Event in Jacksonville: What is it like to be a female pilot?

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

Learn more about the event here



Daughter teaches dad about mountain flying

A father shared his story about watching his 16 year old daughter change from a serial texter to a soaring expert in just a few weeks.

Graduates of the Sugarbush Soaring Youth Experience

Learn more about this youth program in Warren, Vermont here https://sugarbushsoaring.com/youth-programs/youth-program-overview

#everygirlshouldfly #experience

Vengeance by Princess Olga of Kiev

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.

olga bath fire

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.

Radzivill_Olga-Avenge-to-Drevlians copy

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.

#befierce #changethemilieux #princess #Rus


Girls, Don’t Listen To Taylor Swift

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.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHoHDNxay3A?start=22&w=560&h=315%5D

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”?

taylor-swift-shuts-down-question-about-marriage-kids-a-man-wouldnt-be-asked-that-ftrDon’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?

KramerAnd 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.


#woke #changeyourmilieux #bethechange

Marth King Scholarship


King Scholarship Award Winner 2019 – Melissa Martin

It’s scholarship season!  The Women In Aviation, International (WAI) has posted this month the advertisement for the Martha King Scholarship for Certified Flight Instructor, a $5000 value for one qualified winner.

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!

#aviation #girlpilot


And to find out more about opportunities in the Air National Guard visit www.goang.com


Whirly Girl Scholarships

“To fly is heavenly but to hover is divine”.


International Women’s Helicopter Pilots, Inc has opened up their scholarship season- over $180,000 is available for qualified applicants.

Check out this link to see if you could be a candidate for a scholarship!


🦅 Young Eagles 🦅

So very excited to receive this Experimental Aviation Association Young Eagle Kit!

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward. For there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Davinci

Come fly with us soon! ✈️ Stay tuned for more information about an aviation experience coming to Tampa and Jacksonville soon!

#eaa #youngeagle #everygirlshouldfly #changethemilieux

EAA Osh Kosh 22-26 July 2019

The EAA Air Venture is coming soon! If you haven’t already heard about OshKosh, WI, Airventure is an event held annually for Aviation Enthusiasts nation wide!

So many events are geared toward girls- from the Women in Aviation International‘s (WAI)  breakfast to the EAA GirlVenture camp.


The push for more female aviators is big right now.  Don’t take our word for it- get out to Oshkosh and find out for yourself!

What is the Experimental Aviation Association?

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds.

Founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes, EAA expanded its mission of growing participation in aviation to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultralights, helicopters, and contemporary manufactured aircraft.

Membership in EAA enables you to share the spirit of aviation with the most passionate community of recreational pilots, builders, and restorers.

EAA is the only association that offers the fun and camaraderie of participating in the flying, building, and restoring of recreational aircraft with the most passionate community of aviation enthusiasts. There are chapters everywhere and you can join here.


#OshKosh #EAA #womeninaviation #girlpilot


Are Professional Sports Challenging Femininity?

Defining women’s achievement in sports is like placing a governor on an engine.  The engine is restricted from producing max results- just as girls are restricted by being compared to boys – setting the expectation that girls will never be as athleticly competitive as boys. Exploring some history in sports may help explain this hypothesis.

The Federation International de Futbol Association (FIFA) Women’s World Cup is in full swing, and the United States is set to play France in the quarters next week, after their win against Sweden and the break out player, Madelen Janogy and then Spain – barely winning 2-1.  It looks like the USNWT is set to dominate again in the International Futbol Arena – a position rarely enjoyed by the US Men’s team.  The excitement and thrill of soccer is growing more in the United States- for both women’s and men’s teams.  Local bars are showing the games in most communities and advertisements are showing up on media and in social media spaces.  Women’s sports, and soccer in particular, is still not as well followed as it is in the rest of the world, even in 2019, but circumstances are changing- just not quickly as many had thought after the moment in 1999 that shocked the world.


chastain goal 1099
Brandi Chastain 1999


This article started out as an opinion piece about changing (or unchanging) social norms as related to women, nudity and athleticism since Brandi Chastain’s famous winning goal score celebration 20 years ago.   What has become more interesting is the meaning of being a female athlete in the western world.  While second (or is it third?) wave feminism continues to mark “women’s firsts” – accomplishments women have achieved despite their gender “handicap” – young women across the country practice and compete daily without thinking twice about whether they are supposed to even compete or not.  The mindset of athletes is simple enough, put the work in and see the results, but the fair evaluation of athleticism appears at odds with the complex social understanding of what a girl (or woman) is.  “Throw like a girl”, “run like a girl”, “kick like a girl” etc. complicates our evaluations of athletic achievement.  We see less ability because we believe women are less capable.  This comparison of what is feminine and what is masculine in sports has become a central discussion for Americans and other westerners – all while girls play out almost unaffected by the gender roles they are challenging.

Almost to the day in 1999, the FIFA Women’s World Cup USNWT brought soccer to the forefront of the United States viewership when the men’s team could not.  Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, and Christi Pearce dominated the field with enviable talent along with 16 other amazing women to bring soccer, and the US Women’s National Soccer Team, to the forefront of the American sports world.  I still remember watching the epic goal scored by Brandi Chastain, and the pure celebration on her face as she tore off her jersey with her remaining adrenaline and knelt in amazement at what she and her team had just accomplished.

This wasn’t the first thing that Brandi had done that was considered salacious- but it was the most significant.  Some called her genius, others criticized her “nudity”.  Brandi was the kind of person that demanded respect- or broke from gender roles as some would say- early on.  She was known to curse at interviews and act more “masculine” than many expected her to.  She demanded respect and compliance from referees. As an example, I found the following commentary from a sports discussion board on 11 July 1999, where an anonymous user said:

“Not being an exact quote she said about teammate Michelle Akers, ‘She’s the best goddamned player in the world.’  I think it was a bit more scandalous since it came from a woman who aren’t expected to upset our delicate sensibilites about language as much as men.”

This commentary and other news stories indicated that her locker room interview, and not the first one of its kind, was not well received.  How dare she curse on TV?  Young ladies are not supposed to use that kind of language.  Many sports casters and male athletes respond emotionally in interviews frequently, some viewers dislike it- but not many are as vocal or as critical as they were of Brandi Chastain in 1999.

Perhaps it was the sports bra that drove the sports fans over the edge.  The impropriety of a woman choosing to reveal herself was hard for many understand.  And then came the discussion of how much material was involved – and if it covered enough to preotect Brandi’s decency.  Even recently, the athletic look on women is discouraged and disparaged.  A fantastic commentary was produced by YouTube personality, Jenna Marbles on the matter below

Jenna Marbles

Diving back into the sports bra moment, though, it was significant for many reasons- most of which was the opportunity for young girls across the country to see a powerful woman displaying her own athleticism in celebration of athletic achievement.  Mothers and fathers across the country thanked Brandi for giving their daughters a new role model – a passionate, dedicated, muscular athlete.  They were grateful for a picture of a half-naked woman who wasn’t passively in a bikini, who wasn’t being objectified, and who was, most importantly, in charge of her agency.  That sports bra became symbolic of achievement and victory.  And, as consumerism in America works, the sports bra became one of the highest grossing items in the US shortly following the picture.  But that is pretty much where it ended.  Lots of sports bras were purchased, many girls wore them in reverence for Chastain and team USA and then the moment faded into history. High expectations were made for progress in women’s soccer internationally, as well as changes to perceptions about female athletes in general that were arguable never really achieved.  We all thought that Brandi Chastain had changed the world of women’s soccer forever, but we were all a bit too optimistic.

The proof lies in how we approach athletics in general,  It is 2019 and women’s and men’s soccer is still divided.  Society continues to think women are not as athletically talented as men, that women have to be “hyper aggressive to be competitive as men”.  Ads surround us communicating to girls to be tougher, more aggressive, empowered by the hard faces of women athletes testifying to their “girl power”.  None of them encourage girls to be themselves on their journey to athletic prowess.  The fear that girls will become men is set aside as we encourage girls to be men to be more competitive.  The hypocracy is genuinely confusing for our girls.

And yet women are challenging men in individual competitions regularly- why do we not recognize it more.  Earlier this year during a “prestigious cycling race” in Belgium, the women’s cycling group caught up the “very slow men’s group” after a 10 minute delay.  The women were forced to stay back because the men’s race was considered “more important” much to the dimay of the female riders, with a lack of the overall win that they were on track for.

Shalane FlanaganShalane Flanagan also won the New York Marathon, as you may recall, finishing first overall.  A recent athlete in ultra marathons, Courtney Dauwalter is also making a name for herself by beating the best man in a 240 mile race by 10 hours back in 2017.  And Ultra Marathoner, Jasmin Paris shattered the 168 mile Montane Spine Race and won overall.

These are just a few examples of women who are closing the gap on the scientific determined “gender gap”- a performance difference reliably found in past performances between women and men. Israeli physicist Ira Hammerman found that women’s speed records were consistently about 90% of men’s times and shared his findings in the 2010 Wingate Congress of Exercise & Sports Sciences Symposium.  This surely should cause one to ask- what do those statistics really reveal- a short history of allowing women to compete with a categorization of “less important than men’s sport”.  If the expectation is set that an achievement is not possible, the inertia will keep most from making that achievement.  Take for example the 4 minute mile. No one thought it was humanly possible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes until 1954, when Roger Bannister did it at 3:59.4.  Since then, over 1400 athletes have run miles in under 4 minute and the new standard lies at 3:43.  The same phenomenon could be effecting girls and contributing to this “scientifically proven” difference in speed.


he girls of Atheltic Bilbao beat Lagun Artea in a February match. -New York Times


In order to change results of these scientific findings, we should give consideration to how much society is presupposing performance.  Normalizing inter gender competition at young ages may be the key to seeing nonpartial results- and may lead to changes in “scientifically proven differences in men’s and women’s speed times” .  In other words, let’s take the goevernors off of our young girls and see how they do in adulthood.  Spain is showing progress in this regard – being a stalwart of intergender soccer and finding incredible results- when girls and boys are held to the same standard, they perform at the same standard.

And so the question becomes, what is your definition of feminity and could it be redefined based on the performance of the female gender once they have been “ungoverned”. Are we realizing that women are not the less capable beings society has determined them to be?  Are they actually gifted in ways that we do not fully understand yet, in areas that we are only now exploring as we seek new ways to win?  Could girls be holding secrets to success that we have not yet explored as a society – or even as a species?

These questions should be asked as we witness the athletic prowess displayed before us daily on national TV in FIFAs Women’s World Cup.  Maybe one day there will only be one World Cup- where men and women match their athleticism on a level playing field.  Until then, though, you can watch the competition and athleticism break out for the quarter finals set in France on Fox and FS1 – the schedule is hosted here on CBS Sports.com

What are your thoughts on women, sports and the future of competition? Should our predictions be based on our experiences or on our expectations- and can those two things be separated enough to allow progress?


#ChangeyourMilieux #BeTheChange #Soccer #FIFA #dream

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