Social scientists have learned crucial lessons from the success of anti-foot binding campaigns in the early to mid-1900s. For example, the missionaries that began the fight against foot binding did not try to lead the movement. Instead, they recruited and helped organize local Chinese people to lead the movement. Though not all of these indigenous leaders and participants in the campaign were Christians, many were. The movement effectively drew in non-Christian intellectual leaders like Kang Youwei by using arguments grounded in the understandable Chinese desire for respect from other nations.
The truth is, we remember much of the civil rights movement through its very visible male leaders — giants like Roy Wilkins, Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy. Virtually all of the main characters in the film “Selma” are men.
But there were so many women, both behind the scenes and on the front lines, who shaped the movement.