On June 19, an episode of Game of Thrones featured strong, independent women — from Daenerys fighting above the city on one of her dragons to Sansa Stark saving the day for her half-brother, Jon Snow. It was bloody, graphic and enthralling all at once.

But, what grabbed my attention even more were the next day’s comments on social media, some of them from very strong, powerful women that I know.

Women were commenting on the strength and empowerment of the characters … and a number of news stories were written about it that underscored this was some kind of exception.

Unfortunately, it is an exception. Men held women back, not granting them the vote until 1920. And, even then, women were the homemakers and “stay-at-home” moms up until the mid-1960s.

Consider that the “Old Boys” network still exists. Women aren’t paid as much as men in the same position even today.

Furthermore, men in corporate management don’t perceive discrimination against women is a real problem. That alone makes it impossible to implement effective remedies.

Yes, many women have kicked through that glass ceiling. Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina … many female entertainers and politicians. Click her for a list of 20 who have done it.

Are they the exception to the rule? Just like it is wrong to hold people back for their race or religion, it’s just as imperative that we never, ever hold back a person because of gender.

I think it is up to all of us to examine our hearts and do whatever we can do to help those around us — both women and men — to succeed. What say you?​

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the keys to life skills success. Click to learn more about The Key Class. John’s new book, 74 Key Life Skills for a Happy, Successful Life, is available on Amazon. Click here to receive a FREE eBook copy of The Key Class. Do you have a question about business or social etiquette? Ask John at johnKeyClass@gmail.com. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook and follow John on Twitter @johnjdalyjr. The opinions expressed are his own.