Women’s History Month | CSD

Women’s History Month was officially established in 1978, but women have been challenging stereotypes and overcoming barriers much longer than that. The achievements of these seven Deaf women prove exactly that! Celebrate their successes by learning about these big firsts for the Deaf community and for the world.

Teresa de Cartagena (born c. 1425)

Can you imagine someone writing about Deaf Gain as early as the 15th century? When Teresa de Cartagena, a Spanish nun, lost her hearing due to illness at around age 30. She wrote an essay about the experience, Arboleda de los enfermos, documenting her journey.

At first sad and frightened by her deafness, Cartagena went on to write about the ways in which her newfound ability to disconnect from the outside world and enjoy silence made her a better nun, more spiritually pure, and a stronger thinker. When men of the period called out the essay as a fraud, believing it was too well-written to have been crafted by a woman, she wrote a second one in her defense, and in defense of the intellect of all women. She’s known today as Spain’s first feminist writer.

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