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Emily Greene Balch

October 19, 2010 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Intellectual history, Political history, Social history

Emily Greene Balch can be categorized into a group that unfortunately too many women fall victim.  Ms. Balch, although being one of the most intelligent women and great activists for equality and peace during her time, fell into obscurity in a society that too often emphasizes what isn’t important.

Ms. Balch was born in Boston to an affluent family.  Though not much about her mother or father is revealed it is known that Ms. Balch was educated and became actively involved in the women’s suffrage movement and the war protests surrounding WWI.  After graduating college Ms. Balch helped found the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  She also became a professor of sociology and economics at Welllesly College in Massachusetts before being fired for her “pacifist” and “regrettable” behaviors.

The question is this: How does someone with credentials such as Ms. Balch get thrown into obscurity and become seemingly irrelevent?  Unfortunately the answer lies within the social structure that too often defines American society; Men at the forefront, women in the background.  Examples of this are endless.  take for instance Anna Mae Clark, Jane Adams, or Aletta Jacobs just to name a few.

When will this stop?  And how long must we tolerate this type of underwhelming recognition?  Ms. Balch, though winning the Noble Peace prize of 1946, still had to share the honor with a man!(John Mott).

It is our responsibilty to ensure that women like Ms. Balch be promoted and regarded as esteemed individuals for what they accomplished and to help deter the neagtive stereotypes and insignificance that is allowed due to their gender. greene balch.  wiki group.  12 October 2010.  19 October 2010.

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