It takes enormous courage for a woman to say, “I don’t give a damn if no woman has ever done this before. I’ll do it anyway.” Throughout the history of the United States, from colonial days, until today, there have been women who have defied social norms, chipped at glass ceilings, beat their heads against brick walls and persevered to become First Women.
These women deserve our accolades, our admiration, our imitation. They are our past and also our future. As I work on a book about them, tentatively titled First: Women Who Chipped Glass Ceilings, I hope to celebrate them as they deserve.
They are little known women, like Victoria Claflin Woodhull who was the First Woman to run for president of the United States in 1872—even before women could vote.
They are well known women whose lives we do not fully know, like Maya Angelou who was the First Woman streetcar conductor in San Francisco.
They are famous First Women like Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright.
All of them deserve attention. In this blog, I include women from history, current news about First Women, and tidbits from the developing book. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
The Lynnwood Rotary invited me to become its first woman Rotarian in the late 1980’s. Club members made me feel very welcomed.
After several years of debate and legal challenges, in 1989 the Rotary International Council on Legislation voted to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide. The response to the Rotary Internation decision was overwhelming: By 1990, the number of female Rotarians skyrocketed to over 20,000 and many other women had also joined the Lynnwood Club.
Currently Chancellor WGU Washington, then Executive Vice President, Edmonds Community College