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What Unladylike Means to Me

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Watch modern day women writers, scientists, politicians, activists and more discuss what the term “unladylike” means to them. Featuring interviews with : LaDonna Brave Bull Allard,  Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Ai-jen Poo, Nikole Hannah Jones and more.
Digital shorts
Anna May Wong: The first Asian American Movie Star
Clip | Anna May Wong: The first Asian American Movie Star
Bessie Coleman: First African American Aviator
Clip | Bessie Coleman: First African American Aviator
Queen Lili‘uokalani – The First and Last Queen of Hawai‘i
Clip | Queen Lili‘uokalani – The First and Last Queen of Hawai‘i
She was the American Cinema Pioneer You Haven’t Heard Of
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Zitkála-Šá: Trailblazing American Indian Composer and Writer
Clip | Zitkála-Šá: Trailblazing American Indian Composer and Writer
Ynés Mexía: Mexican-American Botanist and Adventurer
Clip | Ynés Mexía: Mexican-American Botanist and Adventurer
This Astronomer Discovered Over 300 Stars During Her Career
Clip | This Astronomer Discovered Over 300 Stars During Her Career
The First American-Born Chinese Woman Doctor
Clip | The First American-Born Chinese Woman Doctor
Susan La Flesche Picotte: The First American Indian Doctor
Clip | Susan La Flesche Picotte: The First American Indian Doctor
Sonora Webster Carver: Daredevil Performer & Advocate for the Blind
Clip | Sonora Webster Carver: Daredevil Performer & Advocate for the Blind
Sissieretta Jones was a Trailblazing Black Opera Singer
Clip | Sissieretta Jones was a Trailblazing Black Opera Singer
She was the First Woman to Swim Across the English Channel
Clip | She was the First Woman to Swim Across the English Channel
She was the first Chinese American woman to vote in the U.S.
Clip | She was the first Chinese American woman to vote in the U.S.
She was one of the most influential leaders of the American labor movement
Clip | She was one of the most influential leaders of the American labor movement
She was a Civil Rights Activist and Co-Founder of the NAACP
Clip | She was a Civil Rights Activist and Co-Founder of the NAACP
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah Jones
Clip | Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Nikole Hannah Jones
Meta Warrick Fuller: Trailblazing African American Sculptor and Poet
Clip | Meta Warrick Fuller: Trailblazing African American Sculptor and Poet
Meet Charlotta Spears Bass – The First Black Woman to Run for Vice President of the U.S.
Clip | Meet Charlotta Spears Bass – The First Black Woman to Run for Vice President of the U.S.
Martha Hughes Cannon: The First Woman State Senator
Clip | Martha Hughes Cannon: The First Woman State Senator
Maggie Lena Walker: Civil Rights Activist and Entrepreneur
Clip | Maggie Lena Walker: Civil Rights Activist and Entrepreneur
Louise Arner Boyd: First Woman to Lead Arctic Expeditions
Clip | Louise Arner Boyd: First Woman to Lead Arctic Expeditions
Lillian Gilbreth: Pioneering Inventor
Clip | Lillian Gilbreth: Pioneering Inventor
Jovita Idar: Mexican American Activist and Journalist
Clip | Jovita Idar: Mexican American Activist and Journalist
Jeannette Rankin: First Woman Member of the U.S. Congress
Clip | Jeannette Rankin: First Woman Member of the U.S. Congress
Grace Abbott: Social Work Pioneer
Clip | Grace Abbott: Social Work Pioneer
Gladys Bentley: Gender-Bending Performer and Musician
Clip | Gladys Bentley: Gender-Bending Performer and Musician
Annie Smith Peck: Record-Breaking Mountaineer
Clip | Annie Smith Peck: Record-Breaking Mountaineer

- Unladylike is an awesome word for me.

- It's an empowering term.

- I guess it means gutsy.

- Refusing to conform to someone else's concept of what it means to be a woman period.

To dream and to dare.

- Those of us who have been called unladylike and I certainly have, reclaim that and wear it as a badge.

- To me being unladylike is not so much about what I'm wearing or what I'm looking like on any particular day, it's about kind of boldly following my interests and my curiosity.

Being powerful, a full protagonist in the story of your own life.

- Women have been told to be quiet, to be thin, to not take up a lot of physical space, to stay in the domestic sphere and not go out into the public world.

- I know that there is a perception that being aggressive and ambitious is also unladylike, but I don't think so.

- It's used for women who have the audacity to step into man's sphere and do what they want to do.

- In my culture women have always been warriors.

- My existence is a form of resistance.

If being a lady means I've got to sit in the corner somewhere and be quiet and never raise my hand, never speak up, never shout, never run, never sit in, never stand up.

I'm fully committed to being unladylike, if that's what being a lady means.

- Call me unladylike and I'll probably say, thank you.

(upbeat music)