Ladies First: 7 Inspiring Women Who Pioneered the Feminist Movement

Photo by: Glenn James, NBAE / Getty Images
Violet Palmer | First Female NBA Referee
"My mother couldn't make me cook ... or play with the Barbies - I didn't want to do it." Sports on the other hand, ... more 
Photo by: Glenn James, NBAE / Getty Images
Violet Palmer | First Female NBA Referee
"My mother couldn't make me cook ... or play with the Barbies - I didn't want to do it." Sports on the other hand, Violet Palmer could do. She went on to work as a professional referee for the women's NCAA, then made history in 1997 by becoming the NBA's first female referee. It wasn't a complete slam dunk though; Palmer has had to deal with men who resented her new position, commenting that she belonged in the kitchen making bacon and eggs.
Read more about Violet Palmer's entrance into the world of men's sports at Makers.com
Related: 10 political women your daughters can look up to
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Mon, Feb 25, 2013 1:08 PM EST

As I begrudgingly wake up every morning and head into Manhattan for another day at the office, it's easy to forget that just 50 years ago, what I'm doing was unheard of for women. As a girl who grew up repeatedly being told by my parents that I was going to go to college and find a job, it's difficult to fathom not being able to do this. But that's precisely the way it was for many of the women highlighted in MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA, a groundbreaking documentary that chronicles the extraordinary stories of women who led, opposed, or were trailblazers in the feminist movement. In honor of these fearless ladies, I rounded up 7 inspiring feminists who helped shape women's rights in their own respective careers and fields. From the first female NBA referee to the first actress to play a single working woman on television, we can all take a lesson from these women's courage and determination. - By Jennifer Gimbel



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