In every society, there are those who have specific ideas about what the role of women should be. But what we have and continue to learn is that women shall not be limited to the confines of some arbitrary boundary. We are free to explore our possibilities and color outside the lines of expectation.
As we observe Women’s History Month, we celebrate those who dared to push the limits for themselves and for those around them
What do you do with a husband that just won’t listen? You ride naked through the streets. After having exhausted all acceptable forms of communication, Lady Godiva, an 11th century noblewoman, rode nude on her horse one dark night covered only by her long hair. The ride was in protest to the heavy taxation her husband had placed on his tenants. For Lady Godvia, the only way to be heard was to break the rules and brave the criticism.
What do you do when society tries to suppress your talent? Artemisia Gentileschi was truly blessed to live in 16th century Florence, where art was considered a treasure. Artistic talents were cultivated in the studios of the great masters – Boticelli, Caravaggio, Titian, DaVinci, but only if you were a boy. Artemisia was a very gifted painter like her father. She endured the veracious jealously of her less talented brothers, rape by her mentors and torture by the courts. Yet, she would not be deterred. Artemsia’s perseverance made her one of the best known artists of her time.
What do you when the world tries to crush your soul? Surviving poverty, molestation and the loss of a child all before the age of 19, Oprah Winfrey has become the iconic superwoman of the 20th century. Her candid approach to taboo subjects on her daytime talk show and other platforms helped multiple generations of women be more accepting of themselves and more forgiving of others. Though the wealthiest African-American, she is a shining example of generosity. She fought hard to become the woman she is today, blazing trails never walked before.