Throughout much of history, women have been called the weaker sex. I guess it's because they are smaller than men and can't lift as much weight. Because they are the "weaker gender" women don't get to do as many interesting things as men or have as many rights - at least that was the case until just recently.
Good Queen Bess
For hundreds of years, anything that belonged to a woman became her husband's when she got married. Not wanting to have to deal with the drama of a husband claiming to be superior to her, Queen Elizabeth I of England simply never got married. She was called "The Virgin Queen," as she never had a husband, but the nickname might not have been correct. She had many affairs, but never let her boyfriends get close to her fortune or her kingdom. The rules about husbands taking over the property of their wives is still in effect in many countries today, and only went away in the UK and US in the last eighty years.
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc lived a bit before Queen Elizabeth, and was French rather than English. Joan, at the age of seventeen, became a national hero by leading troops on the battlefield. She felt compelled to drive out the British, and waiting around for the men to take care of it just wasn't enough for her.
She suited up in some armor and did what she could to take matters into her own hands. At one point, she even refused to leave the field of battle when she was injured. Considering most women of the time were told to stay home and wait for the men to handle everything, Joan certainly did stand out as a tough young woman.
Susan B. Anthony
Susan and her friend Elizabeth Cody Stanton were two of the leading ladies in getting women equal rights in the United States.
Susan and Elizabeth lived and worked in the time period surrounding the Civil War (mid 1800s) and had many causes they supported. First they supported freeing all the slaves and then they acted on behalf of women, claiming women should have the right to vote and that women should be treated equally to men.
The opinion was not popular with men, of course, and women were not allowed to vote until 1920 in all states of the United States. Some states, like Wyoming, let women vote earlier, but the universal law allowing women to vote has only been in effect a little over eighty years. In the UK all women were not allowed to vote until 1928.
Today women are just as, if not more, successful and powerful as men. More women graduate from college every year than men do. Less than 150 years ago, many colleges wouldn't even allow women to attend! Now women are turning out more educated and are able to perform the same jobs as men. There are still areas that women don't get the same perks as men Ė such as money and short lines at bathrooms, but gaps are closing every day!
It's hard to imagine less than 100 years ago, women were not allowed to vote, much less actually have a political job (other than being the secretary.) Women were treated a lot like dolls and were actually thought to be unable to make up their minds about things like money or politics. I guess, it's pretty clear men were wrong all of these years, and now we might even have a woman president of the United States. Women are weak? I don't think so!