The Women In Aviation International (WAI) scholarship applications close 12 November this year! WAI gives out almost $1M in aviation related scholarships each year- check the link below to see if you qualify for one and get your application in soon!
Parents, have you ever wanted your child to experience aviation up close and personally- in a general aviation airplane? Come out to Jacksonville Executive Airport on 16 November for a chance to fly in a general aviation aircraft FOR FREE with a EAA certified Young Eagle Pilot!
Young Eagles is a program started by Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) to introduce children of all ages to aviation. Residents of Jacksonville can take advantage of this event on 16 November and then cheer on local pilots as they compete in a landing contest!
Join us at the Willowbranch Library on 2875 Park St at 5p, tomorrow 21 Oct to hear from female pilots and other professionals on real life experiences, advice and candid dialogue on what it is like to not only be a pilot, but a pilot with different needs and expectations than the majority. Help us change the statistics! #beapartofthechange
There are rare times in history when the ingenuity and courage of leaders are captured in such a way as to inspire generations behind them, but Milieux has discovered another such leader in Princess Olga of Kiev.
Princess Olga, also known as Saint Olga, was born sometime in the 10th century to a royal family. She was married to Prince Igor I of Kiev, heir of Oleg and ruler of the Keivan Rus, who lived in the area that is now known today as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, to whom she bore a son, Svyatoslav.
The Keivan Rus had a complicated relationship with neighboring tribes, the Drevlians. The pagan tribes had allied in their battles against the Byzantine Empire, from which a tithing was developed to be paid from the Drevlians to the Keivan Rus. When the Drevlians refused to pay in 912, Igor rode with his army to “encourage” them to pay, and when he decided they did not give enough and returned to impose more tithings, the Drevlian Prince Mal killed him.
History does not give a good account of how this affected Princess Olga but, but as regent to the throne, she was soon courted by the Drevlians to marry the murderer of her husband, Prince Mal. The Drevlians sent a boat of ambassadors to convince the princess to agree to marriage, and, either fearing that revenge would be taken upon them, or beguiled by instructions from Olga herself, demanded they be carried in their boat to discuss the matter directly with the Princess.
The Drevlians obviously underestimated the Princess and her ingenuity and/or desire for revenge for when they arrived to her castle in their boat, she had already dug a grave for them the size of a boat, and commanded her men to drop the boat unto it and buried them alive. Before the grave was even refilled, she sent for more ambassadors from the Drevlians, feigning delight at the first party of suitors. Unaware of the murders she had just committed, they sent more representatives and upon their arrival, she encouraged them to bathe and relax. They went willingly and without knowing it, Princess Olga had them locked inside and set fire to the bathhouse, burning the Drevlian ambassadors alive.
This began Princess Olga’s year-long siege on the Drevlians, conquering their cities and farms. Legend has it that when the capital refused to submit to her rule, she called a truce and asked for pigeons and sparrows from all of the homes of the Drevlians, as a show of good faith. The Drevlians were grateful. When the birds arrived, she had her men tie paper firebombs to the birds’ legs, knowing that the birds would return to their homes- let them loose and set fire to the Drevelian capital. Over 5000 Drevlians died in her war against them.
Princess Olga was a pagan at birth but grew an interest in Christianity in her adult years. Her sainthood is rooted in her ambition to bring Christianity to the people of Kiev, though she was unsuccessful in convincing her son to convert once he was of age. In her travels to Constantinople, and a visit to Emperor Constantine VII, the Emperor conversed with her and determined her to be worthy to “reign with him”. Olga pointed out that she was pagan, and that she required instruction and baptism and insisted that the Emperor be her instructor. He taught her and shared the Christain way with her and upon her baptism, in which she accepted the Christian name “Helena” after the Emperor’s mother, she once again outwitted her suitor and pointed out that he was now her godfather, eliminating the possibility of matrimony. Emperor Constantine was impressed with her cunning and historical references validate that he respected her for her wit, making the Keivan-Rus and Byzantine kingdom an alliance.
While the princess ruled only for the years her son, Sviatoslav, was growing up, her success as a regent and ruler are irrefutable. She was the first female ruler of Keiv and the first Christian ruler. And her duality of a bloodthirsty widow set on revenge and a Christian woman destined to change a culture make her a very interesting figure to study. Someone who was as ruthless and cunning as the princess is memorialized and celebrated by her people. I think there is a lesson in this for girls today. Not that they must be killers and ruthless, but that girls must live life as best as they can, without thinking about how their actions will be perceived. A lot of pressure is put on girls to be demure and quiet – intentionally or not – for fear of ruining their reputation or status. Having a figure like Princess Olga to reminds us that we are all destined to deal with some complication in life – and being quiet and demure about it may not be the best way to approach it.
This isn’t going to be a piece tearing down a beautiful, successful and smart woman – not even close. Taylor Swift is an luminious genius, and an outright superstar. I love her music, I enjoy how brazen, powerful and autobiographical she can be while creating beats and melodies that energize us to dance. She can speak to multiple generations at the same time, masterfully describing just enough of a modern woman’s life to pique an audience’s interest. You should listen to Taylor Swift’s music if it appeals to you. But artists should be careful about the themes of the messages they send, especially as it relates to being a woman in a “man’s” world – and this is why.
Taylor Swift recently released a new song you can watch above, called “The Man”. The song pretty well and succinctly demonstrates the not so subtle sexism that has been the undercurrent of western society for the last 100 years,; the unfair role that women have been placed in to be the gatekeepers of civility alone without similar responsibilities for men. It describes the different ways successful men are received in the music industry versus successful women, how women gain reputations for being “needy” or “hysterical” while men are seen as powerful for acting in similar ways. It makes a good argument for why men have it easier. But my point is “so what”?
Don’t listen to Taylor Swift or Nicki Minaj about the sexism they face. Don’t feel bad for them for being victimized by these perceptions. For one thing, they are multi-billionaires who are incredibly successful and for the other thing, they are talented and our focus on them should not be how they have had to experience adversity- but how they have succeeded despite it! Our little girls are watching and learning a narrative that they will be doomed to repeat if we continue to be complicit about it.
Look, we have all experienced sexism, men and women. I have sat across from many power house women over dinner and shared experiences of sexism. We talk about what could be done about it and then we realize we don’t care. Its a not powerful to reduce yourself to what people percieve you as.
This song, “The Man” and the Glamour Magazine cover of it that you can read here, as well as a piece in Forbes, and EliteDaily are all dangerous feminist narratives that are more likely to decrease confidence in young girls and create an idea of victimhood than encouraging them to be possible powerhouses like the women they idolize. These “perfectly feminist” sentiments are far more destructive to the self esteem of our girls than helpful because they are not empowering. Once again a strong woman describes her victimhood instead of owning her success as she deserves to- Ironic isn’t? Or maybe its just part of her artistic genius- Swift may be capitalizing on the idiosyncracies that exist in society, laughing all the way to the bank.
Maybe she sees that playing on her victimhood is en Vogue and profitable – but who pays for it ultimately?
Take, for example, the recent conversation I had with my boyfriend at a restaurant that he has been dying for me to write about. It was lunch time, and we were eating downtown in a restaurant that many business people were dining at as well. He leaned over to ask my opinion about a clothing option our waitress had chosen. “This is a really nice restaurant, right? Then why is our waitress not wearing a bra?” he asked me- “what is your opinion on that? I think its distracting and lowgrade” he finished. I could have launched into how unfair his assessment was, how she should be able to wear whatever she wanted. But I decided to take a different approach.
I laughed, I hadn’t even noticed her underclothing choice to be honest. She was a very pretty girl, kind, nice and attentive, the last three adjectives being characteristics I appreciate in anyone I meet. And so I started looking around the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice how dressed down all the men were, especially for being “business” types, and how many of them were a little bit on the chubbier side. And they weren’t wearing bras, or undershirts, or anything to cover their “indecencies”. Their nipples and breasts were just as, if not more, exposed and unrestrained as our waitress’s were. It was quite distracting as I started to look around.
And so I asked him in reply “since when did men stop wearing undershirts? I see a lot of men in here showing nipple and no one seems to be upset about it, maybe I should start?” and I followed with “and how many of them do you think are not wearing underwear?” “This is a nice restaurant, why do they think this is okay?
And that’s my point – don’t hate the game – play the game! Just because someone tries to shame a woman for behaving a certain way or wearing certain clothes doesn’t make them right! Stop being complicit about it. Our world is full of enough criticism as it is. Be oblivious to it and be you. As one of my favorite Winston Chuchill quotes advises “you can’t throw stones at every dog that barks, you will never get to where you are going”
So don’t listen to Taylor Swift’s interview on how poorly she is treated in the music industry or by media. She is making a ton of money off of everything she is doing and she knows how to turn her situations to her advantage. Don’t listen to her- watch her. mimic her, and be as brave and big and controversial as she is. She has built an entire career on being underestimated. Women all over the world could do the same.
Last year’s award winner, Capt Melissa Martin, is currently getting her CFI certificate. Martin, a C-130 pilot in the Montana Air National Guard, has served in multiple crew positions and applied for the scholarship last year. She is currently flying under “basicmed” due to discovery and treatment for breast cancer – this scholarship broadens her career options as she faces multiple medical reviews in the ANG.
The basic requirements for the scholarship are a private pilot’s license, a WAI membership and a desire to do great things with it!
Good luck to all who apply!
And to find out more about opportunities in the Air National Guard visit www.goang.com