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From 2003 until 2011, American women soldiers served in the Iraq War.

[288] This time included several firsts for women in the military. In 2008, Ann Dunwoody became the first female fourstar general in the United States military.[289][290] In 2011, Sandra Stosz assumed command of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, becoming the first woman superintendent of that institution, and the first woman to command any U.S. service academy.[194][291] Also in 2011, Patricia Horoho became the first female U.S. Army surgeon general.[292] In 2004, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the United States,[293] since San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom allowed city hall to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.[294] However, all same-sex marriages done in 2004 in California were annulled.[295] But after the California Supreme Court decision in 2008 that granted same-sex couples in California the right to marry, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon remarried, and were again the first same-sex couple in the state to marry.[296][297]Later in 2008 Prop 8 illegalized same-sex marriage in California until Prop 8 was overturned in 2013,[298] but the marriages that occurred between the California Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and the approval of Prop 8 illegalizing it are still considered valid, including the marriage of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.[299] American women achieved many political firsts in the 2000s. In 2007, Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives;[300] she held the position for just under four years. In 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win a presidential primary, winning the New Hampshire Democratic primary although polls had predicted she would lose.[301][302] She eventually lost the Democratic nomination for President to Barack Obama, who went on to become President;[303][304] however, Hillary Clinton did receive 18 million votes.[305] In 2008, Alaska governor Sarah Palin became the first woman nominated for Vice President by the Republican Party, although she was not elected.[306] In 2009 and 2010, respectively, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were confirmed as Supreme Court Associate Justices, making them the third and fourth female justices, but because Justice O'Connor had previously retired, this made the first time three women have served together on the Supreme Court. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland was re-elected to a fifth term in 2010; when the 112th Congress was sworn in, she became the longest serving female senator ever, passing Sen. Margaret Chase Smith. During this term, she surpassed Edith Nourse Rogers as the woman to serve the longest in the U.S. Congress.[307] In 2009, due to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act being signed into law, the definition of federal hate crime was expanded to include those violent crimes in which the victim is selected due to their actual or perceived gender and/or gender identity; previously federal hate crimes were defined as only those violent crimes where the victim is selected due to their race, color, religion, or national origin.[308] Furthermore, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act requires the Federal Bureau

of Investigation to track statistics on hate crimes based on gender and gender identity (statistics for the other groups were already tracked).[309] In March 2011, the Barack Obama administration released a report, Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, showing women's status in the U.S. in 2011 and how it had changed over time.[310] This report was the first comprehensive federal report on women since the report produced by the Commission on the Status of Women in 1963.[310] In 2013, American military leaders removed the military's ban on women serving in combat, overturning a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.[311]

Before the 1960s, professional historians seldom wrote about women, and women were not encouraged to get their PhDs. The major departments had few if any women professors. Breakthroughs began in the late 1960s, as increasing numbers of women entered graduate schools, wrote seminar papers that became journal articles, and finished dissertations that became published books. By the 1970s, major publishers were eager to have a few titles on women in their list, and journal editors were equally receptive.[312] The field of women's history exploded dramatically after 1970, along with the growth of the new social history and the acceptance of women into graduate programs in history departments. An important development was an emphasis on racial minorities and working-class women. A representative book was Deborah Gray White's 'Ar'n't I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (1985), which explored issues of race, slavery, abolitionism and feminism, as well as resistance, power, and activism, and themes of violence, sexualities, and the body.[313] A major trend in recent years has been to emphasize a global perspective.[314]

See also[edit]

History of women's suffrage in the United States Lesbian American history Timeline of reproductive rights legislation Women in education in the United States Women's suffrage in the United States Elizabeth Hawes, feminist and designer Mexican-American women in the U.S. from 190060


List of American women's firsts List of Kentucky women in the civil rights era