Celebrating Women’s History Month

Alexandra Orejuela

Throughout time, women have not received sufficient recognition for their accomplishments.  It has either been downplayed or nonexistent. However, March 1-31st is Women’s History Month and when people can honor how women have contributed to society and their accomplishments. Sybil Ludington and Rosalind Franklin are two women that are underrecognized for their achievement. 

Sybil Ludington

Everyone knows the story of Paul Revere, if not his name then his legend. One might say that he is forever immortalized in America for his famous words. Paul Revere is remembered for his journey of riding to Luxembourg from Boston with warnings of the British approach. His words of, “The British are coming,” are remembered by almost all Americans. However, Sybil Ludington, while lesser known, also had a significant role in the war. When she was only 16 years old, Sybil Ludinghton rode on a horse for 40 miles to warn Danbury Connecticut of the incoming British troops. She managed to evade capture unlike Revere, and traveled a significantly longer distance. Despite that, Sybil received little to no recognition. Longfellow, an American poet and educator, wrote an extensive popular poem regarding Revere’s accomplishments with the ride called, “Paul Revere’s Ride” but no such poem was written about Sybil at the time.

Rosalind Franklin 

Rosalind Franklin was a British chemist and a researcher/expert in crystallography, which is determining the atom arrangements in crystalline objects. She and her fellow lab were able to create the Photo 51 through x-ray crystallography to show the physical structure of the DNA with a double helix. This accomplishment helped shape scientists’ knowledge of inheritance and DNA.  Disregarding this momentous discovery, she received no credit to the finding which was initially entirely credited to James Watson and Francis Crick after her death. Instead, Watson and Crick received a Nobel peace award that was built off of her discovery. 

 These instances of women not receiving the proper recognition can largely be attributed to sexism and the patriarchal society that limited women’s accomplishments in shaping history and diminished women’s vital role in it. Despite this biased viewpoint of history that is often told from the perspective of men, it is very important to learn all of the events that took place in a period and give credit to those deserving.  It can be guaranteed that Sybil Ludinghton and Rosalind Franklin are not the only women in history who did not receive the worthy recognition for their actions during a period and continuous efforts should be made to learn about others that may be even less known than Sybil Ludinghton or Rosalind Franklin.