In 1908, German housewife Melitta Bentz was tired of ground coffee leftovers in her coffee cup. As a consequence, she invented the paper coffee filter, founded a company, and became the employer of her own husband, in a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote.
In the early 20th Century women would use their hat pin to physically defend themselves from being harassed in public transport. It worked so well that law makers at the time outlawed it. In Australia, sixty women went to jail rather than pay fines for wearing “murderous weapons” in their hats.
Lydia Litvyak was the Jewish Soviet fighter ace. During WWII she claimed 14 kills, trained 45 pilots, and shot down an ace who wouldn’t believe a woman beat him until she described the fight. She went missing on a flight Just before she was to receive the award “Hero of the Soviet Union”.
Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866), daughter of a Russian Army Officer, disguised herself as a man, serving in a Cavalry Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars. She was the first recorded Female Officer in the Russian army, and was awarded the Cross of St George for bravery under fire.
Baywatch’s fans were predominantly women. 65% of viewers were female, with its number-one audience being women aged 18 to 34. It turns out that the female viewers liked that the show’s lead characters were strong, independent, heroic women who were saving lives and were equal to the men.
Ancient Japan had female warriors called Onna-bugeisha, who would fight alongside Samurai in times of war. They started to lose their importance by the 17th century, when roaring ideals of fearless devotion and selflessness were gradually replaced by quiet, passive, civil obedience.
The Dodge La Femme, 1955, was the first car made exclusively for women and it included purse, boots, raincoat and umbrella.
In 1930, a lawyer tried to leave $50,000 in trust to build a Womanless library. “No Woman Admitted” signs were to be posted at each entrance and no works by women were to be allowed on the premises. His family successfully challenged his will after his death, and the plans were scrapped.
The first woman to run for President of the United States was Victoria Woodhull in 1872, 50 years before women could vote. She had Frederick Douglass as her running mate, and spent election day in jail due to being arrested for obscenity.
Between 1907 and 1922, American-born women who married non-citizens automatically lost American citizenship. In 1917, hundreds of American women who had married German men were forced to register with the government as ‘enemy aliens’.