Tuesday, March 8, 2011

First American Woman in Space

Sally Kristen Ride was the American first female astronaut to go into space. In 1983 she was chosen out of thousands of women and participated in the launch of the Challenger space shuttle. She also helped design a robotic arm which could be used outside of the shuttle to pick things up. She was also a professor of physics at the University of California, and won numerous awards for her advancement of space engineering including the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the Women’s Research and Education Institute’s American Woman Award.

The 1980's also saw the first Black American Woman in space in 1987. This shows that it is not only white women who are fighting back against the male dominated society, but Black women are attempting to breach their society overcoming issues of gender and race.

This shows that in a society dominated by the White male, and in a profession which is mainly associated with men, a woman managed to overcome the stereotypes of the era and become an astronaut. This gave hope to other women who were being underpaid or oppressed by the male dominated work place. It showed that women were equal to men and that they could do the job the as well, if not better than they could. This thinking gave way to the Pay Equity Movement in which women began to demand the same wages as men for doing the same job. Clinton agreed with the movement and tried to pass legislation to change the rules, however they were unsuccessful which shows that Americans weren't ready to treat women equally to men in the 1980s, showing there was still a gender bias towards men.

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