The struggle for women’s rights and voices goes a long way back. Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published female poet, wrote these lines below in 1650, as part of the Prologue to her volume The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America.
She lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and died in 1672, more than 100 years before the Revolutionary War.
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits;
A poet’s pen all scorn I should thus wrong,
For such despite they cast on female wits.
If what I do prove well, it won’t advance;
They’ll say it’s stol’n, or else it was by chance.