“We too have a heart that beats, that suffers when facing so much misery. The pain of the working masses affects us too. Who knows misery more than Women? ” ~Maria Roda
When I started doing my research into Italian American Women one of the first women that I came across that blew me away was Maria Roda. Herstory is one of infamy, passion and proving that women can truly have it all.
Maria burst on to the international scene in the late 1800’s when she was arrested for inciting a riot at a silk mill in Milan at the tender age of 15. This led to a three month prison sentence which at that time was unheard of. Eventually she made her way to New York where with her partner she became a prominent voice for women’s and workers rights.
With her life partner she helped run the paper “La Questione Sociale” that gave women a voice in the Anarchist movement. She was also a charismatic speaker, even though she only spoke Italian people from all walks of life would come to listen to her speak…even if they couldn’t speak her language.
Oh yeah, and she did all of this with 8 kids and while continuing to work in the silk mill.