Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died last week, as most of you no doubt know. On The Thinking Housewife, Laura Wood uses the occasion as an opportunity to bash lesbians, feminism, and Ride herself. Wood begins her most unusual eulogy by quoting Gloria Steinem, who once said of Ride:
“Millions of little girls are going to sit by their television sets and see they can be astronauts, heroes, explorers and scientists.”
Wood scoffs at the very notion, suggesting that
Steinem’s real point, in keeping with her intense dislike of women, was that women should want to be astronauts and there was something wrong with them if they didn’t.
So we’re off to a great start here. Wood then offers this patronizing assessment of Ride’s life – which nonetheless turns out to be the nicest thing she says about the legendary astronaut.
Ride, who had a warm, radiant smile and is said to have served ably in her two missions in space, died Monday at the age of 61.
After this bit of faint praise, Wood moves on to her main point: Ride was lesbian, and therefore a terrible person, so she’ll quickly be forgotten.
For all the fanfare that once surrounded it, Ride’s story will likely fade into history and her life ultimately inspire very few girls. This will be so not only because women do not excel at space science or the physical demands of space travel as men do but also because, as Ride’s obituary proved, she did not lead a full life. Ride was in a lesbian relationship with a childhood friend for 27 years.
Yep, apparently lesbians don’t live “full lives,” whatever that means. Are women only living “full lives” if they are filled up on at least a semi-regular basis with their husband’s penis?
To her credit, Ride did not make her lesbianism public and was private about her personal life in general. Her sister and the woman with whom she had a relationship, Tam O’Shaughnessy, have released the information to the world and now Ride has the double distinction of being both the first woman and the first lesbian in space. O’Shaughnessy was Ride’s friend since the age of 12. Ride was briefly married to another astronaut, but they were divorced. So while Ride accomplished much in her career, thanks in part to the spirit of affirmative action, she seems to have never fully emerged from childhood.
Huh? Are lesbians inherently childish, or is Ride supposed to have been a perpetual “child” because she married her childhood friend?
Then Wood says one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard:
The only good reason for a normal woman to go through the grueling rigors of becoming an astronaut is that NASA is a great place to meet men.
Sorry, but I’ve got to pull out the Don Draper gif again: What?
Ride’s life, however, does not even offer that slim hope to little girls, that wonderful compensation for dreary days in a control cabin. Ride flew into space but never experienced other thrills that are as great or far greater. She never gave a man such necessary and life-sustaining love that he was able to do great things, such as fly into space.
So apparently the real, true purpose of becoming a female astronaut isn’t to fly into space, but to inspire the dude you’ve married to fly into space?
She never looked up at the stars with her own children and encouraged their wonder. She did not pass on her love of space to a son or daughter or grandchild.
I guess inspiring girls around the world doesn’t count? (And I can only imagine that the thought of Ride now inspiring gay children strikes Wood with dread.)
Though she performed capably in her public position as a Role Model of the Century, Sally Ride’s example will likely be the exact opposite of what NASA and Gloria Steinem predicted. She will serve as a reminder of at least some of the very good reasons why women don’t want to be astronauts.
Because becoming an astronaut might make them lesbian?
The vast majority of women would sooner love an astronaut than be one. And given that most men are destined to perform inglorious jobs for most of their lives, women will come to see that the dream of conquering space rightly belongs to men.
A lot of men do crap jobs, so therefore only men should be astronauts? I can’t even pretend to understand the logic here.