Tammie Jo Shultz And Chelsey Sullenberger

When flight 1380 from New York made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on 17 April 2018, instincts took over for the seasoned captain and she executed all of her emergency procedures as practiced and memorized.  She was the Captain of the flight, and even though it was a last minute switch she had made with her husband to fly that fateful flight that day, she had been promoted to captain years earlier based on her skills, training, and seniority.

article-1381701-0314D847000005DC-643_233x423Nine years earlier, a pilot with a much similar background was faced with just as challenging of a situation as Tammie Jo Shults- and his name has become near cult classic- Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger.  The similarities of their airline emergency landing situations outweigh their differences – Sully lost both engines on takeoff and was forced to land in the Hudson River, a herculean effort indeed.  And Shults’ flight experienced a one in a million anomalies when an engine threw a fan blade midflight- damaging the fuselage and sucking a passenger out of the plane.  When catastrophe hit for both pilots, however, their training kicked in and they landed their airplanes safely.

Milieux watched the nation and news cover the story of Tammie Jo Shults with great interest.  Of course, we were proud- we knew the courage and tenacity it took to handle that emergency- but we also know implicitly that any pilot with her training would have done the same.  We received all the emails, the Facebook shares, and the phone calls about Shults:  “Look!  I woman just landed the Southwest flight!”, “She was one of the first women fighter pilots!!”, “They said she was calm and cool and a hero” and so on.tammie jo bonell  Our friends, with the best of intentions, wanted us to champion the feminist narrative that was right in front of us:  That a woman can do a man’s job, too.  But we already know thousands of women flying heroically every day so why make the same big deal of the fact she is a woman- she is a hero like Sully!  So we chose not to highlight her gender and instead decided to wait the media out- to analyze her story after the immediate media blitz to see how she was treated comparatively.

But Milieux asks instead- why doesn’t Capt Shults get the same treatment as Capt Sullenberger?  

9e45e6d97f57d91b32458a7a9f0e16a5You see, after his heroic Hudson River landing, Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger became an instant star and expert.  He was nationally recognized as an expert on aviation safety, a frontline advocate for flight safety training, touring the United States and becoming a consultant to businesses on flight safety and how to follow his model of safety training.  He was touted as “The last great aviator”.  He has been publicly recognized and awarded for his valor by the President, Congress, and his hometown.  Sully maximized the fame from his talents and we all expected him to.  He was a man, of instant credibility, unquestionably above the rest of us mere mortals because of his actions. Just look at the New Yorker’s assessment of him – We don’t make pilots like him anymore.  So why is Tammie Jo not given the same fame?

USN_Female_Fighter_Pilot_Lt._Tammie_Jo_Shults_(Bonnell)_poses_in_front_of_her_F-18_Hornet_aircraft(3363631_Milne-1aInsta)Yes, Tammie Jo Shults was instantly recognized as a heroine above all of the rest of us because of her actions that fateful day in April.  But she was not given the instant credibility granted to Sully, however, and I would argue she wasn’t given it because she was a woman.  The Navy actually even had to publically confirm Shults’ service as well as her accolades (something that did not have to be done for Sully):

The Navy has confirmed that Tammie Jo Shults, a Southwest pilot who successfully made an emergency landing after her aircraft suffered a massive engine failure and depressurized, was a pioneer for the Navy as one of the first female fighter pilots for the service.


Its as if they thought she lied or exaggerated the truth of her past.  It sends a message that she must “prove” that she deserves our respect.  She didn’t get the same level of congressional recognition or her hometown as Sully did- Rep McSally from Arizona was able to champion a resolution through the House of Representatives, but nothing similar was done in the Senate as it was for Sully.  No pictures were taken of her in her cockpit, or of her alone in her uniform.  After her initial fame, Tammie Jo Shults has slowly dissolved back into the buzz of our day to day busy-ness, she might be working on a book or movie deal, but nothing will be given to her on the level that Sully received.

So Milieux asks- why doesn’t Capt Shults get the same treatment as Capt Sullenberger?  Maybe Shults is a private person and is worried she will be received differently.  Maybe she shares Milieux ideals- that anyone in her place would have done the same thing.  engine shredMaybe she has other things going on in her life that preclude her from becoming a nationally recognized authority on emergency procedures involving rapid cabin depressurization and catastrophic engine failure.  Whatever the reason for her story’s slow wane from current events, it is sort of a tragedy.  Its a tragedy because her story will be lost and we will forget about her.  She will be conveniently dismissed when the next woman does something heroic just so we can be shocked again that a woman is a hero- supporting the victim-of-inequality platform of feminism that forces all women to reprove they belong in places they have occupied for decades.

United_States_Navy_F-18_Hornet_Female_Fighter_Pilots_at_Lemoore_Naval_Air_Station_1992_DN-ST-93-03420The differences in gender roles are insidious but they are significant. Most people don’t even realize we begin assigning gender roles before birth- as soon as we know the gender of our unborn children.  I used to play with this gender bias when I was pregnant with my son.  I loved to say “and maybe they will let him be a pilot” when people inquired about the gender of my growing belly under my flight suit, I used the word “let” to point out the subtle differences in language I heard from others before the gender reveal- as if anyone could keep a boy from flying like we keep girls from flying.  The shock and confusion reaction I received from people was sincere- I’d then have to explain why I framed my response the way I did.  These assumptions are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even realize we do it.

Why we make assumptions about our children’s behavior, abilities and futures based solely on gender are mysterious.   Why do we keep some options inevitably available to half of our children while the other half is forced to “prove” they can do something?  Why do we expect boys to lead from birth and girls to obey?  Why do we look for things that show boys as more assertive and aggressive from birth but don’t from girls? Here are 1000s of examples of women leading, being aggressive and assertive and heroic that have been chronicled by someone who cares. Is it making a difference?  We hope so. The pressure on our young girls to perform is unrealistic and unfair and it doesn’t serve us to forget women like Tammie Jo Shults or any of these other women.  Its on us to rethink our biases.  #bethechange

Do you feel the same?  Please comment below.  Thank you for reading!

Ada Lovelace: Inventor of the Algorithm

You may not know this, but an auction happened a few weeks ago, 24 July 2018, where the first computer program written in history was bought for $125,000.  That computer program was written by none other than the mother of computer science – Ms. Ada Lovelace.




Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 to the Poet Lord Byron and Lady Wentworth.  When her father sank into insanity and depravity in Ada’s early years, Ada’s mother decided to focus Ada on mathematics and science in an effort to keep her from the same fate as her father.  This put Ada on a path to meeting many great minds in science, but she did not see herself as a pure scientist.  She referred to herself as a “poetical scientist” or a “metaphysicist” – seeing connections between both science and humanities.

When she translated a manual on the engine for the Italian Engineer Luigi Menabrea, she included a very lengthy “Notes” section, in which was the first written algorithm. “Her mindset of “poetical science” led her to ask questions about the Analytical Engine (as shown in her notes) examining how individuals and society relate to technology as a collaborative tool.” She envisioned a greater application for computing than many did at her time.

Unfortunately, Ada’s prescient ideas and manuscripts were was lost in antiquity, it was not until the 1930s that further applications of computer science and the ideas of algorithms were explored through Alan Turing.  Even then, computer science was not that sexy and was often given to women to work as men were more interested in building and manufacturing.  It is likely that the women engineers of NASA, highlighted in the movie Hidden Figures, may not have even known that Ada had influenced their craft so long ago- believing that what they were doing was “women’s work”.

It is so interesting to me how short our memories are in society.  Now we have STEM and STEAM programs that perpetuate a narrative that these sciences never included women. It hurts to know that these sciences were pioneered with women but we don’t remember them.

Take a moment today to think of how a woman in history may have influenced you and what you are doing.  #AmeliaEarhart.


If you have further interest in celebrating Ada Lovelace, she has a day dedicated to her since 2009 and has been held across Europe during the month of October.  This year it is in the UK on 9 October.  Check out more information at Ada Lovelace Day.

#bethechange #womeninhistory #computerscience #girlapproved

Today in History: The start of the Suffrage Movement




160 years ago today in 1948,  Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two abolitionists who met at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, organize the first ever women’s rights convention at Wesylan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY.  Together, they led over 300 people on a two-day convention to discuss women’s rights and gender roles in America.  During this convention, Elizabeth Stanton delivered her “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances,” modeled after the declaration of independence, and a list of initiatives that exactly 100 women signed, including the right to vote.5336038

Attendees and other influencers in attendance included Frederick Douglass and 40 other men who supported the cause.

72 years later, and almost as many women’s rights conventions later, the 19th Amendment was passed and women finally had a say in the politics of their nation.

We can reflect now and think about how natural it seems that women should vote, and many other rights they did not have (like the right to keep their own property and children in divorce).  It’s important to consider now what rights men and women may be keeping from one another in modern society without realizing the impact their restrictions have.


National Anti Suffrage Association. Harris & Ewing, photographer


Caution should go to the pendulum swinging the other way as women gain more rights and it is incumbent upon human beings to recognize injustice and disparity for all in modern culture.

What truths do you hold self-evident or not?  They may not be as obvious as you may believe.  Thank goodness for the courageous women that fought for what they knew was their right for 72 years.  Please don’t give it back by not voting.

Watch more here:


And learn more here:

WASP Pilot, Helen Wyatt Snapp


I ran into the artist, Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette at the Jacksonville Riverside Arts Market.  He is painting and leading a collection about WASP aircraft and women. This is something I don’t know is being done anywhere else.  Please comment with other resources.  This is definitely worth a look – via WASP Pilot, Helen Wyatt Snapp

#womenincombat #womeninmilitary #military-history


Hai Bà Trưng: How Two Sisters Fought off a Dynasty



In what the west would recognize as 40 AD, Vietnam fell under the rule of a ruthless Chinese governor, To Dinh.  The Trung sisters were daughters of a wealthy military prefect, who enjoyed liberties and training that others did not.  Although the rest of the country suffered poverty and repression under the Chinese rule, no one rebelled until the husband of one of the sisters, Thi Sach, was executed by the local Chinese authorities.  While the Chinese believed they were thwarting a rebellion, they only ignited the fierceness of the Trung sisters who retaliated ruthlessly for three years to avenge his death.

Chronicled in many books, but most notably in the 5th century AD by Han Dynasty historian Fan Ye in the Book of the Later Hanby, the Trung sisters inspired over 80,000 men and women across the country-side in 65 individual towns to rise up and fight the Chinese invaders.  Many believe that Vietnam would not be the country it is today if it hadn’t been for the Trung sisters and their fierce courage and faith in their countrymen.

Statues and temples have been built around the country of Vietnam memorializing the sisters, and the Vietnamese pay tribute annually in ceremonies in February.  Even President Donald Trump recognized the sisters’ contribution to modern Vietnamese culture in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event held in 2017.

It is not unusual for women to act fiercely when repressed or treated unkindly.  The Trung Sisters are inspirations to us all to be brave and stand up to injustice in the world.  What could be your challenge?  #bethechange #trungsisters #vietnam #womeninhistory

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians – The First Warrior Queen of England

Aetheflaed                             Aetheflad2

What you may not know about the early forming of modern-day England is that it was championed by a woman- Aetheflaed, a courageous and visionary woman who fought mercilessly against the Vikings and other invading forces of the late 900th century.

It is likely that Aethelflaed lost influence in history due to her brother’s rise and claim to power, but she none-the-less was a fearless warrior and leader of her region.  One of her admirers, William of Malmsebury, described her as “a powerful accession to [Edward’s] party, the delight of his subjects, the dread of his enemies, a woman of enlarged soul”.  She was remarkable and capable, a lost artifact of history.

She felt her power so potent that, after the birth of her first son, she declined a second lover for fear that “it was ‘unbecoming of the daughter of a king to give way to a delight which, after a time, produced such painful consequences'”.  She felt her power and influence was too precious to give to anyone.

Later, a poet wrote :

Heroic Elflede! great in martial fame,
A man in valour, woman though in name:
Thee warlike hosts, thee, nature too obey’d,
Conqu’ror o’er both, though born by sex a maid.
Chang’d be thy name, such honour triumphs bring.
A queen by title, but in deeds a king.
Heroes before the Mercian heroine quail’d:
Caesar himself to win such glory fail’d.[67][d]
 Aetheflaed was a warrior and a kindred spirit to her people.  She ensured the triumph and legacy of her people in Mercia, and while not recognized for her valiance, has a legacy worth remembering and celebrating.

portrait of aetheflaed

#aetheflaed #warriorprincess #history #bethechange #befierce

Send a girl to Preflight Camp this summer!

This summer, the Milieux Project raised money to fund a scholarship worth $950 to a girl who wanted to attend Preflight Aviation Camp in San Marcos, TX.  Applications end 31 May 2018 if you know someone who is interested.  We are so excited to help with this endeavor!  We have included a great video at the end that captures what they do and how.


PreFlight Aviation Camp is a nonprofit aviation camp for girls, ages 11-14, and will be held June 26-30th, 2018 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. In the same way that a pilot must first perform a “preflight” before they take off in their airplane, our camp is a young girl’s “preflight” into aviation. Taught by a staff of professional female pilots, PreFlight uses aviation to transform girls’ beliefs about gender roles, build their self-esteem and inspire them to become pilots. What sets us apart from other aviation camps is our balanced approach to relate each topic back to broader life lessons, creating healthy dialogues used to uplift, encourage and challenge each girl to think critically. It is not necessary to have an interest in aviation to attend PreFlight; the camp provides new and enriching experiences for any girl!

The current abysmal representation of female pilots, coupled with the future need for over 600,000 pilots worldwide, is something PreFlight is setting out to reconcile.  Out of over 580,000 pilots currently registered, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificated pilots in the United States, only 6.6 percent of them are women and those numbers are not increasing. In fact, when compared to 2010, the total number of female pilots has decreased nationally by 7.2 percent. The phrase “you can’t be what you can’t see” becomes a reality for young girls seeking female role models in a very demanding career field. Unless more girls are exposed to aviation in their formative years, it is possible that we will continue to see the number of female pilots decline. This paints a bleak future for women in aviation, and the industry as a whole. A deliberate effort is needed to leverage the other half of the population and show them that becoming a pilot is an attainable goal. That is why we need PreFlight Aviation Camp.


Our hands-on approach to learning explores aviation through Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Campers apply their knowledge first-hand and make lifelong memories when they pilot a simulator and fly an airplane on a private flight with one of our female instructors.  Preflight teaches basic skills and fun ways to practice skills related to aviation. All of our counselors are professional pilots with a wide-range of experience who empower and teach the campers there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Seeing is believing and by placing young girls in an enriching environment, surrounded by female aviators and role models, they begin to believe that becoming a pilot is a real possibility for their lives. PreFlight Aviation Camp will not only transform beliefs about gender roles but will inspire young girls to take off into their future! We can’t wait for you to take off with us!

We are currently accepting donations through our website, as well as applications for camp in 2018. Please visit www.preflightcamp.com to learn more and find out how you can help inspire the next generation of pilots!
• Dates: 26 June 2018 – 30 June 2018                                                                                                                          • Ages: 11-14
• Camp Fee: $950

The Mother of the Boston Tea Party

In “celebration” of the national Income Tax Deadline for 2018 today, Milieux thought it might be appropriate to remember the original American sentiment on taxes and an often forgotten figure in this pivotal moment of American History – Sarah Bradlee Fulton and the Boston Tea Party.


On the fateful night of 16 December 1773, seven months after Britain had passed the Tea Act requiring Americans to pay taxes on tea as soon as it arrived to port, a group of settlers representing the 13 colonies of America gathered to protest the tax by dumping $1.7M (in today’s dollars) worth of tea into the Boston Harbor.

Not being one who shied away from controversy, Sarah Fulton helped plan the protest by proposing the idea that the colonists dress as the local Native Americans so as to not give any warning to the mercenaries of the East India Tea company.  She helped all of them disguise themselves for the assault and stayed after to destroy all evidence that would have linked them to the protest.

Because of her bravery that night, and on several occasions following, Sarah Fulton helped lead our great nation to what it is today.  Thank you to the Sons and DAUGHTERS of Liberty for what you contributed to our history.  May we never forget their courage.

#bethechange #courage #standupforliberty

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”*…

Limited by our own imagination- a fascinating concept for a town.

(Roughly) Daily

A proposed cross-section of the Minnesota Experimental City

The future had arrived, and it looked nothing like what city planners expected. It was the early 1960s, and despite economic prosperity, American urban centers were plagued by pollution, poverty, the violence of segregation and crumbling infrastructure. As the federal highway system expanded, young professionals fled for the suburbs, exacerbating the decay…

One man had a revolutionary idea, a plan so all-encompassing it could tackle each and every one of the social issues at once: An entirely new experimental city, built from scratch with the latest technology, entirely free of pollution and waste, and home to a community of life-long learners.

The Minnesota Experimental City and its original creator, Athelstan Spilhaus, are the subjects of a new documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs of Unicorn Stencil Documentary Films. The Experimental City tells the story of the tremendous rise and abrupt fall of an…

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Fran Bera “Record-Breaking Aviator”

Who is Fran Bera?

I recently learned about her from a NYT headline: Fran Bera, Competitive, Record-Breaking Aviator, Is Dead at 93.   So of course I read the article and began an internet search.  This is what I learned:


She saved money to start her flight lessons at the age of 16 by skipping lunch (for four years)…and finally had to tell her parents what she was doing when she needed them to sign off on her first solo.

Her career in aviation spanned 75+ years and she logged over 25,000+ flight hours (that we know of…she stopped counting sometime in the 1980s after reaching 25,000 hours).

Her career included ferrying surplus aircraft after the war, flight instructing, running her own flight school and flying as an Experimental test pilot.

She set an unbroken National Aeronautic Association record for highest altitude attained in a twin-engine Piper Aztec.  She flew her piston-driven aircraft to 40, 154 feet!

She became a flight examiner at the age of 24 (the youngest allowable at the time) and administered over 3,000 flight evaluations to new pilots.

She has many, many awards for her aerial feats, including the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Wall of Honor, a Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the Federal Aviation Administration and an Elder Statesman Award from the National Aeronautic Association.

She last flew her white Piper Comanche 260 (decorated with pink and magenta stripes and the phrase “Kick Ass” stenciled on the fuselage) in January 2016, when she was 91 years old!

These are but a few of the mileposts in her amazing 93 year life.  A more eloquent account of her life and achievements can be found in her New York Times obituary and the San Diego 99s website, where she was a active member until she died.

Reading about Ms. Bera, I found myself laughing, crying, and rejoicing.  More importantly, I wondered “Why didn’t I know about her?”  This is why organizations such as the 99s and Women In Aviation, International and others are so important.  It is why all of us are important — we have a rich history in aviation that is yet to be shared and bright futures to be mentored and encouraged.  Get out there and share your passion for aviation with others.  I’m not saying we will all get to 25,000+ flying hours or give over 3,000 checkrides, but if we can each pass the love and joy of an aviation career to just one person who may not have realized it was possible,  we win.

I challenge each of you to “Kick Ass” like Fran Bera.





The Men’s Empowerment Run

fullsizeoutput_f6fHe had just returned from winning the Women’s Empowerment 5K, and everyone was gathered around him to see his medal.  “That’s awesome man”, “way to represent” everyone was proud of our squadron’s winner.  It was great, he ran the race pretty fast and won.  I asked, “were there a lot of people that showed up?”

“Yes Ma’am, it was a great showing for a great cause” he replied.

“Was the wing commander there?” I asked because our wing commander is a woman.

“No ma’am, but some other senior leaders were out there,”

“Any of them women?”

“No Ma’am,” he replied again, you could see he was puzzled by my line of questions. He started to respond more about the other commanders that were present.

“Interesting, I wasn’t going to run it either….” I paused, then I started with my new idea. “Hey listen” I said,” I have been thinking, I think next year we need to organize a men’s empowerment run”, he raised an eyebrow.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, did you say a ‘men’s empowerment run’?”

“Yes,” I said

He kind of laughed, “Ma’am, are you joking?”

“No, I’m not.  Do I look like I am joking?”  I could see my point was going to hit home momentarily.   “This is a real thing.  Men struggle every day and I think we need to have a run to show them we are behind them and support them.  Would you lead it?  I think it’s only appropriate a man do it since men understand the struggles other men are going through”

Our “first shirt”, the administrative leader of our enlisted core started to laugh and said he was leaving.

“No shirt, I need you to stay right here”

He laughed and continued to the door, “I can’t stay here for this” he said.

“Stay here for what?” I asked “I’m serious, I’m not asking you to stay,  I need you to understand this.”

By this point, the laughter and chuckling started to subside.  They thought I was being funny but they just couldn’t tell how yet.

“Do I look like someone who needs empowerment?” I asked them.

“No” they all replied

“Then why are you running for my empowerment? And how is a run supposed to help if I wasn’t?”  I asked.  Everyone stopped.

“Our Wing Commander, the highest ranking person on this base is a woman and the entire base just held a race to tell her they need to empower her.  The wing commander!  And me, and all the other women.  Airmen were running for my empowerment.  Does that sound crazy to anyone else here?  Could you imagine if the WG/CC was a man and held a men’s empowerment run?”

“Think about it,” I said, “what signal are we sending young women right now?  We have a female wing commander and we just held a run that told girls they are so disempowered that we have to run a race to support them.  That even our Wing Commander needs empowering from outside sources- from the men she leads even -because she does not possess power as a woman. Doesn’t that sound crazy?  Now, do you think I am joking?”

No wonder we have the problems that we do.  And it’s not men who are driving this crazy train- it’s WOMEN.  But men are right alongside us cheering us on – to “make it” in a “man’s world”.  Ladies, it’s never been a man’s world, it’s our world together.fempilot

I have been fighting this battle for years now, the idea that somehow my gender puts me at a disadvantage.  TV, commercials, magazines, politicians, radio stations spit out this propaganda and we buy it.  Hell, I used to buy it and worked my butt off as a mom and a wife and a pilot and an officer and a !  Ugh!  It’s exhausting.  What are we proving?  And why?

We all so conveniently forget strong women when we want to claim women need empowering.  It frustrates me that strong women of history are lost in the milieu of this social conditioning.  To believe that we need a run for women’s empowerment is to believe women are not empowered.  But it is not about power.  Women contribute just as equal as men, even more sometimes, I would suggest.  But social conditioning teaches us that women are victims and need empowering, it is such a strong message that after you think of it this way, you realize you thought the same way.  This is the gender role bias.

There are issues in our society that surround women.  But it’s not that we need empowering.  We need memory.  We rarely quote or cite women doctors, scientists, philosophers or theologists from history.  Their contributions are not as powerful because they are women and it is tragic.  Both men AND women discount these historically important women.  But it’s our duty to remember them, include them in our culture, and learn from them in our journey to understand and embrace the power women already possess. If we don’t, we are contributing to our own repression.  What we have to remember is that we are all necessary for the functioning of our society- like the organs of our body, each are different, but each are equally important to the functioning of a healthy human.

Society teaches and reinforces obedience and thought control in young girls starting in school- we teach girls that they have to be prettier and quieter and smarter than boys (and each other).  We reinforce this with obedience badges and smiles and hugs for doing well, and shame and disconnection when they don’t.  We brainwash these young girls and then have the audacity to tell them they are the root of what we call “the feminization of our school system”- blaming the same girls we are brainwashing in school for an overly structured school system while grown women organize events centered around some sort of undefined and unachievable equality.

We are going around in circles and losing.


And so on this day, to point out the insanity, I want to organize a men’s empowerment run.  Because men are no longer allowed to be men, they are being socially conditioned to be some sort of half men.  They can’t ask us out on dates or be friends with us, help us with groceries or open the door for us without some kind of shaming.   And they have no idea how to handle this undefined inequality.  What inequality?  If we listened to societal messages, not only are men hyperaggressive and poised to rape anything that comes within their reach, our courts tell them that they are unfit to be fathers to their kids.   We are celebrating the Beta Male and women are claiming to be “the men they want to marry” as a victory of something I don’t understand – demanding CEO status in order to be considered equal all while we have empowerment runs for really no reason at all.   Think about it.  Women are already very empowered.  We just don’t own it.

Equality and empowerment are false idols that women chase and they have nothing to do with how we interact- at least, these ideas shouldn’t shape how we interact.  We are already equal. If women continue to chase something that can’t be given from others- like equality and empowerment- women will continue to be at a disadvantage.  We really must start now.  People are making money over this false victimization narrative, #metoo and #timesup were schemes meant to collect money for some to get richer while providing no avenues to increase agency for our girls.  These initiatives gave us all a sense that we were doing something to help girls and victims by contributing money when really a few profited off of fear mongering and man shaming.   It’s really destructive.

Women bring so much to the table, it is our duty to stop being scared of our power, and instead, own it, to teach it to our girls.  We have to change the system to make it ours, instead of trying to fit into something that we didn’t create.  It’s up to us, as women, to be equal and empowered.  No one can give this to us but ourselves.  And the crazy thing is, all we have to do have to do is show up.  That’s why the “Men’s Empowerment” run is so funny, because that’s all men do- is show up.

#masculinism #feminism #criticalthinking #questioneverything #bethechange

The story of the Mathematicians​

I don’t know your experience in high school, but I remember most of my math teachers were women.  Maybe I took it for granted they were only school teachers, but did you know how much the subject of math owes to women?  In case you didn’t realize- here are just a few women to note-  Dorothy Johnson Vaughn, Julia Robinson, Marjorie Lee Browne, and Christine Darden whose names should not be lost in antiquity.



The movie, Hidden Figures, only touches on the contributions of the women scientists in NASA alone, and it still doesn’t do the women it is chronicling justice for what they really deserve.

Genius does not know gender.  Read more about these lady mathematicians of history here and let their stories stir your own passions for solving world problems, in math, science, or just simply in your hometown.




#bebrave #befierce #nerdsarecool #math #greatness

“Here am I. Send me!”

Marie Rossi 1

US Army Major Marie Rossi-Cayton was a CH-47D pilot serving in the First Gulf War.   She died on March 1, 1991, when the helicopter she was piloting flew into an unlit microwave tower the day after the Operation Desert Storm ceasefire had come into effect.  What most do not know about her, nor can you find when searching for information about her on the internet, was that at the time of the Gulf War she was the only female combat certified Aircraft Commander in the Army.   And unless you have heard former United States Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh speak about her, might also never learn the true depth of her courage.

In his November 2011 speech at the United States Air Force Academy, Gen. Welsh recounts an event during the first day of the ground war. He was up on a common strike frequency when it was reported that an F-16 pilot was shot down over the retreating Republican Guard armored division.   The coordinates of the unlucky pilot were passed along with the request for anyone with the weapons and fuel to support a search and rescue effort to call back.  Gen. Welsh recalls looking at the coordinates, looking at his map and thinking  “Oh man.  That is a bad place to be on the ground” and there was a deadly silence on the radio.  Until an Army helicopter pilot said, “Look, I’ve got the gas.  I can get there.  I’ll go pick him up.”  It was Major Marie Rossi.

“I’m thinking, “that’s the size of a double-decker bus in London.  It’s got no guns and you’re going to fly that thing into the middle of a retreating Iraqi armored division to pick up one pilot?”  First on my life, I’ve ever said “Hooh-rah”.  I was impressed.” — General Mark A. Welsh, USAF (retired)

Gen. Welsh wanted to find her, meet her, and tell her “thank you” because she was “inspirational at a time when people needed it.”  He was finally able to find her, but he could not thank her in person.

“Two days after the war ended, she and her crew were called out at two in the morning to pick up a soldier whose arms have been blown up by trying to pick up cluster munitions.  She picked him up and was heading back to their base on the Saudi-Iraq border when they hit an unlit radio tower.  The helicopter crashed and they were all killed.” — General Mark A. Welsh, USAF (retired)

Gen. Welsh finished his story about Major Rossi with a leadership lesson: “You better be willing to make decisions because you’re going to need to and you’re going to need to make them without all the information you’d like and you’re going to need to make them when people’s lives are at stake and you’re not going to always have time to ask for somebody else to help you.  Get ready.”

Major Rossi was ready. When the call came, she alone answered. She made the decision to go.  She had the courage to trust her training and trust her crew.  She had the courage to fly into an uncertain environment, without all the information, to save a life.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  And I said “Here am I.  Send me!”  — Isaiah 6:8

Major Rossi, thank you for your example.  Thank you for your courage.

You can listen to Gen. Welsh recount the story here.  The entire video is worth the time to watch.  The portion about Major Rossi starts at 32:05.

Nancy Wake: The SF White Mouse of WWII

Ms. Nancy Wake, An Australian born bad ass (sorry for the curse word, there is just no better adjective), was living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded in 1940.  She scrambled to help many people escape via the French Resistance, where she first earned the name “The White Mouse” from the Gestapo.


nancy wake gestapo mw
Gestapo “Most Wanted” Bill, 1942


Wake escaped to Britain, where she joined the Special Operations Executive, trained with them, and then parachuted back into the fight to become a liaison between the French Resistance and Britain.  She was instrumental in recruiting more members, and led multiple attacks on Gestapo headquarters, at one point killing a sentry with her bare hands.

After her service, she returned to Britain and then back to Australia where she made several attempts at politics.  Despite her military service and high decorations, she was never successful at politics, but her legend lives on.  You can read more about her here.

Noor Inayat Khan; British Special Forces radio operator

Ms. Kahn, an Indian decent woman raised in France, school teacher and nurse, joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during WWII as a wireless radio operator.

After her talent was recognized by her superiors, she was sent forward on a special team designed by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze” with the codename “Madeleine” and dubbed by her peers as “the spy Princess”.

No other spies (all previous being men) had lasted more than 6 weeks in the field, but Nora was on the mission for 3 months before she was captured and tortured by the Nazi’s.

After months of resistance, not revealing any intelligence to her captors, the Nazis executed Nora at Dachau, her famous final word was recorded as “Liberte!”

Read more of her story here.

An update to this story in 2019- Noor Inayat Kahn was raised by her Master Sufi father and American mother in Paris before the war started. From the Harvard website, “Sufism [taṣawwuf] is not a separate sect of Islam, but rather a stream of interpretation emphasizing the interior path of mystical love and knowledge of God.” Noor was a interesting young woman indeed, and a scholarship is offered in Ms. Kahn’s name at University of North Florida which you can read more about here.

Spain recognizes inventor of the e-book, Angela Ruiz Robles

In part of a new effort to recognize significant achievements of women, Madrid is naming streets after Spanish women in history whose achievements may have been over looked or undervalued (Awesome!). Today they recognized Ms. Robles for her work in creating the first electronic encyclopedia, a precursor to the modern ebook. Read more about it here.

This inspires me- Don’t stop dreaming, be energized today. It doesn’t matter if you are recognized or not, your value is immeasurable. #bethechange


Claudette Colvin: 15 yr old visionary

Before Rosa Parks, our National hero memorialized by President Obama in 2013, there was another young woman who stood up to authority and refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery Public Bus, 15 yr old Claudette Colvin.

Claudette COlvin

On March 9, 1955 (9 months before Rosa Parks) Claudette Colvin and three other young students boarded a Montgomery Public City bus.  On the course of the trip, Claudette was asked to move back to accommodate white passengers and she refused.  The bus driver was enraged and police met the bus two stops later.

CLAUDETTE: One of them said to the driver in a very angry tone, “Who is it?” The motorman pointed at me. I heard him say, “That’s nothing new . . . I’ve had trouble with that ‘thing’ before.” He called me a “thing.” They came to me and stood over me and one said, “Aren’t you going to get up?” I said, “No, sir.” He shouted “Get up” again. I started crying, but I felt even more defiant. I kept saying over and over, in my high-pitched voice, “It’s my constitutional right to sit here as much as that lady. I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right!” I knew I was talking back to a white policeman, but I had had enough.

Claudette spent the night in jail and after receiving bail from the minister of her church, she protested the illegality of Montgomery Bus Segregation, reaching the Supreme Court in the case Browder v. Gayle (Gayle was the Montgomery mayor).

While Claudette’s case was quickly eclipsed by Rosa Parks arrest 1 December 1955, her actions helped to start the 381 day boycott of bus service following Ms. Park’s arrest – a boycott that crushed Montgomery’s Public transit system revenue and ultimately led to the elimination of segregation on buses.  Ms. Parks was an experienced civil rights leader, and meeting Claudette Colvin inspired her decision to stay put.

rosa on bus

President Obama said the following for Rosa Parks, but it really should be attributed to Claudette, “In a single moment, with the simplest of gestures, she helped change America and change the world.”

It just goes to show how much courage can impact others.  #bethechange @themilieux


Mary Ellis: ATA Pilot in WW2

She is 101 yrs old now and wants the world to know how beautiful flight is- especially women. Meet Mary Ellis, one of the first 8 female ATA pilots to fly spitfires from the factory to the front lines.

Watch a BBC short on her here and then walk down to your local FBO/Aviation school to experience small plane flight yourself 😉 we have to agree, there is nothing more delightful.