Who’s That Lady? Three Women You Should Have Learned About in High School

As the Etta James record has suggested for years, “this is a man’s world.”

There are countless women that have been snubbed by science and history since time began. Here are just a few.

1. Ching Shih ching

Would it surprise you to find out that the absolute most feared pirate of the 19th century and all time was a women? Ching Shih was a prostitute who was forced to marry a pirate king of the China sea. After six years of marriage and her husband’s death, Ching Shih took over his fleet of scally wags and ruled the Chinese coast. Not only did she lead the most successful group of looters, but she beat the Chinese government in battle as well.

And to top it all of, Ching Shih got away with years of piracy through a government deal. She turned in her sword, but kept all of her treasure and lived out the rest of her life in the Chinese countryside.

2. Juana Briones

Although a picture of Juana does not exist, the Juana Briones Heritage website provides this picture of her niece, who was said to look just like her.
Although a picture of Juana does not exist, the Juana Briones Heritage website provides this picture of her niece, who was said to look just like her.

Another woman before her time, Juana Briones is considered one of the first businesswomen and female landowners in the United States.  Her parents immigrated from Mexico to California in 1776 and she was born in 1802. Juana owned her own cattle business, built her own property and supported local community trading posts and medicine – all after being divorced from her husband and raising eleven children.

Even during U.S. Land Commission Hearings, Juana fought to keep her multiple properties and succeeded.

3. Rosalind Franklin Rosalind_Franklin

Born in 1920 England, Franklin attended Cambridge University and studied physical chemistry. Her Xray diffraction techniques led to the discovery of the DNA structure, which she was never credited for.

The three scientists who claimed Franklin’s discovery as part of their own research of DNA won the Nobel Prize in 1963. Her contribution has only been acknowledged within the past ten years.

What Do You Think?

What women would you have liked to learn about in school?

Do you thinking we should celebrate “Women’s History Month” or petition to learn about women in history as often as we learn about men?

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