Published: 08th March 2021
#ThrowBackToday: When the first lady of the skies earned her permit to fly in 1910 today
In today's #TBT, we don't need to tell you that it's International Women's Day. What we choose to tell you instead is the story of Raymonde de Laroche aka the bird woman and how she touched the sky
The story goes something like this. In the 1900s, when one-half of the famous Wright Brothers, Wilbur Wright, was demonstrating his latest aviation marvel the Flyer in France, he asked out loud if any lady would like a ride. He found an unlikely volunteer in Raymonde de Laroche, who had already established her name as an actor. From then onwards, Laroche's tryst with the skies began. Such was her connection that she strived hard to become the first female licensed pilot on March 8, 1910, earning the title la femme oiseau (the bird woman).
Laroche has broken many bones, escaped deadly crashes and whatnot, but her desire to touch the skies egged her on and on, even to compete in races with men. During World War I, she tried enlisting for the war but was turned down. But that did not deject her for long as soon, she reached 15,748 feet in a plane, breaking all records set by women. But alas, it was on one of her trips that she met her maker.
We are all equal
How ironic that on International Women's Day in the year 2019, when terms like 'equal pay' are thrown around like confetti, the women's soccer team of the United States filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation. Why? Because of gender discrimination which led to skewed pay scales, that's why. In a settlement though, the federation agreed to offer the women equal working conditions. What do you make of it?