, helping us to push through, because in the end we are going to feel better for making it through.  She helps us become a stronger runner, a stronger student, and a stronger person.  Willie pushes us because she expects us to give 110% just as she gives to us when she coaches and teaches.  She only wants the best for us and for us to get the best experience we can get in the running program and in school.  Even when I had an injury last season and was not allowed to run, Willie always made me feel like I was still an important part of the team.  She wants to see every kid have a successful life and to never ever want give up because of being tired or because of doubting their ability to finish.  Willie has that something that makes a person want to do their best, both for their own pride and happiness and to make Willie proud and happy too.  Willie helps me see how this applies to my own life as well:  when I am having a bad day I just need to push through it because something good is always waiting in the end.  Coach Willie is also there if you need someone to talk to, she listens very well and tries to help in any way possible.  She has that unique ability to know when to give advice, listen, or act, depending on the situation at hand.  When I grow up, I can only hope that I turn out to be as caring and giving as Coach Willie, and I know her life lessons will help me always.

Student: Amber Schultz – 11th grader at Roseville High School, Roseville
Teacher – Ms. Jordan

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Stowe’s Influence

Every society is filled with deep dark secrets that often are overlooked because the issues, if brought to light, would be hard to accept.  When Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” she was aware of this, yet that didn’t stop her from publishing her controversial book on slavery.  In a time when women were disenfranchised, Stowe used her writing to influence her world.  In modern society, Stowe’s influence is often forgotten; school history books only give her a couple of sentences in a 500 page book.  Yet when I read those few sentences, I was inspired.

Ever since I was a tyke, I have loved to write.  Most of my stories took place in far away places, in lands that did not exist.  Yet when I picked up my history book one regular school day I saw the name Harriet Beecher Stowe highlighted in the text.  When the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin was mentioned, my teacher spoke more in depth about this woman, I became increasingly interested.   The history book recalled how Uncle Tom’s Cabin had opened the eyes of many people to the brutality of slavery.  The influence the publication of Stowe’s book had on society was tremendous.   Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the second most translated book in the world.  

Stowe’s courage really struck me as powerful.  She opened my eyes to the fact that I as a writer have the power to influence people’s perspectives.  There are many problems in the world which need light shed upon them.  In my world, I see bullying as an esculating problem.  As I honed my writing skills, an idea for a book plot came to me.  Just as Stowe had written about the brutality of slavery, I wanted to write a book that uncovered the mental and physical damages of the victims of bullying.   

As a high school student, I feel as though I have no real power to influence the nation.  I’m a child; society sees me as nothing more than a student learning the works of the world.  What would I know?  But Stowe had even greater odds stacked against her.  Women in her time were expected to create a nurturing home for their husbands, but were hardly asked for their opinions.  Stowe spread her opinion across the toast of society like melted butter.  By having the confidence to publish her works, Stowe became a great influence that changed people’s perspectives, contributing to the demise of slavery.

Lately, whenever I have doubts about writing for a living, Stowe’s influence on the slave trade reminds me that words can change the world.  Who knows?  I might even change society’s perspective and open the doors to the damage of bullying.        

Student: Michelle Rosen - 12th grader at Southfield Lathrup High School, Southfield
Teacher – Ms. Maas

Kozmic Blues: Janis Joplin’s Influence on Me, the World, and Everything Else

They called her “Pearl”. They called her “the queen of psychedelic soul”. Some even called her “Tex”. No matter what she was known as, though, one thing is certain: Janis Joplin changed the game. As one of the forerunners of the 1960s counterculture movement, Joplin was a pioneer as well as an artist, and her lasting influence served to create greater opportunities for women all over America. Though some would prefer to remember her as a drugged-up hippie whose time had come, it is an indisputable fact that her legacy made a distinct and powerful impact on popular culture – both during her time, and for years afterward.

Perhaps the most significant effect Joplin had was that of expanding the horizons of rock and roll. Other than Grace Slick, lead singer of the psychedelic-rock group Jefferson Airplane, there were virtually no female rock stars. Before Joplin’s rise to prominence, it was not socially acceptable for women to leave their domestic sphere for what was considered a radical, subversive style of music. Later female rock-and-rollers such as Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett owe their careers to the doors that Joplin opened. The rock world was essentially a blank canvas as far as women were concerned, and Janis painted it more colorfully than her iconic Porsche. Without her influence, girls today could only dream of the opportunity to play an electric guitar on stage in front of 15,000 people – now, that opportunity is open to anyone with enough talent, drive, and luck.

In addition to breaking gender barriers in the music world, Joplin hacked away at some other social stigmas as well. Early in her career, she commissioned an artist to tattoo a wristlet and small heart on her wrist. This occurred when tattoos were viewed negatively by the majority of the public, and thus she was at the very beginning of the movement to promote them as art. Obviously she was not the only celebrity with a tattoo, but there is no denying her influence in promoting her body art as just that: art. Additionally, she is known for her flamboyant style, which often included scarves, hats, beads, and Lennon-esque glasses. Through this, she promoted individualism; thus she was not only making a fashion statement, but also a social statement, asserting that people should be free to wear what they like regardless of trendiness. This has certainly motivated girls and young women to develop their own styles without harming their self-esteem.

Janis Joplin embodied everything that the 1960s counterculture movement represented: the love, the freedom, and the peace all tied into one beautiful, psychedelic soul. She opened more doors for women in music than almost any woman before or since, creating opportunities for females in rock and roll that gave us some of the greatest albums in history. Her unique individual style was a tribute to her eccentric personality, and taught women that fashion doesn’t have to be about what’s on the cover of Vogue magazine. As the first female rock and roll superstar and a pioneer of a whole new world, Janis continues to serve as an inspiration to so many people. She truly is the Queen of Rock and Roll. 


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