Nearly every Friday for the past several weeks my post for NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES has focused on Pioneer Women… those brave women who have blazed the trail before those of us coming after…to encourage, motivate and are role models for us to emulate.
Today will be the last in the series, as I’ve sensed a new direction and want to follow that leading. In the meantime, there were some exceptional women I wanted to highlight before leaving this series.
As I’ve had this opportunity to research women worldwide who’ve made their mark on society, a common thread emerged…for the most part, they are what I would call “initiators”.
Recently, I read a post from a dear friend who was talking specifically about people in ministry and said this…”Initiators are people who are passionate about what they do. They are like the point on a spear. They are prepared to pay a price to see things carried out.”
I would not hesitate for a moment to say that each one of the women featured briefly below, some who are a “household word” and others more obscure, did pay a price for blazing those trails!
The point is, they all were willing to step out in faith, whether in themselves, in their Creator…or both…and reach beyond themselves to achieve their dreams and goals…and that has earned each one of them the title of PIONEER!
When one thinks of American women pioneers, Amelia Earhart immediately comes to mind…at least to MY mind, she did! In 1932 she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and then went on, in 1935, to be the first pilot to fly solo from Hawaii to California. Despite the danger, in 1937 she embarked on her lifelong dream of flying around the world. Unfortunately, her plane disappeared and she was never seen again.
In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from medical school in the U.S., as well as having the distinction of becoming our first female doctor, while being a pioneer in education women in the field of medicine.
Although little known today, American suffragist Victoria Woodhill was the first woman to ever run for President of the United States…and that goes all the way back to 1872. Obviously, she was not successful in her bid; however, she did go on to make a fortune, along with her sister, on the New York Stock Exchange and was one of the first woman to open a Wall Street brokerage firm.
What about the first woman to publish a modern cookbook…long before Betty Crocker came on the scene! Fannie Farmer is her name and she pioneered and self-published “The Boston Cooking School Cookbook” in 1896. Prior to this, recipes were handed by word-of-mouth, typically never using exact measurements. Fannie changed all that and the way we Americans prepare food by using standardized measurements in our recipes.
Then there’s Rosa Parks, the famous pioneer of civil rights in racially segregated Alabama in the 1950’s, who refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott that crippled the state capital’s public transportation system.
A contemporary female political figure familiar to us all, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, was voted the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2004 and 2005. What’s not known by most…she’s also a very talented musician and originally set out to be a concert pianist!
In the field of entertainment, I thought of Billie Holiday, born in 1915, regarded by many as the greatest female jazz singer of all time. Critic John Bush claimed that she “changed the art of American pop vocals forever”.
And what about the incredible talent of Katharine Hepburn…best known for portraying strong-willed women in her film roles, she earned four Academy Awards for Best Actress, the most an actress has ever won!
There were SO many amazing women in many fields of endeavor that could have been featured…our American history is replete with women who have earned the right to be called authentic pioneers. That fact is something we can be extremely proud of, as women ourselves.
I, for one, am very grateful for these women…and a myriad of others, who have paved the way for those of us who are committed to making a difference in the lives of women. Let’s commit ourselves to following their lead…and be role models worthy for the young women who are looking to us to lead the way for them!
Onward & Upward,
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://neighborhoodboutiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/jana-photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I am a woman on a mission to be a world changer – one relationship at a time. I want to encourage, empower and equip others to live a life of balance and excellence whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental or relational. Connect with me so together we can map a plan that works for you![/author_info] [/author]