Amelia Earhart: What We Can Learn From The Feminist Icon

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Amelia Earhart
Lessons in love from the fiercely feminist and feminine pilot ahead of her time.

But despite this staunchly independent and feminist take on love, and a life that wasn't defined by traditional gender roles, Earhart was very hung up on age. As the New Yorker points out this "typically feminine" concern is exceedingly "atypical" in comparison to every other aspect of Earhart's life.

At 22, she first "shaved" off a year from her age, and this behavior would follow so that eventually very few people even knew her real age. Her fixation with age ran so deep that when a friend told her that her mission to successfully fly around the world had only a 50/50 chance, Earhart responded by saying, "As far as I know I've only got one obsession — a small and probably typically feminine horror of growing old — so I won't feel completely cheated if I fail to come back." Tragically, she never did return from that second attempt to fly around the world. Although she and her plane disappeared on July 2nd, 1937, she wasn't officially declared dead until January 5th, 1939.

 

To this day, Amelia Earhart remains an anomaly. Much of her life, as well as her death, is still mysterious and up for debate. Some say she was on a spy mission for FDR when she disappeared, just as some say that she was a closeted bisexual in her personal life. No matter what the truth may be to these theories, the fact is that Amelia Earhart is both an icon and a heroine. She defied the conventions that surrounded her, and put her career, that gorgeous love for aviation, first. She encouraged women who, during that time wouldn't have even considered it, to also put themselves, education and successes before all else, especially marriage.

She was a feminist, and yet a woman with very stereotypical female concerns who never apologized for either of these aspects of her personality. She was, and will always be, the type of women whom our entire gender should forever admire. Earhart knew from the start that love may be important to life, but loving a man (or woman) isn't as essential to life as finding your passion, setting goals and reaching them. That's where true love for oneself really lies, and that's the type of love on which you can count.