Amelia Earhart - The High Life
In the year of 1937, a person disappeared into thin air and landed right into the midst of public imagination.
Amelia Mary Earhart has possibly had one of the most inspiring and interesting lives in modern history. The story of her life, leading right up to her infamous disappearance, has stood the test of time, and contemporary historians are still in confusion about what fate befell her.
She not only scaled the looming clouds, but also took to the art of writing, and spent every moment, when she was not zipping through the clouds, telling the world about her exploits.
She also formed the Ninety-Nines, an organisation for female pilots. At a time when women didn’t have many fundamental rights, Amelia campaigned for the cause of feminism, and was one of the strongest proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment. Her foray into politics was strongest as a member of the National Women’s Party.
Some biographers have contended that the young Amelia Earhart was a tomboy, and it was evident that she did not fit into the prescribed gender roles that society tried to force upon her. Indeed, her achievements are testimony to the fact that gender roles deserve to be cast away as a relic of the past, never to be seen in any instance in modern society.
Earhart's ideas on marriage were also refreshingly liberal for her time and she believed in equal responsibilities for both breadwinners and pointedly kept her own name rather than being referred to wit her husband’s name. She was truly a feminist icon way ahead of her time.
During the Great War, she received training as a nurse's aide from the Red Cross, and began to work with the Voluntary Aid Detachment at a Military Hospital. Her duties included preparing food in the kitchen for patients with special diets and handing out prescribed medication in the hospital's dispensary. It was during these testing times that Amelia saw first-hand the vagaries of war.
On the fateful day of December 28, 1920, right before the New Year set in, Earhart and her father visited an airfield where Frank Hawks gave her a ride that would forever change her life. It was one of those moments you read about in books and see in movies. She knew she had found her calling. It was amongst the blue skies and the grey clouds. By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, she said, I knew I had to fly. At the age of 34, she became the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic.
The United Press called Earhart the reigning "Queen of the Air". There could not have been a better epithet for someone like her. Endorsements by all the right people helped Earhart finance her flying. She accepted a position as associate editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, and then turned this forum into an opportunity to campaign for greater public acceptance of aviation, with a special emphasis on the role of women entering the field.
Before she could turn 40, she disappeared under the most mysterious circumstances, while attempting to circumnavigate the earth. In her quest to travel around the world with her trusty plane, she became an aviation legend. Indeed, after her disappearance, she attracted a great deal of interest from all quarters.
Amelia is a feminist icon, and her achievements are truly sky high. She might have disappeared off the map, but she lives on in the lives of the millions of people she has inspired.