“I’ve been described as a tough and noisy woman, a prize fighter, a man-hater, you name it. They call me Battling Bella, Mother Courage, and a Jewish mother with more complaints than Portnoy. There are those who say I’m impatient, impetuous, uppity, rude, profane, brash, and overbearing. Whether I’m any of those things, or all of them, you can decide for yourself. But whatever I am —and this ought to be made very clear—I am a very serious woman.” – Bella Savitsky Abzug
People called her Battling Bella because she fought for everything she believed in.
Bella Savitsky Abzug was brash, outspoken, courageous, a woman who “could boil the fat off a taxi driver’s neck.” She was known to wear colorful hats, though when people commented on the style, she would remind them that “It’s what’s under the hat that counts!”
Her career started as an attorney in NYC in the late 1940s. In this role, she specialized “in labor and tenants’ rights, and civil rights and liberties cases. During the McCarthy era she was one of the few attorneys willing to fight against the House Un-American Activities Committee.”
After she was elected to the House of Representatives in 1970, she became one of the first members of Congress to support gay rights, introducing the first federal gay rights bill, known as the Equality Act of 1974.
A snapshot of Bella Savitsky Abzug sources:
Gotfryd, Bernard, photographer. Bella Abzug. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2020729754/>. / Time Magazine – Meet the Woman Behind Women’s Equality Day / Wikipedia / Jewish Women’s Archive Women of Valor / Bella!, introduction (1972) – Wikiquote
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