Do you have a female icon? Someone who you admire? Someone who stands for what you stand for (or close to it)? Who has modeled the type of courage, conviction and confidence that you some day hope to embody?
I feel fortunate that I have been able to sit in the same room, interview and, in some cases, become friendly with some of my favorite female icons. Women like Maria Shriver, Marianne Williamson, Malala Yousafzai, Eve Ensler, Diane Sawyer, Jane Goodall, Christiane Amanapour and Hillary Clinton.
These women have inspired me to use my voice for what I believe in. They have encouraged me to have a public voice — a political voice — so that what I care about most is part of the public conversation. Part of the cultural zeitgeist.
I am grateful to these women for each having the courage to pioneer their own path. To blaze a trail where there was none.
Do you have women in your life like this? Maybe they are public figures. Maybe they’ve already passed on from this lifetime. And/or maybe they are living right in your own home.
Did you ever consider that you are an icon or role model to someone else? As we’ve heard so often over the last five years since the release of the film, Miss Representation, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
You are a role model to someone. Probably to many someones. Even if you don’t know it.
There is one woman on my list of role models who doesn’t know she is a role model to me. I have never met her. Never interviewed her. Never sat with in the same room her. It’s kind of surprising, considering the level of inspiration she has been to me. But I suppose the timing was never right.
Well now it is.
This is none other than … can you guess??? (Hint: She has inspired generations of women to stand for equality and speak out against patriarchal oppression.)
Yes, you got it: It’s Gloria Steinem.
And I’m going to see her next week! Even better, I’m going with my husband.
One of my favorite quotes from Gloria is this:
“Don’t think about making women fit the world – think about making the world fit women.”
This about sums it up. It encapsulates all that I stand for. And she captured it in this one statement. Ahhhhhhhh … the brilliance.
Who are your female icons? What do they stand for? What do you stand for?
Share your inspiration below. (You just might inspire someone else.)
Tabby Biddle, M.S.Ed., is a leading voice and advocate for advancing women’s leadership and the human rights of women and girls. She is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller, Find Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action, now available in paperback. Get your copy here.