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Florence Nightingale as one of the most powerful and influential women in history - Essay Example

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Florence Nightingale as one of the most powerful and influential women in history

She became one of the most powerful and influential women in history giving women the right to engage themselves to different professions through her struggles and achievements. She exemplifies the power and ability of a woman who is allowed to express her talents and unique personality and share them with the larger society.
Florence Nightingale was born on "May 12th, 1820" and was named after her birthplace in Florence, Italy. She was born into a wealthy, influential and upper-class British family. Although Florence's father did not want her to pursue a career, he encouraged her to educate herself in different fields. While Florence was developing her personality as an intellectual being, she realized how dissatisfied she was as an aristocratic woman. In contrary to her mother and sister who were enjoying this lifestyle. During her time, nursing did not count as an appropriate profession for a woman of her class and background because it is a vocation meant for poorer women; even comparing it to a cook. Despite that, she still pursued to study nursing and made it clear to those around her that this was her calling. Florence's parents did not agree with the idea and expected her to make a good marriage and maintain the typical aristocratic lifestyle. However, she rebelled against her family's wishes and succeeded in her struggle to study nursing after a long endeavor considering that they had no such tradition to training women to nurture a career apart from being a wife and a mother, not to mention the defiance she showed towards the "societal code for affluent young English women."1 Florence Nightingale
As a young woman, Florence quickly became a famous, eminent and heroic figure in the nursing profession. She worked hard to "educate herself in the art and science of nursing." 2 Florence Nightingale She cared mostly for the poor and became an advocate of the improvement of medical services especially those in the infirmaries. With her advocate, she gained the support of then the president of the Poor Law Board, Charles Villier. "This led to her active role on the Poor Law's, extending further beyond the provisions of the medical care." 3 Florence Nightingale She became so devoted to her profession that she did not entertain a suitor in the name of Richard Monckton Milnes, a politician and poet, certain that marriage will interfere with "her ability to follow her calling to nursing." Nightingale considered marriage as her last concern; in fact, she declined Milnes marriage proposal much to her mother's dismay. But she had a long friendship with a politician by the name of Sidney Herbert who, at that time, was the Secretary at War (1845-1846) and became "instrumental in facilitating her pioneering work in Crimea and in the field of nursing." 4 Florence Nightingale Florence even became a "key advisor" 5 Florence Nightingale to him in his political career. This proves how she is determined to change the status of women during her time and that someone of her gender can contribute her intellectual abilities for the betterment of the society. However, the support she got from Herbert did not hold true for her family, and even created conflicts for her at home. At that point, she had no support from anyone, yet she was determined enough to remain unmarried and continue ...Show more

Summary

In the western industrial societies, there came a vast expansion of feminist activity, which empowered women and helped them to shape the future generations of women. This movement was behind transforming the ignorance of society and educating all people about gender differences and how these differences should be provided for in a social perspective…
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Florence Nightingale as one of the most powerful and influential women in history essay example
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