Women's Rights Essay

Essay by MormegilHigh School, 11th gradeA+, July 2004

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Many of the women who have left a good impression on the world have done so while faced with adversity. In 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell took a giant step for women by becoming the first women to earn a medical degree in the United States ("Elizabeth Blackwell" 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki). She did so by braving the opposition of professors and other students in her medical school (1). Despite restrictions and limitations placed on women, they have obtained greatness and success in the medical field.

During the Middle Ages, women, who were thought of as a "piece of property" (Beumer 1 http://info-center.ccit.arizona.edu), were able to overcome stereotypes to make medical advances. For example Trotula Plataerius was the leading Italian physician in obstetrics, gynecology, dermatology, and epilepsy (Mahaffey 2 http://www. hsu.edu/faculty/). Most of the doctors of this time were men, so there was not much work done in women's health. Therefore, Trotula's work had a great influence and was greatly appreciated by many men.

Due to the influence and greatness of her work, many scholars think that Trotula "could not possibly have been a woman" (2). Women did so much and did not receive any credit. These women deserved respect and admiration, but were instead criticized on their gender. Moreover, Trotula Plataerius is a prime example of a woman who overcame being thought of as property to become a world-class doctor.

While many years passed from the Middle Ages to the Victorian period, women were still overcoming obstacles to make great strides in medicine. For instance, Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in nursing and hospital reform. Florence's achievements were unusual because "most Victorian women of her age group did not attend universities or pursue professional careers" (Audain 1 http://www.agnesscott.edu/lriddle). In today's society it is very common to see women leading the way...