How Do You Recognize a Strong Woman?

For the past four years, this blog has featured brief biographies of women. Each woman featured shows strength, but it’s not necessarily physical strength. If it’s not physical strength, how do you recognize a strong woman? Daring greatly is being brave and afraid every minute of the day at the exact same time. Brene Brown She doesn’t wait to be saved or given permission to act. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa Sensitive, kind, and dedicated to serve others, Mother Teresa was a strong woman. She acted on her convictions and founded the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Teresa and her missionaries cared for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, ran soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children’s and family counseling programs, as well as orphanages and schools. She put her own health at risk and worked tirelessly to help those in need. Strong women challenge themselves.  Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. Oprah America’s most decorated gymnast, Simone Biles is physically small, but she didn’t let that stop her. Her strength isn’t only physical. A focused and dedicated athlete, she challenges herself and works hard to achieve her […]

Unconventional Women of History No One Taught You About

It takes a strong woman to face a world that doesn’t value her gender. Some are strong enough to make the world see her, to value her. Historical labels for those who were born one gender but identified as another included monstrous, perverse, or insane. We may never know their truth. Only the tip of hidden history, this is an introduction to unconventional women of history no one taught you about. Eleanor Rykener  December 1394 court records documented the arrest of Eleanor Rykener (also known as John Rykener) London during December 1394 for a sex act with a man while dressed as a woman. She wore women’s clothing and worked as an embroideress, prostitute, or barmaid. Records are incomplete. But to many Rykener was a trans-woman. Wikipedia has a short and fascinating article on Eleanor. Moll Cutpurse Mary Frith or Moll Cutpurse (c. 1584–1659), royalist, pick pocket, fence, and pimp, had a “boisterous and masculine spirit.” She wore britches, smoked a pipe, carried a sword, and drank in taverns. Learn about Moll. The Chevalier d’Eon  Declared a boy at birth, Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont (1728-1810) was the son of a minor aristocrat. His family secured him a position in civil […]

The Amazing First Native American Woman Doctor

It was an age where women couldn’t vote, non-whites rarely went to school, and the American government said Native Americans weren’t citizens. The odds were against Susan LaFlesche Picotte. Some of her own people rejected her learning and caregiving. But she persisted. She earned a degree in medicine and worked tirelessly to improve her tribe’s health and welfare. Read about the amazing first Native American woman doctor and her people. Adapt to Survive Omaha Chief Big Elk visited Washington D.C. in 1837. There he saw a coming flood that would wipe out his people. He warned them they needed to adapt to survive. He chose a man with a similar vision to succeed him as chief of the Omaha Tribe. Joseph La Flesche, Susan’s father, was of French and Indian descent. Chief Joseph LaFlesche (Iron Eyes) was one of the seven Omaha chiefs who signed treaties ceding over 90% of the tribe’s land to the U.S. government in 1854. Chief LaFlesche made a bold push for assimilation. But not everyone in the tribe wanted to assimilate. The tribe split into two parties.  It is either civilization or extermination. Chief LaFlesche The Young Men’s Party built log cabins rather than teepees, […]