243: The Self-Empowered Woman: Cassie De Pecol

Dear Followers, Today I’d like to introduce you to a young woman who has really captured my attention. Cassie De Pecol recently became the fastest person—and first documented female—to travel to every single one of the world’s 196 sovereign nations. She completed her voyage in February of this year, after 18 months and 26 days of travel. Cassie’s big adventure was nicknamed “Expedition 196.” Sadly, I am no longer able to hop on a plane and … [Read more...]

242: The Self-Empowered Woman: Ona Judge

Dear Followers, Hard as it is to believe today, the sad truth is that most of our Founding Fathers were slaveholders.  Today I’d like to introduce you to an amazing woman who gained her freedom by escaping from her owner—Mrs. George Washington. Ona Judge (she was also known as Oney) was born in 1773, and known as a “dower slave.”  Her mother was a seamstress and her father was a white English tailor who was an indentured servant at Mount … [Read more...]

241: The Self-Empowered Woman: Maria Sibylla Merian

Dear Followers, I love stories about brave women who will do anything to follow their passion. So when I learned about Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), I wanted to share this amazing story of a Self-Empowered Woman from centuries ago. She was a descendant of the Swiss Merian family, who were founders of one of Europe’s largest publishing houses back in the 17th century. Her father died when she was only three years old (1: No Paternal Safety … [Read more...]

240: The Self-Empowered Woman: Clare Hollingworth

Dear Followers, Last Wednesday, the first female war correspondent died in Hong Kong at the age of 105. Today, journalism is—for the most part—a relatively gender-free career, but it wasn’t always that way. Hollingworth, the most fearless of British women war writers, was born on October 10 th , 1911 in central England. Historians believe that the seeds of her future career were planted when—as a young girl she was able to visit historical … [Read more...]

238: The Self-Empowered Woman: Because I was a Girl

Dear Followers, It’s no secret that I am one of millions of American women who were deeply saddened that we still have to wait (again) to have a female president. Like so many feminists, I had hoped that the glass ceiling that has “contained” our gender for so long would have shattered for good last Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, that was not to be. As you know, each of my blogs has attempted to show the strength and resilience of women … [Read more...]

234: The Self-Empowered Woman: Maria Grazia Chiuri

Dear Followers, I don’t know about you, but after emotionally dealing with our electoral politics, BREXIT, the situation in Dallas, and the massacre in Nice, I’m in the mood for something that is relatively removed from world events. And even though anything that affects women anywhere in the world is “political,” today I’d like to focus on a groundbreaking event in the “lightweight” world of fashion. Last week it became public knowledge … [Read more...]

180: The Self-Empowered Woman: Mystique/Lean

Dear Followers, Welcome to Women’s History Month! For today’s post, instead of introducing you to a historical woman who was a real trailblazer, I’d like to highlight two important books—published almost exactly 50 years apart—that symbolize the progress women in America have made over the past half century. The first book, which has just been republished with an introduction by Anna Quindlen, was credited with starting second-wave … [Read more...]

11. Title IX

Dear Followers, Did you know what U.S. Army General Ann Dunwoody, jockey Julie Krone, TV journalist Lisa Ling, and writer Anna Quindlen have in common? These amazing women, like the others in Chapter 11, were comfortable (rather than frightened by) taking risks. The major news story of the week is the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, and whether Republican or Democrat, today's women all owe him a big Thank You for his work as a key supporter … [Read more...]

1. An Introduction to “The Self-Empowered Woman”

What do writer Maya Angelou, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, singer Gloria Estefan and actress Demi Moore have in common? If you are interested in or intrigued by the life stories of accomplished women, then you've landed on the right blog. My name is Marilyn Murray Willison, and my new book (The Self-Empowered Woman) addresses the question: What circumstances and characteristics help create a high-achieving woman? Together we can use this … [Read more...]