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Amelia Earhart - Contribution to Women's Advancement

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For this question, I chose Amelia Earhart. Ms. Earhart is more popular for her mysterious demise than her actual contribution to women's advancement in a man's world.

Amelia made huge strides in opening up the aviation field to women. In 1935, Amelia became the first person, male or female, to fly from Hawaii to mainland America. By doing this, she became not only the first person to fly solo to an area in the Pacific Ocean, but the first to fly solo over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. She inspired a generation of female aviators, including more than 1,000 women pilots of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, who ferried military aircraft, flew target practice aircraft and served as transport pilots during World War II.

Amelia was also a successful and heavily promoted who served as an aviation editor for Cosmopolitan magazine from 1928 to 1930. Earhart wrote magazine articles, newspaper columns and essays and published two books based on her experiences as a flyer.

Not only was she a great aviator and accomplished author, but she also joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1935 as a female career consultant. Through the purchase of a Lockheed Electra aircraft, by Purdue University, that Amelia was able to fulfill her dream of circumnavigating the globe.

She carried her liberal views into her personal life. After marrying George P. Putnam in 1931, she maintained her own identity, which was very radical for the time. She looked at marriage as a partnership with "dual control." In a letter she wrote to Putnam on their wedding day, she stated "I want you to understand I shall not hold you to any midaevil (sic) code of faithfulness to me nor shall I consider myself bound to you similarly."

I believe Amelia Earhart accomplished all of this because she was raised a strong and independent woman in a time where women were seen as subservient to men. Her mother did not want her girls molded into "nice little girls." Her mother allowed the girls to wear bloomers at times instead of dresses and did not bind them to strict rules. The girls were allowed to set off on their own adventures around the neighborhood, climbing trees, capturing bugs and keeping a scrapbook of successful women in predominately male-oriented fields.

Throughout this course, we've read about how many women do not succeed or show an interest in their science programs during high school, but Amelia purposely searched for a high school that had an excellent science program. She actually rejected a high school near her hometown, complaining the chemistry lab was "just like a kitchen sink."

She was not a woman who was afraid to speak her mind and was lucky to have other females in her life that supported and pushed her to accomplish great things. Even the men in her life, such as her husband and father, seemed to



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