in a time when our country was working tirelessly to forge its own way in the world as an independent nation, women were enacting a similar battle in a much less publicized arena.
deborah sampson was nothing short of a revolutionary badass. knowing that women deserved the opportunity to heed the call of fierce patriotism, she disguised herself as a man, took on the name "robert shurtleff", and fought valiantly in the revolutionary war.
her gender was eventually discovered upon being injured and she was honorably discharged as result.
deborah sampson's fight was not over; once she was no longer on the frontlines, she petitioned the government to pay her as an equal for her time spent in combat. it took 7 years for deborah sampson's petition to be accepted, granting her pension equal to that of her male counterparts .
deborah sampson was likely not the first, and certainly not the last, woman to fight on american soil disguised as a man. frances clalin and sarah edmonds, for example, fought in the civil war as men, were discharged as women, and were faced with the same pension battle as deborah sampson.
if deborah sampson had the opportunity to be elected as the first president of the united states, would we still be fighting to close the gender wage gap?
the battle continues today -- over 200 years later, we are still entrenched in that same war.