The essay, penned by author Mary Robinette Kowal and headlined, “To make it to the moon, women have to escape earth’s gender bias,” declares that NASA can learn from its failures as it aims to send women to the moon and beyond” and declares the space program was initially designed for men.
“Not deliberately for men, perhaps, but women were not allowed in the astronaut program until the late 1970s… By this point, the space program was built around male bodies,” Kowal wrote. “If we do not acknowledge the gender bias of the early space program, it becomes difficult to move past it.”
Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969 – at the height of the “Mad Men,” pre-feminist era. Ironically, the Times recently published an article noting that female photographers weren’t hired by the Gray Lady until the early 1970s. Jill Abramson became the Times’ first female editor in 2011, after 160 years of the prestigious paper being run by men.
The Times essay asks, “What are the lessons to be learned from NASA’s failure to fly women during the Apollo era?”
The lessons, according to the author who answers her own question, include a 2019 incident when NASA didn’t have a spacesuit to fit a particular female astronaut. The essay calls this an example of gender bias despite acknowledging that smaller sizes of the 40-year-old designs were nixed for budget purposes.
The Times essay also slams NASA for spacesuits that feature the same ventilation technology for men and women “despite the fact that we have different sweat patterns.”
The author notes that a female astronaut featured in a 1985 documentary was forced to wear wool slippers because “women are asked to compromise about seemingly small things in order to participate.”
The essay then blasts a 1962 letter sent from a NASA official to a female who expressed interest in becoming an astronaut as “unmistakable” gender bias by today’s standards. The piece concludes by evoking Armstrong’s famous quote: “If we want to land the first woman on the moon, let’s make sure she has tools designed with her in mind. Eliminating the legacy of gender bias is just one small step.”
Political satirist and “No Things Considered” host Tim Young told Fox News that he never considered NASA and the space flight program to be gender-biased, especially because Sally Ride – who became the first woman in space in 1983 -- is arguably the most popular astronaut in history outside of Aldrin and Armstrong.
“The next people most of us can identify are the genius African American women from ‘Hidden Figures,’” Young said. “It has to be tiring to constantly have to prove yourself to be woke to the far left.”
“It has to be tiring to constantly have to prove yourself to be woke to the far left.”
When the Times tweeted a link to the essay, it was quickly ratioed and met with swift criticism. “People writing articles like this are literally going out of their way to find things to get offended by. Give it a rest already,” one follower responded.
Talk radio host Tony Bruno wrote, “Guess you clowns missed the ‘Hidden Figures’ movie and the impact of women of color during that era, huh?”
Be sure to catch the America’s News HQ Apollo 11 50th anniversary special on Fox News on Saturday, July 20 at 12 PM EDT.