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Monday, July 14, 2014


Recently I watched a video on the website of a women’s shooting champion about “running like a girl.” It focuses on how the term “like a girl” gets twisted into something wrong, bad, or somehow less. 

Of course, those of us with healthy self-image respond ‘Of course I run like a girl—I AM a girl!’ Unfortunately, the impressionable, particularly teen girls, take it to heart and start down the path that they are somehow less “good” than their male counterparts.

But, if it were true that being a girl somehow makes us “less,” I honestly don’t believe we would have ever settled the American west. Women did everything, either beside their man or without him, plus bore children. And rode sidesaddle.

These are the women I model my heroine after--those who do what needs doing, not just the "girl stuff," who go after what they want, and always get their man!

So, today I give you just a few of the women who make me proud to be a girl!

Those who crossed this vast country in a 10’ x 5’ box on wheels that held their entire family, some assorted relatives, and every possession they owned.

Those who settled on the treeless plains, gathered dung to burn for heat and cooking, and never thought about going back.

Those who made certain their children were clean, fed and off to school every morning because she knew an education would make their lives better than hers.

Those who left what was familiar, married a dreamer and kept at it until they succeeded. “Born a minister’s daughter in Missouri in 1832, Henrietta Chamberlain went east to a boarding school and expected to follow the family pattern and marry a minister. Instead she married a boat captain and speculator with little education and a tendency to swear loudly. The man was Richard King.” [Together they founded the dynasty known as The King Ranch.]

“More than any other virtue, women brought a hearty pragmatism to the West. ‘When I saw something that needed doing, I did it,’…”   (

Now, get out there and run like a girl. I'll race you!


  1. Excellent post, Tracy! I certainly agree that the West could not have been settled without the women. It irks me that they get little credit for it though. But that's pretty much been the way it's always been through history. I would love to learn about Henrietta Chamberlain. She's a fascinating, strong woman. I love how she chose exactly opposite of what was expected of her. Way to go!!

  2. Tracy,
    I loved that video and this post. I bless my mother and father for allowing me to be who I am without labels and reminding me who I was when I doubted myself. I know they made sure I knew about the history of my family and who it was a partnership that made the family what it became.

  3. Linda, after Richard King's death she ran the ranch and helped set it on the path to become the empire it is today. The King Ranch is a fascinating place to visit!

  4. Doris, parents are the key, at least in my mind. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Tracy, you've got me thinking now. (Dangerous!) LOL

    Why IS it that people think it's okay to have those kinds of slogans that put women down for being women? On the other hand, Gary and I were talking the other night about all the commercials out there that make men looks silly or clueless. I don't get that.

    Love these pictures, and love the reminder that it's perfectly fine to be a "girl" in this world, and that some of the harder things that have been accomplished would not have been if it hadn't been for women! I remember the family stories of my great grandmother having her 3rd child under a tree in Indian Territory. They stopped long enough for her to have the baby and let her rest ONE DAY and then moved on. With two older kids--just little, themselves.

    I love modeling my heroines after strong women! So many things happened to these women "back in the day" that people now might think it was all make believe--but it's real, and it needs to be remembered. Great post!


  6. Cheryl, I'm glad I got you "thinking". Good things come from that. lol

  7. I'm glad I was raised by a man who encouraged his daughters to be self reliant. Before we could get a driver's license, we had to be able to change a tire and change the oil. He expected us to support ourselves whether or not we intended to Marry. Your post reminded me to be grateful for my upbringing.
    Pioneer women were certainly exceptional in the way they led their lives with confidence, courage, and intelligence. Great post, Tracy.

  8. Great post, Tracy!

    I had a professor who once gave a lecture about women in the West and how hardened and bitter they became in this untamed land. That life out here was too tough for them. Then we were supposed to write a freestyle paper. Using my grandmothers I disputed his ridiculous claim explaining how both raised six children, worked side by side with their husbands and eeked out a living, but both were beautiful, gracious (although they could get a might riled) women loved by their families and communities. He took back his assumptions and apologized to the class stating he'd no longer hold that view of the women who helped cave out and socialize the West.

    Cheryl, it's funny you and your husband were talking about how men are made to look silly and stupid these days. I just had a rant to my mom after attending the rodeo. They had wild pony races for the kids and there was a all girls team. Well the announcer made such a big deal about them and how we were supposed to really cheer them on...WHY? Why should I cheer on the girls anymore than the boys? It really ticked me off. I then felt bad when I was glad that they lost. It's not their fault adults are idiots. But I feel like it's the whole pendulum thing in this society. For years women were made to feel inferior and now we're punishing a generation of young men by making them feel less important. I was raised it didn't matter if you were a boy or girl you used what God gave you and did your best.

    Sorry, I'll step down off the old soapbox now.

  9. Tracy,

    Back in the '70s (dating myself-oops!), my history teacher in high school had the idea that girls (females in general) were helpless, incapable of taking care of themselves, needed a man... blah, blah, blah. Well, being the tomboy who was raised on a ranch, I challenged him. I bet him I could change a tire just as easily as a guy, and he said if I did, he'd write an apology in the school newspaper for his disparaging remarks about females.

    So, the entire class went to the parking lot and darn if I didn't show up the boy who was silly enough to go up against me in the tire-changing competition.

    It was great. And he wrote the apology, too. ;-)

    Same teacher idolized George Armstrong Custer, too. I did not. I wrote a paper of why "Custer had it coming" so-to-speak. Earned an "A", but didn't make brownie points with him. (I cherish that memory, too.) lol

  10. The weaker sex, my hind leg! Loved this post, Tracy. I'll "run like a girl" right alongside you.


  11. You are welcome on that soap box anytime, Kirsten. Just leave room for me!

  12. Kaye, I knew you were a rabble-rouser! And I'm right beside you in the 70s crowd.

  13. Thanks for a wonderful post. I was raised in the generation where girls were expected to be a nurse or a school teacher or get married and raise a family. My mother didn't buy into this at all and insisted that I could do anything I wanted to do in life. I never wanted anything more than to become a writer. My father had his reservations, but supported me in everything I tried. Other than writing, I think one of the most fun job I ever had was as my dad's assistant when he worked as a carpenter. I think I've succeeded in raising my daughter the same way my mother did me. Even my grand-daughter thinks she can out run and out smart most of the boys in her school - and she can. I'll argue with anyone who says women can't do or be anything they want to do or be and I try always to instill this in my female characters.