Were I to have made a list of who my heroes were many years ago, that list, while having many men's names and some you would know, would NOT have had a single woman's name on it. The problem was not that I had no female heroes, my sister Betty would come to mind immediately, but because back in those days the only way I thought of most women was as a "wife" even if she was "just" the "wife" of one of my heroes. [There is no downplaying of the significance of being a wife here at all. It IS sad that a "role" said more to me than did being a "person." Thus, the embarrassment part of the confession.]
In our early pastorates the folks would sometimes forget Mary's name because they so seldom heard or used it as she was basically referred to as "our pastor's wife." That role-playing kind of thinking and environment also made me a perfect candidate for a hierarchical system of authority [That's a REAL problem] that left men in charge of everything. I read the scriptures with this filter in place for several years which was unfortunate for my own family and the churches I pastored.
I'm glad I can now say that hierarchical filter has been removed, both scripturally, since it was NEVER in the text correctly understood anyway, and personally. Were I to create a list of heroes now, Mary, my wife, would HEAD the list. She is quick of mind, superior in intelligence, has a heart in the right place and knows as much [or more] about life, theology, the Lord, controversial issues politically, you name it, as ANYONE I know. A list of my heroes today would also contain, for differing reasons, the names of each of our daughters, our daughters-in-law, granddaughters, and many others such as my sister, Betty, Marcia, my pastor's wife, my niece, Sherry__well__ you see where I'm going with this. It would be a LONG list and it would NOT be gender specific.
Truth be known, I'm thinking every person on my imaginary list of heroes would probably object to being there. I'm thinking they should object. Heroes may be more for kids than anyone else anyway. We adults have lived long enough to see that all our supposed heroes fail in some way and they've seen us fail as well. Maybe there really is only one true Hero and if we see Him for Who He REALLY is and how He REALLY is to us, it will enable us to love, accept, forgive, enjoy and even like people right where they are since that's the way we will find He relates to us.
Perhaps our lists as adults should be called our "Most admired." If this is true consider the list of women I've mentioned above to be on my list. [Along with several un-named men for sake of brevity.]
Maybe with Him as our "hero" we need no other heroes because He's "hero enough." Right!