MT. PLEASANT, Mich -- March is National Women's Month, 31 days dedicated to recognizing the achievements of the innumerable, influential women throughout history. Plus, celebrating the amazing women we're surrounded by in our personal lives as well. In honor of this month-long jubilee, Graff Mt. Pleasant recognizes the amazing women that make our dealership a success, as well as the many incredible women across the world, and throughout time, that have left an impact. Check out this list of our favorite, powerful females, and who knows...we may even do a part 2!
Marie Curie was a Polish, naturalized-French, physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, as well as the first person and only woman to win twice. In addition, she was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris. Her achievements include the development of the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements: polonium, and radium.
An English actress, model, activist, and UN ambassador, Emma Watson has made amazing strides in the world of modern feminism. As a child actress, she rose to fame through her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series. However, she solidified herself as a force to be reckoned with in 2014, when she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. She had a hand in launching the HeForShe campaign, which called for men to advocate for gender equality, and has delivered numerous acclaimed speeches on women's rights and the topic of feminism.
Queen Lili'uokalani was the first queen regent and the last sovereign monarch of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. During her reign, she attempted to draft a constitution which would restore power back to the Hawaiian monarchy from the pro-American Bayonet Constitution. She was deposed by American forces in 1893, and her attempt at rebellion in 1895 ended in her arrest and imprisonment. In her later life, she pursued legal recompense from the United States government for seized land, which was never met with success. She was a champion of the economically disenfranchised, an adoptive mother, composer, and accomplished author.
RUTH BADER GINSBERG
An associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and is currently the only female judge serving. She earned her bachelor's degree at Cornell University and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class. She graduated, tied for first in her class, at Columbia Law School, and following law school turned to academia. She has spent a considerable amount of her legal career as an advocate of gender equality and women's rights. She has received considerable attention in American pop culture for her fiery dissents and refusal to step down; leading her to be dubbed "The Notorious R.B.G."
GABRIELLE BONHEUR "COCO" CHANEL
Coco Chanel, the founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. She is credited with liberating women from the constraints of the "corseted silhouette" during the post-World War I era, and popularizing a sporty, casual, chic look. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel extended her influence beyond couture clothing, realizing her design aesthetic in jewelry, handbags, and fragrance (her signature scent, Chanel No. 5 is still an iconic product, purchased globally). She designed the famed, interlocked-CC monogram herself, and continued to personally oversee the brand's catalogs until her death in 1971. She passed with infinite style, being quoted announcing "You see, this is how you die.".
Barbara Walters is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. She began her career in the early 1960s as a writer and segment producer of "women's interest stories" on the NBC program The Today Show. As a result of her outstanding interviewing ability and her popularity with viewers, she received more airtime on the program, and eventually became co-host, becoming the first woman to hold such a title on an American news program. In 1976, she made history once again, as the first female co-anchor on a network's evening news with ABC, earning an unprecedented $1 million per year. She has interviewed countless high profile people from across the globe, moderated a presidential debate, created and co-hosted The View, a daytime talk show with an all-female panel, and won countless awards and accolades.
JOAN OF ARC
Nicknamed the "The Maid of Orleans" Joan of Arc is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic Saint. From an early age Joan claimed to see visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, telling her to support Charles VII and to aid in recovering France from English domination. She participated in the Siege of Orleans, and gained recognition when the siege was lifted only nine days later. On May 23, 1430 she was captured and handed over to the English and put on trial for a variety of charges including heresy and cross-dressing. She was declared guilty and burned at the stake at the age of nineteen. However, in 1456 an inquisitorial court examined and debunked the trial, pronouncing her innocent and declared her a martyr. To this day, Joan of Arc remains a popular figure in literature, painting, sculpture, and numerous other cultural works.
An American lawyer, writer, university administrator, and former First Lady, Michelle Obama has made massive strides for women in numerous areas. She has worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles. She attended Princeton University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts and after graduation became an associate at the Chicago Law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband Barack. She has also worked as an assistant to the Mayor of Chicago and as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago. She recently released an autobiography detailing her journey to the White House and conducted a book tour, discussing her life experiences and meeting her fans.
Frida Khalo was a Mexican artist who created a large body of work inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Her unique style explored questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. She was disabled by polio as a child, and in her teenage years was involved in a bus accident that caused lifelong pain and medical problems. In 1927 she joined the Mexican communist party through which she met her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera. Their relationship was extremely volatile and included a year long divorce, plus numerous affairs. Through most of her life she was known mainly as Rivera's wife, and only achieved her own solo exhibition in 1953, one year before her death. Her work was rediscovered in the 1970s, and became an icon for female artists, feminists, and the LGBTQ community for her uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
A Canadian poet, novelist, literature critic, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. She has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, countless essays and various other literary works. She writes on themes including the power of language, gender and identity, climate change, and power politics. She has won numerous awards and honors, including The Man Booker Prize, Arthur C. Clark award, Governor General's Award, Franz Kafka Prize and more. In addition, she invented and developed the LongPen, along with associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents. Many of her works have been adapted for film or television, including: The Handmaid's Tale, Payback, The Year of the Flood, and more.
Did you see any of your favorite influential ladies on this list? If not, who did we miss? We know it's impossible to include all of the wonderful women who have changed the course of history, so maybe we'll do a part two. Are there any other women-centric blogs you would like to see for International Women's Month? Comment and let us know!
At Hank Graff Mt. Pleasant we strive to provide our customers with a car buying experience that is accommodating, stress-free and fun! Visit us at our Chevrolet dealership located at 4580 E Pickard Rd in Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 or our Buick GMC Cadillac dealership located at 116 N. Mission St in Mount Pleasant, MI 48858.