Change Your World-NOT your Body

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Different Women Doing Woman Different: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Dr. Walker was a feminist, abolitionist, war hero and a hundred or so years ahead of her time on not only what women could do, but what she DID do as a woman and how she dared to look doing it.

She was born in Oswego NY in November 26, 1832 to progressive parents. She worked on her family's farm from a young age where during working hours she refused to wear women's clothing due to their restrictiveness, her mother had the intelligence to support her in this and preach against the unhealthy dangers of corsets and tight laced clothing.

Dr. Walker's mother was a teacher and Mary followed in her footsteps, later using the money she made from teaching to put herself through medical school where she graduated in 1855 as the ONLY female in her class.

Dr. Walker volunteered for the Union side during the Civil War, where she served as a nurse because sexist insecure army officials wouldnt allow her the status of her full medical degree. She frequently crossed battle lines to treat injured civilians and was even captured for several months by the Confederates. She was later recommended for the Medal of Honor and was granted it on November 11th 1865 by President Johnson. In 1917 due to idiot red tape, Dr. Walker was stripped of her Medal, but continued to wear it right up to her death. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter posthumously reinstated Mary's Medal and due right to female/feminist history.

After the war Mary lectured, wrote and joined the ranks of suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Mary fought for women's healthcare, women's rights and dress reform for women, sporting masculine attire while doing so.

Dr Walker died February 21, 1919 at the age of 86. Mary Walker carried female differently in how she dressed, the education she demanded for herself as a female, her right to risk her life for her country, her bravery for imparting all this to other women where ever she lectured, in short Dr Mary Walker did woman different in every breath she took.




  1. Intelligent strong woman.

  2. Thanks for posting this. What a great example for us.

    One note: she joined the ranks of the suffragists, not suffragettes. The latter term is not one that they used for themselves, and generally deprecated because it is demeaning.

  3. Linda, done and thanks for the heads up!


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  5. Nobody spins AW into a tizzy like DWb! This post was linked over there,not only receiving your usual dishonerable mention but 6 months in the 'pooh pooh corner' for a user. Good read tho and informative.

  6. Anon, I was pissed when K informed me she placed an article of mine on such a anti woman site, especially without credit. Interestingly the site owners uncredited it. I had demanded to deaf ears it be removed. Then reminded myself of all the positive emails I have receive since beginning this series.

    Emails from lesbians who were so profoundly affected by learning that being female/lesbian didnt mean their body had to be something blocking their life experiences/potentials and decided not to transition. I have also received many emails from lesbians who decided to detransition in part from posts just like these.

    So regardless of the lack of credit, that some lesbians there may so to be inspired, especially on a site where feminism, intelligence, culture and even common sense is thoroughly lacking the presents of such a post is a great thing!



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