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Women’s History Month: Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix is known for her work with the mentally ill, but she was also a strong advocate for women’s rights. During the Civil War, nursing started to be overrun by women. Before this, women usually were not known for working in the medical field. Dorothea Dix, or better known as Dragon Dix, was the head of the Union Nurse Corps. She often did not put up with men at all, and would dismiss them without warning. She had a harsh way of showing her work for women, but it was very effective. She also only trained women, so she was well aware of the fact that women were starting to completely take over the medical field.

She was an advocate for those who were unable to stick up for themselves. Those who were in mental asylums were treated as animals, and Dorothea tried to fix that. The conditions were worse than the prisons.

Dorothea also conducted many speeches in front of Congress, which was all men. She had to earn the respect that she was given, and forced the men of Congress to pay attention to her. She was one of the first women of the United States to demand attention from the men of Congress on behalf of the mentally ill.

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