As editor of Out In Jersey magazine, I am proud to have an accomplished, strong lesbian on the cover of this issue. Captain Sandy, of Bravo’s Below Deck, is doing a job not many women have done. In fact just six percent of yacht captains are female.
Watching women do a job that is typically associated with men is inspiring. Barbara Walters, who recently passed away, is another example of a strong woman who beat the men’s system, and paved the way for all women, including writers, journalists, and authors. She broke the door down and invited us all in with open arms. In 1976, she was the first female news anchor who raked in an unprecedented $1 million.
Other women who broke the glass ceiling, in no order:
- Vice President Kamala Harris, who is not only the first female vice president, but she is also the first and only black vice president.
- Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1981. She paved the way for the “Notorious RBG,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated for the Court by Bill Clinton in 1993.
- Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina justice, who was appointed to the Court by President Obama in 2009 who, one year later, nominated Elena Kagan. Together they serve with the latest woman to be seated, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first female black justice, nominated by President Biden.
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, first lady of Arkansas and first lady of the United States, served as a U.S. Senator, and as the U.S. Secretary of State under President Obama.
- Janet Reno, first female Attorney General and longest serving in the 20th century, appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993.
- Jane Bolin, who became the first black woman to graduate Yale Law School, and later became the first black female judge in 1939.
- In October 1916, nurse and women’s rights activist Margaret Sanger opened the first American birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
- Jersey girl and women’s rights activist Alice Paul proposed the Equal Rights Amendment for the first time in 1923. Paul dedicated her entire life to fighting for equal rights for all women.
- Aretha Franklin was the first woman elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Her rendition of Otis Redding’s “Respect“ quickly became a song of female empowerment.
- Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk, in 1961, became one of the first women to undergo the physical and psychological testing NASA required to become an astronaut. After a career of firsts, she went on to become the oldest woman to fly to space at the age of 82 in 2021.
- Deb Haaland made history in March 2021 when she was confirmed as the Secretary of the Interior of the United States — the first Indigenous person of any gender to hold a Cabinet position.
- Amelia Earhart, a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She disappeared July 2, 1937, near the central Pacific Ocean.