Media Resource

Unladylike 2020: The Changemakers

At the turn of the twentieth century, a new generation of women rose to challenge the political, societal, and cultural parameters that restricted their freedoms and opportunities. With support from the NEH, the Public Broadcasting System launched Unladylike2020 to commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. This multimedia project includes a collection of twenty-six animated documentary shorts and a one-hour special that focuses on women whose lives and accomplishments are often relegated to the periphery of history.  

The videos use a combination of artwork, animation, archival footage, and various interviews with descendants, historians, and contemporary female leaders to discuss the experiences and achievements of each historical figure. This project underscores how the legacies of these historic changemakers continue to inspire and influence the work of modern women. 

Classroom Connections 

Guiding Questions

These questions can guide viewing of the one-hour documentary and the twenty six short videos, as well as initiate discussion. 

  • What does it mean to be “ladylike” and “unladylike”? 

  • What are the typical narratives told about women’s history in the United States? 

  • Why do you think the stories of the women featured in these videos are not well known? 

  • To what extent do these stories challenge your understanding of women in U.S. history? 

  • What can you do to elevate the stories of these women? 

EDSITEment Resources 

EDSITEment offers a collection of lesson plans and other resources to help students learn about the experiences and achievements of women beyond the suffrage movement.