Dorothea von Rodde-Schlözer (c. 1805/06) by Jean-Antoine HoudonBode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
If you're reading this there’s a 50% chance that you’re on the wrong side of the gender pay gap (and probably a few other gaps too). One theory says that some of this gap is down to women just not asking for stuff confidently enough.
So let us present to you as a possible role model: Dorothea von Rodde-Schlözer. She was not shy of asking for stuff, despite living in an otherwise-chauvinistic 19th century Germany.
At the age of SIXTEEN, she could speak TEN languages, so was something of an outlier. But despite her brilliance she wasn’t accepted to university. Because women can’t go to university, obviously…!
This was not ok for Dorothea. Following an extensive private examination she received a PhD in philosophy at the Göttingen University. At the age of SEVENTEEN she was the first woman in Germany to achieve this status.
What's more, a few years into her marriage to Senator Mattheus Rodde, she fell in love with French writer Charles Villers. Dorothea wanted to be with BOTH men. They said yes. And untill Viller's death Dorothea lived happily in a ménage à trois.
Who says women can’t have it ALL?
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz