To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we’ve decided to take a closer look at some of the inspirational women aboard RMS Titanic.
From a dedicated suffragette to the world famous Molly Brown, Titanic had its fair share of brave ladies on board.
So join us as we take a step back in time and celebrate the lasting legacy of these Edwardian women who were certainly ahead of their time.
Feminists on Board RMS Titanic
The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown
Arguably today’s most famous of Titanic’s inspirational women, Margaret “Maggie” Brown was an American socialite and philanthropist. Posthumously given the title “the unsinkable Molly Brown”, she is best remembered for her brave efforts to return to the sunken ships’ debris in search for survivors.
Prior to embarking on Titanic’s fateful voyage, Brown ran for office in the US Senate, eight years before women had even been given the right to vote. Notably, she was one of the first women in the United States to run for office.
Following the Titanic disaster, Molly made the most of her international platform, promoting her belief in the rights of women, workers, education, historic preservation and the commemoration of the bravery displayed by men aboard the Titanic. Indeed, Molly Brown paved the way for many of the women we celebrate on International Women’s Day.
Helen Churchill Candee
Sitting in the same lifeboat as Molly Brown, you would have found journalist Helen Churchill Candee. Reported to have manned the oars alongside Brown, Candee was a self-sufficient hard worker. After her abusive husband abandoned the family, Candee was left to support herself and her children as a writer. Her talent for the written word led her to work for a host of popular magazines such as Schibner’sand The Ladies’ Home Journal.
Eventually, Helen’s writing branched out into areas such as child care, women’s rights and education. Her best-selling book: How Women May Earn a Living not only made it apparent that she was a feminist, but it has also went onto to inspire many of the female writers whose work we celebrate on International Women’s Day, be it Ali Smith, Virginia Woolf or Margaret Atwood.
During Titanic’s sinking, Candee fell and fractured her ankle while climbing into lifeboat 6. The injury left her unable to walk without the assistance of a cane for almost a year. But in March 1913, the resilient writer was ready to take action, joining feminist equestriennes in the “Votes for Women” parade in Washington D.C.
Elsie Bowerman was a British lawyer and dedicated suffragette. Bowerman was the assistant to leader of the British suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst. She is also remembered as one of Titanic’s survivors. Before boarding Titanic, Elsie Bowerman had joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). Committed to the movement, Bowerman wore her badge proudly at University. She wrote, “I always wear my badge in as conspicuous a position as possible in lectures.”
Bowerman was rescued by Carpathia from lifeboat 6, alongside Molly Brown and Helen Churchill Candee. Only 22 years of age when the ship sank, Elsie went on to live an extraordinary life, grasping each opportunity that arose along the way.
In 1919 the Sex Disqualification Act meant women could train to enter professions including law and accounting. Elsie trained to become a lawyer and in 1924 she was admitted to the bar. Notably, she was the first female barrister to practice her profession at London’s Old Bailey.
Elsie is also remembered for her work for the war effort, working with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service during World War II and the Ministry of Information. She also served as a liaison officer for the North American Service of the BBC from 1941 to 1945.
It’s particularly poignant to think that ill-fated passengers missed out on the chance to vote, forge a career path and showcase their talents in the way that Elsie Bowerman went on to do – an important person, nonetheless, to consider this International Women’s Day.
Beatrice Wood- The Real Rose Calvert
Beatrice Wood wasn’t on the Titanic in 1912 nor was she the type of person ever to be so. She adored experimental artwork – most notably the work of Marcel Duchamp – she joined the French National Repertory Theatre in 1918, she championed Dadaism – which is best described as an anti-art movement – and she was also an exceptional sculptor. She was also the inspiration behind James Cameron’s protagonist Rose Calvert in Titanic.
Not only was Beatrice Wood an inspirational, creative woman – so interesting in fact, that we decided to take a closer look at her life last month – but she was also an adventurer. By 1974 Wood had resided in numerous countries across the world such as America, Canada and France. She also lived in LA, New York, Paris and Montreal.
The woman behind one of cinemas most loved characters, Beatrice Wood is worthy of note this International Women’s Day.
30 James Street
Immerse yourself in RMS Titanic’s enchanting history this International Women’s Day by visiting 30 James Street – the home of the iconic vessel. Explore the magnificently and pensively restored White Star Headquarters, which has been spectacularly transformed into a luxurious Liverpool hotel.
Contact our helpful and friendly team on 0151 236 0166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a break, meal, spa treatment, or special event at 30 James Street – the home of Titanic.
So, this International Women’s Day, we’re remembering Titanic’s inspirational women who survived and those who sadly didn’t. We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a step back in time to pay tribute to such fantastic women. Keep an eye on our Facebook for more content.