The first women to come to mind, for me, as great ones are those who took what was conceived to be a man’s world and turned it to their own use, like:
Katharine Hepburn – who bent the old Studio system to her will.
Amelia Earhart – who had the cojones to adventure into the air and push the limits
Oprah Winfrey – the only woman to own her own network, I believe
Then there are the women entertainers who were outrageous, doing it their way and often re-inventing themselves: Lucille Ball, Cher, Madonna, Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper. There are several younger ones who will inherit these slots and I’m anxiously watching them. I love and value the quality of having no fear to just “be.”
Many truly wonderful women have given themselves to the world, with kindness and grace:
Eleanor Roosevelt – who cared deeply for the under-privileged
Roslyn Carter – a rod of steel behind a gentle exterior
Oprah Winfrey – Another nod here for her incredible degree of philanthropy
Maya Angelou – intelligence with humility personified
I wish I had the intellectual wherewithal to speak of women from other countries with some conviction. Unfortunately, I know they are out there by the millions, but I haven’t followed any closely enough to comment.
The women who deserve the highest of honors though will go unmentioned today, for the most part, as they are the everyday women; who struggle to provide as single mothers, who reach for the cancer cure somewhere in a lab, who bring our meal to a diner table, who stretch their budgets to include giving to charities, who stop to help a stranger, who cuddle their children when they need it even though there are a million things to be done, who build a family out of nothing but sheer love, who struggle to overcome biases and still have an open heart and give constantly of themselves without tangible reward. They are everywhere; in every part of the world. Aren’t we lucky to be among them?
These things and so much more make me proud to be a woman.