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5 First-Wave Feminists Who Made a Real Difference

640px-Susan_B_Anthony_c1855 Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) is one of the most well-known and respected women in American history, and for good reason.

I can be a little hard on feminists sometimes, but that’s because the brand has been so largely destroyed by the bizarre priorities of those using that moniker from the 1960s to present. As time has gone on, it has just gotten worse. Don’t get me wrong, however -- I have a lot of respect for the women who got things done in the beginning.

Here are some women who really made a difference.

5. Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownell Anthony worked for social reform in America on several fronts. Like other women working for equality, she was passionate about abolition, collecting anti-slavery petitions at age 17. She went on to become the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

When she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, they joined forces. Together, they began the American Equal Rights Association, campaigning for the rights of women and blacks. They began a newspaper in 1868, The Revolution, which went into issues of women’s rights. The next year, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association.

Unfortunately, women’s suffrage had yet to pass when Anthony went ahead and cast a vote in 1872, and she was arrested. Six years later, Anthony and Stanton worked for Congress to be presented with an amendment granting women’s suffrage, and it was finally passed in 1920 as the 19th Amendment.

Susan B. Anthony was the first woman (after a representation of Lady Liberty) to be featured on a U.S. coin.