It is no secret that women have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history. There are very few women who were taken seriously for their impact on the world at large. Selfless, brave women who battled the odds and risked everything for their country should be remembered. Historians have long ignored, or credited men, with the daring, life-risking actions of women. Here are three women who challenge our idea of a meek female and bear responsibility for the freedoms we enjoy today. These three women were spies operating under the noses of the enemy. They risked all for the American cause during the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and World War II so that our nation would rise and endure through time. These women seldom make the history books. Nevertheless, they played important roles in the freedoms that we enjoy today. Bear in mind, women during these periods were not taken seriously and often underestimated, but they would become crucial parts of their government’s fights against tyranny, slavery and mass genocide. These women deserve ample space in the history books!
#1 Virginia Hall
Growing up, Virginia Hall Goillot was called a woman of no consequence, but that was far from the truth! Virginia was gifted in languages earning her a career with the US Embassy, later while on assignment in Europe she lost her leg. Yet, Virginia would not let that stop her, donning a prosthetic limb she named, “Cuthbert,” she pursued her dreams to enter the diplomatic corps, only to be turned away for her disability. When WWII broke out in Europe, Virginia stayed, joining an ambulance corps and later working for the American and British governments. She worked tirelessly organizing an intricate espionage network, recruiting French men and women to run safe houses and smuggling prisoners out of Europe.
The Gestapo considered her one of the most dangerous women at large and called her the “The Limping Lady.” The SS desperately tried to capture her; she risked sure torture and death at the hands of the Nazi’s, yet she stayed, Virginia risked everything to protect the world while working for both the United States and Great Britain’s intelligence agencies. Virginia is the only female civilian to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, yet the danger to her and her loved ones didn’t die with the war. She would forever pay the price of her success through the constant danger her life was in from that point forward and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Virginia Hall for our freedom.
Check back for Parts Two and Three!