Parkland Press

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Editor's View A world of opportunity exists for today's women

Thursday, September 6, 2012 by The Press in Opinion

I was raised with the notion I could be anything I wanted to be.

There was never discussion on barriers placed on particular careers because I was a girl.

We recently lost a very important woman, Sally Ride, who helped pave the way for young girls.

Ride was the first American woman in space and the youngest American to ever circle Earth.

According to her biography on sallyridescience.com, she answered a NASA newspaper ad seeking astronaut candidates in 1977 while finishing her Ph.D. She already had degrees in physics and English.

NASA was looking for scientists and engineers and was allowing women to apply.

From a group of 8,000 candidates, 35 astronauts, including six women, were chosen.

"Sally's historic flight made her a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls," her biography reads.

On June 18, 1983, Ride made her mark in the history books as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The mission lasted 147 hours. Ride was on a second flight Oct. 5, 1984.

"The thing that I'll remember most about the flight is that it was fun," Ride said. "In fact, I'm sure it was the most fun I'll ever have in my life."

After retiring from NASA in 1987, she became a professor and, in 2001, she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to motivate young girls and boys to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Ride wrote seven science books for children and received numerous honors and awards.

She lost her 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer July 23.

For me, she was a symbol of possibility as a young girl growing up.

Another important woman who made her mark in history for women was Susan B. Anthony. She never had the chance to vote; however, because of her work, women have that right today.

In 1872, Anthony tried to vote and was arrested, jailed and fined $100.

Maya Lin designed the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. when she was only 21.

Her design, a long, black slab of marble that descends into the ground has the names of more than 50,000 soldiers who died in that war.

Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She served seven terms representing New York, had the first all-female staff and cofounded the National Organization for Women.

Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a Native American tribe in modern times.

Rosa Parks was arrested Dec. 1, 1955, because she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.

Alice Paul authored the Equal Rights Amendment and was instrumental in achieving the right for women to vote in 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Eleanor Roosevelt helped found UNICEF and was a spokesperson for the United Nations. Clara Barton, a nurse from Massachusetts, founded the American Red Cross in 1881.

So many women have made monumental contributions to society.

While we thank those women for their contributions and commitment to a fair society, I wonder which women among us are making signficant discoveries, breaking through male-dominated barriers or creating a groundbreaking organization for the betterment of all.

We can only hope young girls today look to women like these as role models rather than some of the women entertainers plastered throughout the Internet and television screens who believe they need to scream, curse and use inappropriate innuendos to gain the attention of their fans.

Debbie Galbraith

editor

East Penn Press

Salisbury Press