Her music has been popular lately -- medieval hymns and song cycles by a woman composer, often featuring positive feminine images -- but Hildegard of Bingen was more than a composer. She was a writer, a leader, an organizer, a prophetic visionary, a critic of secular and religious leaders if she thought they were behaving badly -- and quite the independent woman, though basing her independence on following the commands of God. Read more about this Superwoman of medieval times: Hildegard of Bingen
British and American polls say that many people cannot name even one famous woman scientist. How many can you name?
Image courtesy Library of Congress
Medieval noblewomen usually had little power other than through their relationships with men: husbands, fathers, brothers, sons. Constance of Castile is an example: she was the legitimate heir of her father, Pedro (the Cruel) of Castile, though Enrique (Henry) usurped the Castilian throne. Constance married the powerful and wealthy fourth son of England's Edward III, John of Gaunt, and John fought for years to become king of Castile, justified by his marriage to Constance. Read more: Constance of Castile
Griswold v. Connecticut was important to feminism. Find out how Griswold v. Connecticut supported women, birth control, marital privacy and Roe v. Wade.