What Is Gender Nonconformity?

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gender nonconformity as, “a state in which a person has physical and behavioral characteristics that do not correspond with those typically associated with the person’s sex “ (Merriam-Webster, 1831). Throughout history, women have been viewed as inferior to men and unable to handle certain occupations. Although this may have been the case before World War II, women have established their role in society today by participating in gender nonconformity. Being a pilot was a job primarily for men because it involved a lot of knowledge and correct technique that took time to develop. Amelia Earhart’s love for adventure and airplanes led her to become not only the first women, but the first aviator ever to successfully fly solo over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1987 in Atchison, Kansas. Her family consisted of her parents, Amy and Edwin Earhart, and her younger sister Muriel. Her father worked as a railroad employee which caused the family to move quite often. The Earhart’s moved to Des Moines, Iowa when Amelia was in the seventh grade (Amelia Earhart Museum, Atchison, Kansas, n.d.). Amelia realized during this time that boys and girls were held at different standards and she didn’t understand why. She played basketball and other games that were specifically boy sports at the time. The first time that Amelia saw an airplane was at the Iowa state fair in 1909. Between the years of 1910-1912, Amelia experienced many hardships including the loss of her grandmother and her father’s heavy drinking. In 1915, Amelia graduated top of her class at Hyde Park High School in Chicago (Purdue Univ. Collections, n.d.). She enrolled at the Ogontz school in Philadelphia for college in 1916. During her senior year of college, she was elected Vice President of her class and established the class motto, “Honor is the foundation of courage” (Earhart, 1917) . However, Amelia left Ogontz and never returned to graduate because her adventure seeking personality led her to decide to join the war effort. She became a nurse, caring for wounded World War I soldiers who were mainly pilots in the army. In December of 1920, Amelia took her first ride
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