Passion Opens Doors for Women Worldwide

Trying to Be a Man

“You have got to follow your passion” said Johnnetta B. Cole, a woman who diverged from her expected path and instead followed her passion of anthropology. Cole had no doubt that she was not meant for her family business although her family had little faith in her straying from tradition. She stood bravely in front of her family and disproved their belief that a woman could not take care of herself by anthropology–she proved them completely wrong by becoming a professor and president of several colleges and by currently directing the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art. Her message is simple: you must follow your passion – it is the only true option.

Farvartish Rezvaniyeh has taken this statement to heart as a woman who refuses to give up her passion of swimming just because she is a woman. Rezvaniyeh exudes passion as she chooses to swim with a full body, full coverage, fully hindering swimsuit in order to do what she loves to do. She even completed a 20k with this swimsuit, however her record is denied by those who believe swimming is not for women. Rezvaniyeh thanks those who have supported her to continue pushing through any obstacles and to continue following her dream–a dream she is making a reality. Despite the unnecessary negativity that surrounds Rezvaniyeh, she understands that the only option is to follow her passion.

Honestly, where would we be without passion? I sure wouldn’t be where I am today: studying at Wellesley College with a pursuit to be the best woman I can be by forming my own business that operates entirely for the benefit of women worldwide; I aim to be empowered by empowering other women. Unlike Cole and Rezvaniyeh, I didn’t necessarily diverge from the path envisioned for me by my parents or culture, but I did open up to become someone with greater purpose simply because I am fueled by my passion to spread the seed of equality. Without passion I would be meandering, wandering aimlessly without direction, without purpose. Having passion guides me, pushes me full force towards my dreams, my goals, my reality. This passion opened doors for me, just like it opens doors for any woman who dares to transcend boundaries and interact within a realm that has been foreign to women for far too long.

Today women find themselves in more activities, jobs, and places than ever before; new opportunities are rising for us in the business world or in any world for that matter–be it anthropology, swimming, or absolutely anything else. Nevertheless be sure that these opportunities have arisen only because women have pushed themselves forward into greater global participation–we are opening our own doors.  Women will continue pushing forward, because quite frankly, women are passionate beings that have every capacity to do whatever they set their minds to. Stories like those of Cole and Rezvaniyeh inspire me as well as teach me that strong, brave women exist everywhere, and that together one day we will open all doors and find ourselves within a world where nothing unreasonable stands in our way; but if an obstacle were to arise, be sure that we would keep passionately fighting.

Maria Castano

Wellesley College


For more on Johnnetta B. Cole visit

For further information of Farvartish Rezvaniyeh visit


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