Just a couple of weeks after my post on the end of the Space Age comes this article by Marcie Bianco whining that space exploration is patriarchal.
Well of course it is Marcie. Space exploration is patriarchal, just as the whole of science and technology is patriarchal. It's all part of the awesomeness of patriarchy.
These are essentially masculine pursuits. The urge to explore, to invent, to understand the physical world, to conquer new frontiers, these are masculine imperatives. That’s how civilisation has progressed from living in caves and chasing mammoths with pointy sticks to living in nice houses with lots of appliances (like the one Marcie lives in) and being able to drive to the supermarket to buy everything we need. That’s why Marcie doesn’t have to spend her day gathering nuts and berries and can sit in air-conditioned comfort reading up on the latest advances in Women’s Studies.
Had it not been for the patriarchy Marcie could never have had a career teaching social justice in American universities because there would not have been any American universities. America would never have been colonised. There’s a reason that it was Christopher Columbus who reached America in 1492, and not Christine Columbus. Exploring is what men do.
There’s also a reason why the first successful aircraft was built by the Wright Brothers, and not the Wright Sisters. And why the first successful locomotive was built by Robert Stephenson, not Roberta Stephenson. There’s a reason why electric lighting, cars, aircraft, radio, photography, motion pictures, television, refrigerators, steamships, railways and computers were invented by men. Even the inventions that have done so much to make life easier for women like Marcie, like the vacuum cleaner, microwave ovens and automatic washing machines, were invented by men.
The scientific discoveries that made such inventions possible were made overwhelmingly by men.
This is how the male brain works. Men like to figure out how stuff works, how things that are impossible today can be made possible tomorrow, they like to discover things and to explore, they like to find new frontiers. Women’s brains don’t work that way. Which is OK, women’s brains are not supposed to work that way because women are supposed to be at home looking after the kids and getting dinner ready while their husbands confront the world.
Of course it’s possible that women like Marcie do understand all this at some level. They do understand that the contribution of women to science and technology has been minuscule. That’s why they’re angry. Men are so much better at this stuff and it’s not fair. Men get real degrees in real subjects, not degrees in Women’s Studies.
If Marcie had been around in 1492 I’m sure she would have been lobbying Ferdinand and Isabella to cut off funding to Columbus for his silly patriarchal plan to reach the Indies and instead use the money to fund Women’s Studies workshops.
We should go to Mars because if we don’t it’s another sign that we’ve given up, that we’ve surrendered to women like Marcie.