September 16, 2018

Unstoppable: 3 Examples, part 3

 “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”-- Isaiah 40:29 (KJV)

This is the third article in a series on women who refused to be kept down. The group includes examples from the Bible and from secular history. Please see the first two articles here and here.

Deborah in the Bible

Judges chapters 4 and 5 introduce us to this prophet and judge. She is the only female prophet mentioned in the sacred writing.

The Israelites had been oppressed by the Canaanite king for a couple of decades. Deborah orders and facilitates a victorious attack against the monarch’s military commander. The result is peace for forty years.

Modern Overcomers

The remaining cases are taken from the World War 2 era in the U.S. All sorts of ladies, from celebrities to blue-collar workers, stepped up to join the war effort:

Hedy Lamarr (November 9, 1914-January 19, 2000)

This Austrian-born film actress escaped a confining marriage in Austria to start a new life in America. She became one of Hollywood’s top earners.

The lady had brains as well as stunning good looks. Lamarr was an inventor. She had learned military tricks and trade secrets from her controlling husband and his dinner guests. The star used them to create her most amazing invention.

Lamarr was upset by the frequent stories of German submarines attacking civilian refugee ships during World War 2. With help, she invented a frequency-hopping torpedo guidance system. It prevented jamming by the enemy.

The sultry icon wasn’t taken seriously. The U.S. Navy didn’t adapt her creation until the 1960s. Yet, the basic principles are still used today. The technology is similar to that used in Bluetooth and WiFi.

Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901-May 6, 1992)

This German-born beauty was also much more than a pretty face in Hollywood.  She had strict morals. The Nazis offered her a top position in their film industry, but she turned it down. She was a true American philanthropist and humanitarian.

Marlene advocated for German and French exiles. Dietrich spearheaded efforts to provide them with housing and financial support. The celebrity even donated some of her own personal money.

This courageous woman lifted the morale of the military. She put herself in harm’s way to do so:
  • Traveled to the front lines as a United Service Organizations (USO) entertainer 
  • Participated in musical propaganda broadcasts strategically designed to demoralize the Nazis

My Conclusion

This propaganda poster was created in 1943. The objective was to motivate women to join the war effort. The iconic image of Rosie the Riveter was a symbol of women’s rising social and financial power.  

The empowering message still resonates decades later: Underdogs unite! Refuse to be kept down!

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What significant contributions are you making against the odds?

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