The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Women's History Month "S": Marge Simpson and Women in Space


Marge Simpson

Marjorie Simpson (née Bouvier) was born sometime in the sixties, or maybe the fifties, or even possibly the seventies.  She is married to Homer and has three children, none of whom ever seem to grow up.  But Marge Simpson is one of the greatest women around. Of course she has a flawed character; an addiction to gambling is notable as one flaw, but she lives her day-to-day life helping and loving her family, who most of the time don't notice her efforts.  She gets her children (and husband) up in the morning, feeds them, calms their fears, and makes sure they get off to school (or work).  She is house-proud and loves her children and husband. She is our mother, everyone's mother.  She represents the women who worried and fretted and soothed over their children but who also retained their own identity and who are not afraid to stand up for what is right or stand up for what is necessary.  Marge is unafraid to call the shots, and provides the moral centre for her family.  She is independent, but chooses to curb much of this in order to raise a family, who aren’t perfect and are in essence, all of us.

For more information on Marge Simpson and on The Simpsons, please visit the The Simpson's website.


I don't set out to offend or shock, but I also don't do anything to avoid it.
~Sarah Silverman, Actress and Comedian

As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag.
~Patti Smith, Musician and Artist

But the problem is that when I go around and speak on campuses, I still don't get young men standing up and saying, 'How can I combine career and family?'
~Gertrude Stein, Author

I believe in imagination. I did Kramer vs. Kramer before I had children. But the mother I would be was already inside me.
~Meryl Streep, Actress

When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.
~Lillian Smith, Writer and Social Critic


“All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary." 
~Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space

On the 12th of April 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel into outer space. 

Two years later, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman into space and marked the start of a long line of female astronauts.  The first female American astronaut entered space in 1983 and ever since Sally Ride, there have been many benchmarks including Ellen Ochoa (first Hispanic woman), Mae Jemison (first African-American woman), and Chiaki Mukai (first Japanese woman in space).  The first Briton in space was Helen Sharman in 1991. 

Women have been involved in NASA long before there were women in space.  Female engineers and scientists have helped to get the space shuttles off the ground.  Space is an attraction that entices people year after year, regardless of gender or nationality.

Shannon Lucid was one of the first female recruits and remains with NASA.  Having overcome sexism in seeking a career in science (because she was a woman) she has become a well respected astronaut.  Katryn Dwyer was the first woman to walk in space. She has an extensive military and space career and recently was nominated by Barack Obama to be an assistant secretary of commerce.  Valentina Tereshkiva was the first woman in space, as well as the first civilian, as she wasn’t in the USSR Airforce. 

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