I’m allergic to wasps. Badly. I found this out three years ago as I was pruning the lorapetulums in our front garden and brushed against a hidden wasp nest with my hand. The pinpoint prick is still visible on my hand, and I swear it throbs whenever one of those flying menaces gets too close for comfort.
But this morning I read about another WASP on CNN.com that sent me to the Google machine for more information.
The Women Airforce Service Pilots was born in 1942 to create a corps of female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front.
“Soaring patriotism” is the issue at hand here, and it’s so refreshing to see credit given where credit is due, even if it’s nearly four decades after the fact. As a young girl, my mother told me I could do anything I wanted to do, I just had to put my mind to it. And I grew up believing that … I graduated high school with honors, went on to get a Bachelor’s degree and have worked for the last decade as a successful language artist (writer, graphic artist, photographer, editor, storyteller). But my salary has always been at least 20% less than my male colleagues and counterparts, and I’ve been passed over for a promotion or new job more than once–and I find that to be more telling than my mother’s words.
“I think that this is important. It is hopefully something that people will remember,” Tedeschi said. “It is another thing to honor the women who lost their lives at that time and of course what it did to persuade people that women could do this.
I asked an instructor ‘Why can’t I learn to fly?’ and he didn’t have an answer … so I decided to find out for myself.”
So there you go … just like Jane Tedeschi, one of the famed WASPs from WWII, the key to success as a woman (and the key to breaking the glass ceiling for women and young girls everywhere) is to keep on moving. Forward momentum, drive and determination, strong self-confidence–these are the hallmarks of success for anyone. Regardless of gender, age, race, or religion. Though I fight for the rights of women, I really fight for the rights of everyone. Because we’re all affected by the world around us. And I’m totally smitten with my 11 year old son, who will grow up one day to be a man in the workforce … who will hopefully work side-by-side with any and every kind of person.
But back to the story on CNN.com: these women paid for their own training, weren’t considered military so they got no military training or benefits, aren’t able to have flags on their coffins as a result, and when the war was over had to pay their own way home. “They hope the publicity will teach younger generations about their accomplishments and remind some still skeptical men just how capable women are.” So I’m doing my part … read more about the Women Airforce Service Pilots online.