How do you experience discrimination?

How do you experience discrimination?

All women face gender bias, but many also experience discrimination based upon identities such as race, sexual orientation, or physical ability. Frequently excluded from white women’s activism, women of color advocated for an intersectional approach to activism that addressed all forms of discrimination when fighting for gender equality.

Mary Church Terrell

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records

“I cannot help wondering sometimes what I might have become and might have done if I had lived in a country which had not circumscribed and handicapped me on account of my race, but had allowed me to reach any height I was able to attain.”

Mary Church Terrell, 1940

Writing an autobiography late in her career, Mary Church Terrell (1864-1954) reflected on the person she may have become had systemic racial discrimination not impacted her path.

Constance Curtis Nichols

Ohio History Connection

"For some months I have been looking for an apartment or house to rent. . . . Some brash-voiced clerk tactlessly informed me . . . 'If you are colored, I'm telling you we are not renting those apartments to colored people.' . . . What would amount to a simple routine move in the life of an average white American has become a 'problem' in mine.”

Constance Curtis Nichols, 1958

In 1940, Constance Curtis Nichols (1907-1989) cofounded the Vanguard League of Columbus, Ohio. Like other civil rights organizations, the Vanguard League sent members to apply for jobs or rental properties to prove that anti-discrimination laws were being broken.

Connie Schultz

Courtesy of Connie Schultz, photo by Lylah Rose Wolff

“When has a medical procedure exclusive to men ever been held to a vote on a floor of the United States Congress?

Oh, wait, just remembered:


Connie Schultz, 2009

As Congress considered the Affordable Care Act in 2009, the Stupack-Pitts Amendment was proposed to limit affordable health insurance covering abortion procedures. Connie Schultz (1957-present), then a columnist at The Cleveland Plain Dealer, argued against the amendment in her column.

Julia Applegate

Courtesy of Julia Applegate

“I was really good at soccer. But I lived in Southern Ohio in the 1980s, and the girls could play soccer until they were 14. . . . I don’t feel like I ever got to see where my athletic abilities would have gone in my life because of my sex. And that was a hard thing to experience at a really early age.”

Julia Applegate, 2019

In 1982, at the age of 12, Julia Applegate (1970-present) was a proud member of the Tigers soccer team. As an adult, Applegate has reflected on the ways that gender discrimination kept her from exploring her full athletic potential.