Celebrating Independently-Minded Women In America

September 9th, 2017

Fighting For Women’s Rights & Education

From early on, women fought for their rights – whether it was to own land, to give girls the opportunity for a good education, or for equal rights in the workplace. Here are some women who stand out in history:

Margaret Brent: In 1639, Brent became the first female landowner in Maryland. A close friend of Governor Leonard Calvert, he appointed her the executor of his estate. The Provincial Court appointed Brent as Lord Baltimore’s attorney-in-fact in 1648 and, as part of her duties, she made sure soldiers were paid and fed and her actions helped to avoid mutiny in the colony. She was a significant founding settler of both Maryland and Virginia. She was also the first woman in North America to appear before a common law court.

Sarah Josepha Hale: The author of the nursery rhyme “Mary had a little lamb” was a fierce supporter of education for girls. After her husband’s death in 1822, Hale launched her writing and magazine editing career to support her five children. She was instrumental in changing minds to allow girls into professions like teaching, and later medicine.

“In this age of innovation perhaps no experiment will have an influence more important on the character and happiness of our society than the granting to females the advantages of a systematic and thorough education.” – Sarah Josepha Hale

Gloria Steinem: In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Steinem became nationally recognized as the spokeswoman for the feminist movement. She is a journalist and social and political activist and is currently speaking about the issues of equality throughout the world.

In 1920, American women got the right to vote – after 70 years of fighting for this right. Over the years, there were many women who helped fight for the right to vote. Here we highlight some of the most prominent:

Lucy Stone: In 1847, Stone became the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She was a vocal advocate for women’s rights and the abolishment of slavery at a time when women were discouraged and even prevented to speak in public. Stone kept her maiden name after her marriage – something that was severely frowned upon at the time. She founded the Woman’s Journal, a weekly magazine about women’s rights.

Lucretius Mott: Mott believed that the roles women played in society at the time were due to limited education, not inferiority. She supported equal political rights and economic opportunities.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Stanton helped form the first women’s rights convention in 1848, with Lucretia Mott.

“Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women In Politics

Not so long ago, women were not allowed to participate in political affairs. Here are some women who helped change the gender gap in politics:

Jeannette Rankin: Elected in 1916, Rankin was the first woman in Congress. Prior to joining Congress, she was a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and her efforts helped women in Montana to gain the vote in 1914.

“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.” – Jeannette Rankin

Eleanor Roosevelt: The wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she dramatically changed the role of the first lady through her active participation in American politics. During her husband’s presidency, Roosevelt wrote a newspaper column, gave press conferences, and spoke about human rights, children’s causes, and women’s issues. After his death, she became the delegate to the United Nations and served from 1945 to 1953. She also served as the chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission.

“Women are like teabags. You don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Madeleine Albright: In 1993, Albright became the US Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1997, she was appointed as the first female US Secretary of State. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Albright holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, as well as numerous honorary degrees.

Women In Sports, Adventure, And Entertainment

A woman can hold their own when it comes to adventure, entertainment, and sports. Here are some of the women who excelled:

Amelia Earhart: An aviation pioneer, author, and idol to many, Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She helped form The Ninety-Nines, an organization supporting female pilots. She was also an advisor to the aeronautical engineering faculty at Purdue University and a career counselor to female students. In 1937, she disappeared near Howland Island during an attempt to make a circumnavigation flight of the globe.

“The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune.” – Amelia Earhart

Florence Chadwick: Chadwick was 32 years old when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways in 1951. She attempted the crossing ten times, of which she successfully completed four legs.

Katherine Hepburn: This leading lady was known for her fierce independence and outspoken personality. Hepburn wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so and lived her life independently and out of the spotlight. During her career of more than 60 years, Hepburn won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. She died in 2003.


Many women achieve great results each day, but here are some pioneers:

Bridget ‘Biddy’ Mason: Born a slave, Biddy had to fight for her freedom in an LA court in 1856. California, where she lived at the time, was a free state, but her ‘owner’, Smith, wanted to move them to Texas, where slaves weren’t free, to sell his slaves there. After winning in court and becoming free, she worked in Los Angeles as a nurse and midwife. She became one of the first African-Americans to purchase land in the city. A real-estate businesswoman, she accumulated a relatively large fortune for the time – nearly $300,000 – which she generously shared with charities.

Ellen Swallow Richards: Richards was an industrial and environmental chemist, and the first to apply chemistry to the study of nutrition. She was the first woman admitted to any school of science and technology in America, and also the first woman to obtain a degree in chemistry. She graduated from MIT in 1872.

Winifred Edgerton Merril: Merrill was the first woman in the US to obtain a Ph.D. in Mathematics and the first to receive a degree from Columbia University. She achieved her Ph.D. with high honors in 1886. She was instrumental in the formation of the Barnard College in 1889, New York’s first institution to award women a degree in liberal arts. She also founded the Oaksmere School for Girls in 1906.

Elizabeth Blackwell: In 1849, Blackwell became the first female physician in the US and the first woman listed on the UK Medical Register. Originally born in Britain, Blackwell had to fight to get permission to study and work in the medical field. She advocated for the education of women in medicine.

Sandra Day O’Connor: Appointed in 1981, O’Connor became the first woman justice on the US Supreme Court, a position she held for 24 years.

How To Get Control Of Your Time

September 9th, 2017

Many people go through life without finding any satisfaction in the simple fact of being alive. Yet this lifetime is the only time we will have – we had better make the most of it. Few of us do, of course. We act as if this time were just a practice run for the next. As George Bernard Shaw said, we seem not to live long enough to take our lives seriously.

Fortunately, however, we live in an age when people have developed methods to help us – if we choose – to use our time wisely. One such person has been Alan Lakein a time-management consultant who as of the early 1970s had given his seminar in this useful art to some 11,000 people. The purpose: to try and help men and women improve their motivation, reset direction (if it seems desirable or necessary), or find ways around or through situations that block them.

“Most people don’t think in terms of minutes,” says Lakein. “They waste all the minutes. Nor do they think in terms of their whole life. They operate in the mid-range of hours or days. So they start over again every week, and spend another substantial chunk of time in ways unrelated to their lifetime goals. They are doing a random walk through life, moving without getting anywhere.”

The real question is: What do we really want to do? If we do not know, sooner or later we will realize that, whatever it was there just isn’t enough time left to do it. Our lifetime is not entirely our own, and yet it is all we have, and it is absurd to spend that time in constant reaction and accommodation to someone else’s plan – whether that plan is imagined as God’s, the boss’s or a spouse’s. distinction must be made. If it is the boss’s time, then we must do his thing. Done properly, this should leave us time of our own to do our thing.

It takes organization and concentration to carve out your own time, but most important of all it takes self-knowledge to know what you want to do with it. Without goals and motivation the time will evaporate.

“A typical best use of time is to plan,” says Lakein. Some people don’t even make lists; much less imagine that today is connected with next week and five years from now. “But you can’t effectively plan the next few days without deciding on the next ten years,” says Lakein.

And so he begins by asking you to sort out your own personal priorities:

What are your lifetime goals? Write down everything you can think of, including money, career, physical, family, social, community, spiritual and personal goals. Try to fill up an entire sheet of paper. Now, place an “A” in front of three goals that are most to you. On another sheet of paper, be specific about each of the three: identify sub-goals, logical next steps, and immediate plans. Then, from each ‘A’ goal, select one “next step” to take next week. Now you have an action programme! This list should be redone once a month, to keep up a continuous and evolving spiral of improvement.

“Great power comes from having a clearly identified list of lifetime goals,” says Lakein. It is not unknown for a client at this point to decide that his minutes are not adding up to a lifetime he wants.

A busy woman lawyer, for example, told Lakein that her problem was not having enough time. After she’d made a list of her lifetime goals, which began, “To be left alone,” he pointed out that there were inconsistencies between her overcrowded life and her stated goal. It emerged that her problem was an inability to say no to anyone. She and Lakein worked together on a list of tactful ways to get her off the hook. Not only was time saved, but she improved her self-esteem by developing the courage to say no.

How would you like to spend the next five years? Not how will you, or how should you, but how would you like to? If you have just written down as a lifetime goal a desire to be rich, and now find yourself answering, “I would like to be building birdhouses in British Columbia,” you have not been honest in Question 1.

The point is to discover your own goals, not the ones you have been taught. We do too many things because of some atavistic sense that we have to. But do we? Even if the action was originally sensible, is it sensible now?

Herbert A. Shepard, a behavioural consultant to government and industry, asks clients to explore their wildest dreams – the fantasies or impossibilities they have filed permanently away because “People don’t do that” or “I don’t have time.”

Milton Glaser asks his students at New York’s School of Visual Arts to design a perfect day for yourself five years from now. There are all kinds of similar games – such as writing your own obituary – which, if taken seriously, can release people who are trapped not so much by circumstances as by lack of imagination.

One August, a reporter made a survey of young matrons sitting around a Long Island club pool. Their days were filled with sunshine’ and bathing suits and tennis lessons. The reporter asked them about their favourite fantasies. “They had none,” she reported, “only fears.” Fears of losing their money or their looks. Without imagination there can be no alternatives, and no motivation.

How would you like to live if you knew you would be dead six months from today? With this question, Lakein forces the client to face what is basically important to him.

Similarly, Shepard asks people, “When are you really glad you’re alive?” and “What do you regret not doing lately?” Many people have never consciously thought out the answers, and once they recognize their own feelings, they can begin to set firm policies to see that their lives are arranged to make them happier more often while reducing guilt and frustration. And that is the point of the process: to meet the stranger that is often ourself, and to establish priorities that take that person into account.

“There is always enough time to do what is important,” says Lakein. (Many people take the most productive hours of the day, between 8 and 11 a.m., to read newspapers, drink coffee, chat). Once we have realized that there is time for the important things, the next problem is to do them.

Now! After all, as Lakein says. “Time is life.”