Friday, October 19, 2012
High Heels and Pearls Are No Longer for the Kitchen
In 1903 Madame Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1911 she won a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1935, Madame Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Their contributions to the field of medicine have been immeasurable. Madame Curie was aware of the discrimination against women and she made a point of hiring women who also had suffered discrimination by the male science establishment. By doing so, she gave several of these brilliant women their start in physics. One was Marguerite Perey who began as a test tube washer and, a few years later, discovered the radioactive element Francium. Another woman she hired was Ellen Gleditsch, who was a radiochemist, and who established the half-life of radium.
"No jammer could detect it, no German code-breaker could decipher a completely random code," she says in the play. The technology, says Singer, was far ahead of its time. Although her ideas were at first ignored, the technology (which she and Antheil patented in 1942) was later used by the military—during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, for example—and more recently, it has been employed in wireless technologies like cell phones. It was eventually recognized in 1997, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation honored Lamarr with a special Pioneer Award and she became the first woman to receive the Invention Convention's BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award. ~~ Scientific American
The use of x-ray diagnosis and treatment in medicine, and the invention of cellular phones – both invaluable contributions by women. What a loss that would have been to the world if those brilliant woman had been kept in the kitchen, or worse, kept on a shelf in binders. I wonder how many women in Mitt Romney's binders were actually more qualified than the men, to do the jobs for which they had applied. Probably more than Romney would care to admit. We can poke fun at Romney, we can even poke fun at Obama for picking up the binder gaffe and running with it. The truth is, the world is full of brilliant women. Step out of those binders, ladies (isn't *bind* a somehow fitting word?) -- literally and figuratively. The world needs your brilliance. And let's face it, could we possibly do any worse than the men? Who knows, we might even just do better than the men. And we promise not to put them in binders.