— WRITTEN BY CHEYANNE MUMPHREY AND RACHEL DEXTER
You have the power to make a difference and it starts with an idea. That idea is formulated into a well-thought-out plan. The only thing left is action.
Every word, every sentence and every book was carefully crafted with the most basic goal of being read and shared with others.
In our lives we’ve read books that have made a difference; the most influential, emotion-tugging and mind-provoking words have often come from books and their authors, male and female alike.
Female authors, the less common demographic, are especially important to note. A study conducted by Suzanne Grégoire finds “women are found to lead the process of linguistic change.”
Yes, women. You have the power to make a difference and you have the ability to change language. With that being said, we’ve looked at who we believe has made an impact on language and has really influenced us throughout our lives thus far.
Women be inspired, be original and make change. If nothing else, crack open one of these authors’ books and enjoy the read.
Marguerite Johnson, better known as Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928, and passed away in May 2014 at 86. As a proclaimed poet, educator, historian and passionate civil rights activist, she has influenced women of all ages all over the world. With more than two dozen written works and many other accolades, we have probably been witness to the best African-American female mind to ever incite change. One of her most popular novels is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969) which details what it meant to be a young black female in the United States.
Mary Shelley, born in 1797, was an English novelist, poet and is best known for her novel Frankenstein(1818). Shelley’s novel was published anonymously, with a preface by her husband Percy. This led many to believe he wrote it, considering writing was not a woman’s profession. It wasn’t until 1822, when she released a second edition and announced herself as the author, that she gained recognition for her work. She was a phenomenal author who paved the way for many more women to write science fiction and share their work publicly. Shelley is widely considered the mother of science fiction. Her novel Frankenstein is the first that used what we would now consider science fiction. Shelley passed away in February 1851.
Jane Austen, born in 1775, was an English novelist best known for her novels, Pride and Prejudice(1813), Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Emma (1815). If nothing else her novels addressed the issue of female status and challenged the norm of female behavior in the Romanticism era. For once a woman in this time could be independent and stand up for who she loved. Aside from being the classic model of a love story, her novels reflected her class. Austen died in 1817, but her influence is still seen today within novels and films.
The Opinion Editors
About A Pen & A Dress
A Pen & A Dress is a column by Cheyanne Mumphrey (and often features Rachel Dexter). Created in December 2015, A Pen & A Dress started publishing in The Lumberjack. Mumphrey's goal is to strike conversation about issues women face on a day-to-day basis and challenge the social norms for females across the globe.