If I had to be famous there would have to be a damn good reason for it.
Not good reasons: big boobs, notoriety, vacuous comments, criminality, multiple partners, fancy cakes. Is there some hint of jealousy here because I have none of those? Each is admired by some people. Not by me.
Good reasons: well-applied intellect, discerning kindness, determination (the kind that sets aside handicaps and aims high at everything that’s available), the kind of imagination that seeks out or creates opportunity. I’m thinking of my late best friend here. Antonia had such attributes, and so many more. I’m not sure she counts as famous – her work was appreciated by a closely limited community. She wrote a magnum opus before her death but her survivors and friends have been unable to ensure its publication. I believe the work in her book would make an important contribution to science; I fear it may never be realized.
Antonia was interviewed many times. One correspondent asked what she wanted to be as a child. Her reply – to be a jet fighter pilot. And that ambition survived the sexism of the days of our childhood, and her paraplegia brought on by polio. Further in the interview she was asked what she dreamed of doing next and she replied that she would love to fly a jet fighter. It would take some interesting advances in avionics and flight medicine but I have no doubt that given time she could and would drive those advances. Sadly, she was not given the time.
So for the purposes of this post I can’t claim Antonia as a famous role model. So I suggest Amelia Earhart. Amelia achieved fame as an aviator (aviatrix?) but she was also an author, an educator, a shooter, a medical worker, a musician, a keen worker and supporter for women’s equal rights. She held the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded in the USA and held many records including first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. I believe Antonia and Amelia must be kindred souls, and I hope they are flying together now.