When women and PoC are denied their achievements
After posting the series of photos from the Hubble telescope and the WISE Mission, and reading a quote that ratsinthekitchen had reblogged about an Egyptian university student who had invent a new propulsion device, it got me thinking about how close we are to the cusp of space exploration, yet so incredibly far away.
When a woman or a person of colour (or even a woman of colour) manages to create an incredible achievement it seems that society attempts to downplay that achievement. I should correct myself, not all of society, but the ruling class of society, which happens to be straight, white, cis gendered men. It’s a commonly held stereotype that women, and people of colour, could not possibly invent anything which could advance our technology.
Two small things to debunk that argument. Well, one to debunk and one to chastise for stating something so asinine.
First, women and people of colour have been inventing things for centuries which have helped advance out technology and make our society what it is today. The first computer programmer was a woman. Some of the most successful architects came from the Middle East, creating structures which influenced European design for centuries. Some of the most intelligent and successful rulers were women and people of colour. These were people that recognized a problem, took it upon themselves to solve said problem, and got shit done in the process.
The second point is more a description, or rather a feeling of what we in our society do when we deny the achievements of women and people of colour. As I said before, for decades now we have been on the edge of making a huge leap into space exploration, but we always seem to get distracted by something here on Earth. Our terrestrial troubles aside, let’s look at that quote again that ratsinthekitchen reblogged. An Egyptian student has an idea to help better engine performance in spacecraft. My hope is that NASA pays close attention to this. But if they don’t, will they have just denied the achievement of a person of colour? I believe they would have and that they would be less for denying that. Less, because it is a step in the direction of space exploration that will be ignored.
What if a woman were to create faster than light travel? Or even a woman of colour develop the technology to terraform so we can colonize the Moon, or Mars. If we ignore those achievements, if we bypass them then we are less as a society for it. We aren’t stepping forward into the great unknown, we’re drifting further and further away from it.