Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day, 1821. Her birth on the holiday that symbolizes peace, love and giving coincidentally foreshadowed what she did for the world in her remarkable lifetime. Clara's passion for compassion was evident even as a young child, when her brother was injured by a fall from a roof and she taught herself how to care for him because the doctors had since given up. After spending twelve years as a teacher who fought hard (and won) for equal pay among her male coworkers, Clara opened up her own school. After it was complete, she was replaced as principal by a man because the school board thought the position was better filled by a man. .
Throughout the rest of her early career she remained an exception to the unequal pay earned by women in relation to men. In congruence with President Hayes and the U.S. Government, Clara founded the American Red Cross in 1881. The organization went on to provide humanitarian support across the United States and eventually across the world. Clara achieved this success in a time where women did not yet have the right to vote and when society largely viewed women as inferior to man in many ways. Since then, rights for women have evolved to be equal to that of rights of men and women now hold powerful government positions and powerful corporate positions that were once held only by men. Many hail this progress by saying that it eliminates the need for a modern feminist movement as women now have equal opportunities compared to men. In terms of the law this is true, but the modern feminist movement -which predominantly agrees women have lawful equality- aims its criticisms at how society does not view men and women as totally equal and how these views exploit women. In our country it is clear that women aren't equally represented compared to men in all areas of society; they hold fewer elected positions, there are fewer women who are engineers, doctors, lawyers (high paying jobs), and they make less money.