One of my favorite types of stories to read are stories about empowerment, especially empowerment of women. The discrepancies of man vs woman in the workplace are well documented. As the traditional “fairer” race, many women are still looked down upon as weaker or less than, especially in the south, where I live, and especially when they challenge the status quo.
Eugenie Clark challenged the status quo in the 1940’s and 50s, a time in the world where women were expected to fulfill their role as homemaker and wife. She is better known as the Shark Lady, the ocean’s most fearless scientist. Another thing that fascinates me is oceanography. The ocean is even more uncharted then space and is vast and endless, filled with mysterious creatures and worlds underground. (My secret fantasy is for my children to become just as fascinated but to follow that passion into adulthood, so I can live vicariously through them. )
Thus, the combination of a great woman mixed with the aquatic world all rolled into the children’s book, Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist, was of great inspiration to me.
Eugenie stood up for sharks when people assumed they were nothing but dumb killers. She stood up for herself, as she studied advanced degrees at a time when women were supposed to be studying homemaking. She dared to dream against the norm and thus is a great example for all woman and our young daughters to keep dreaming. Let’s teach our children to dream. Here is a small list of just some of the amazing things Eugenie accomplished:
- She was the first scientist (not just woman, but scientist), to train sharks (yes I said train, like dogs)
- She discovered several never before seen ocean species.
- She hitched a ride on the back of a whale shark!!! (Amazing! I once swam with dolphins and I thought that was amazing, and it was a tourist trap. )
- She made over 70 dives up to 12,000 feet deep!
- The year before she died, she celebrated her 92nd birthday by scuba diving at age 92! (That’s how you celebrate a birthday!)
Most importantly, she did not let people tell her how she should live. She was born in 1922 and died in 2015 so you do the math on what she lived through. She followed her passions. It encourages me as a mom to look for the interests my children show and encourage them in those interests, and it inspires me, as a woman, to keep dreaming.
One thing that drives me crazy is gender bias. We all do it, many times unaware that we are even doing it. I catch my husband wanting to take my son to do typical “boy” things, but my daughter wants to do these things as well. It may be she just wants to spend time with her daddy, but I do think we need to be careful with our words and actions. Little girls can like dinosaurs (I did) and monster trucks and building, and still be little girls.
My little girl is “girly”. She likes all things pink and twirly, but she also likes math and one of her favorite parts of the zoo has always been the reptiles. She hates to get dirty, but she loves reading about bugs. (another fascinating area in my opinion). She’ll wear the fanciest dress and then put on her tennis shoes to go with it.
I want both my children to follow their dreams, but I think many times we say this in just words, but fail on the follow through. At some point in life, we become practical. I wanted to get a degree in English, but I am practical by nature and chose a more secure path. I’m not sure this was the best decision for me. I’m not saying to throw away security, but sometimes the security may be in not knowing. Sometimes when we are the most scared or unsure is where God can work his greatest miracles.
I’ll leave you with the following quotes:
A quote from the lady that inspired herself : ” It seems women keep growing. Eventually they can have little or nothing in common with the men they chose long ago. “Eugenie Clark
“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you. “Cynthia Kersey
What is an area that you have dreams or that you have encouraged your children to dream?
Sharing is caring! Thanks for reading!
If you were inspired by the Shark Lady, check out these books for more to enjoy!! (Full disclosure: The links in this post do allow me to have a small commission.)
Websites with more info on Eugenie Clark: