A Thousand Female Role Models

A friend told me their female role model was their grandma. “Her priorities are food and family”, she said. She admired the way her older relative didn’t take life too seriously. She knows how to laugh.

Another told me their role model is Amal Clooney. The woman knows fashion and she said she would definitely love to have her closet. I also had a coworker claim Princess Leia as their role model. “She had a lot on her plate and owned it,” he said.

I thought that was brilliant. Female role models can truly be anyone for a million reasons. It doesn’t matter if they are a fantasy character that saved the universe or an older woman who just knows how to be happy; they all matter in some way.

Women change lives every day and most of the time, we don’t even realize it. High school history books don’t cover many female innovators and so we don’t learn about them until  we’re either college kids or 40-year-olds being told a fun fact. I remember my mother once told me that when she was younger it seemed like women didn’t do anything for the world, that they just existed as men created everything. But as I grew up and read more, I learned how untrue her statement was. When I told my mother, she wasn’t surprised and she enjoyed learning about each new female figure I brought to her attention. (Which was quite often.)

Like did you know a woman invented a form of frequency hopping which led to the creation of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS? It was by Hedy Lamarr, an actress that performed film’s first female orgasm. She was coined the “most beautiful woman in the world” (which she actually hated).

Or what about Sojourner Truth, a former slave who became an inspiring civil rights activist and believed that suffrage should come for both formerly enslaved women and men simultaneously? Frederick Douglass thought men should come first.

The list is endless: scientists, doctors, soldiers, activists, artists, mothers. They’ve all existed for centuries before us. Over the years they were forced to hide their accomplishments because of the restrictions placed on women’s rights. Luckily, many broke these social norms and made a change, big or small.

That’s the great thing about people. We can make the tiniest differences and not notice how much of an impact they actually have. We can’t forget these women’s contributions.

So pick whoever you want. Have a thousand female role models! I have one. She’s good at laughing at her own jokes, and even with a hard past, she knows life can always be good if you try hard enough. Most of all, she cares even when it’s hard to love. This person is my mother and she will always be the best person I’ve had the fortune to meet.