There is a very cool article on the Smithsonian web site called Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know. It is a wonderful example of the contribution of women to the sciences throughout history.
There are, of course (since they only listed 10), many more women who have played important role in the history of science. Here are just a few of them:
Hypatia (b. ca. AD 350–370, d. March 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria, Egypt, head of the Platonist school at Alexandria and mathematician. As head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, she also taught philosophy and astronomy. As a Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematic tradition of the Academy of Athens, as represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she was of the intellectual school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, which encouraged logic and mathematical study in place of empirical enquiry and strongly encouraged law in place of nature. Hypatia lived in Roman Egypt, and was murdered by a Christian mob which accused her of causing religious turmoil. Kathleen Wilder proposes that the murder of Hypatia marked the end of Classical antiquity, while Maria Dzielska and Christian Wildberg note that Hellenistic philosophy continued to flourish in the 5th and 6th centuries, and perhaps until the age of Justinian. (Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia_of_Alexandria.)
Ada Byron – Considered by many as the first computer programer, man or woman. She assisted Charles Babbage on his analytical engine, creating the first ever computer program for it that could calculate Bernoulli numbers.
Grace Hopper - Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. (Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper)
These are just a small sample of woman scientists. If you are interested in find out more about all the wonderful woman who have had a major impact on science, visit these links:
To all the girls and woman out there with even a hint of an interest in science; listen to Marie Curie (or at least her zombie). You can change the world, as have many women before you (too bad men got all the credit, not to mention the Nobel prizes. Grr!)
I had an amazing, day-long conversation on FB with an old, dear friend and a new friend of hers that she introduced me to. The conversation was about sex. It ranged from the innate beauty of the penis, the importance (or lack thereof) of penis size, the the sensitivity and depth of the vaginal canal, female ejaculation, what constitutes real intimacy, the consciousness shattering of shared mutual orgasms, to my new friend (a woman) giving me male masturbation advice that included interesting and clever devices.
There was mutual agreement that the shame associated with sex in our society is almost always motivated by males trying to maintain their supposed privilege where they feel that they have control over women, especially their sexuality. This we all also agreed is complete and utter bullshit.
I’ve said it before here, anything that happens between consenting adults, regardless of gender, orientation, or numbers of people involved, is perfectly OK and, more importantly, perfectly natural.
In the end, intimacy, both physical and emotional, come down to the following: openness, honesty, and respect. One of these lovely women mentioned to me that she had problems with men because they viewed her openness as a invitation to hit on her. She said that she never could figure out the rules. I told her that I have three rules, which are stated above: openness, honesty, and respect. And those rules apply to all relationships of all types, not just sexual ones.
It was one of the most fascinating and stimulating (pun intended) conversations I’ve ever had. I found it so refreshing to be able to talk to women who were so comfortable with their sexuality and so confident in themselves. They are both also very articulate and intelligentand they showed great respect to myself and each other. I find these traits in a women to be irresistibly attractive.
The problem with many men is that they find these traits in women to be highly threatening. They can’t deal with a woman who is so secure and comfortable in her sexuality. I believe it truly frightens them. It is because they have this false sense of privilege that leads them to believe that they must control the women in their lives.
Personally, I find it liberating, fascinating, and beautiful.
Oh and I learned something else very interesting in the discussion yesterday. One of the women has studied the sexual practices and mores of ancient societies. Did you know that women in ancient Greece loved small penises? They considered large penises grotesque. As Spock would say, fascinating!
How comfortable are you with your sexuality? How about with the sexuality of others? Comments are most welcomed and encouraged.
It is men like these that make me want to castrate and/or kill a significant percentage of my so-called “brothers”. Brothers! Blech! Guys like this make me truly embarrassed to have a Y chromosome and a penis. We need to supercharge our space program and create a penal colony on an asteroid and send every man who preys on a woman, wether physically, emotionally, sexually or financially there for the rest of their days to work in mines. They don’t deserve the privilege of walking among others of their species.
Now that I have vented, let me say that we need to do whatever we can to help future generations of boys become men who value and appreciate the existence of 50% of their species who carry the X chromosome, not to mention carrying every single one of every person who ever has, is, or will be. The real challenge, of course, is how to achieve this. I try to do my part by, first, raising my children to see and appreciate the equality of men and woman. I say equality in the sense of rights, opportunities, and respect. Second, I write about feminism from a man’s point of view hoping that others will see that a man can be a feminist while still being “a man” (whatever that means). I try to call out men (and some women as well) when they perpetuate the stupid and corrosive sense of male privilege that permeates most societies around the world.
I am not perfect, as much as I try to see what I’ve called “male privlones” in myself as I was recently reminded. It is all about mindfulness. Mindfulness of our words and actions effect’s on others. We all need to stop and think before we open our mouths, put words to media, or raise a hand.