NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir broke down another barrier for women last Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 by being part of the first all-female spacewalk in history. The female astronauts were tasked with replacing a power controller, ventured out of the International Space Station.
The spacewalk lasted seven hours and 17 minutes and included a brief call with President Trump. The original spacewalk was supposed to occur in March but was pushed back due to inadequately sized space suits. The space program took a hit over its legacy of sexism, displayed by the suits being historically designed for men.
It wasn’t until 1978 when women were admitted into the astronaut program, and an American woman did not take flight into space until Sally Ride did so in 1983. The first spacewalk occurred in 1965, and in 1984 Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to perform one.
The first all-women spacewalk exemplifies our nation’s growth and shows how close we are to crossing the threshold of gender equality. Since the early birth of the United States, women’s rights have been laid by the wayside. They’ve banded together to make a change to carve out a voice for themselves in modern-day society.
Events such as the space-walk give us more evidence that women have been wrongfully put into a corner and shows that the Rosie Riveters from the 1940s are still seeking and conquering every obstacle that has been put in their path.
With the younger generations growing up in a society that has seen women become astronauts and presidential nominees, via Sally Ride, Mae Jemison and Hillary Clinton. Being one of the leaders in the space race, it’s only right that they do their part and be one of the leaders breaking women stereotypes.
Therefore, as Americans, we should lead the pack of retiring old stereotypes with new ones by changing our media coverage of women to a modern conquering individual that will not be trampled under by men but by the side of the man.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,” said Barack Obama, via An American Story: The Speeches of Barack Obama.