The other day, I was having a drink with some friends of mine. At one point, one of us asked « but what did women ever created? ». And guess what?
Here are the first spontaneous answers.
« They give life ». Great! As far as I know, the toughest part of having kids is usually raising them. It is a long and winding road and with some luck we don’t travel that path alone.
« They invented the tarte tatin ». Holy Moly! Back in the 50’s! Women in the kitchen preparing a good meal for their men!
« Marie Curie and her husband ». Hey hey hey! Some women were able to do things by themselves. Besides Marie Curie got Gegner and Nobel prizes without her husband.
Girls, how do you want people to take seriously the contribution of women if we cannot reassure them with some references.
You may not be able to change a tire. But remember, Margaret Wilcox invented the first car heater. Talk about useful! We all use it much more often than we change a tire. And by the way, to keep warm at home, Alice Parker invented a system of gas-powered central heating.
You come back from seaside holidays. Did you know that we owe to Maria Beasely the first life rafts?
You are concerned about Green issues. Maria Telkes and Eleanor Raymond build the first home entirely heated by solar power.
You are a bit of a geek. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer. Shirley Jackson multiplied the telecommunications inventions such as development in portable fax, touch tone telephone, fiber optical cables, technologies behind caller ID. We owe to Hedi Lamar the foundations from everything to Wi-Fi to GPS. Grace Murray Hopper invented COBOL and she was the first one to use the term ‘bug’ to describe a glitch in a computer system.
You go with some colleagues for an afterwork drink. They order beer. Enjoy this moment. Indeed ancient Mesopotamian women were the first to develop, sell and even drink beer. Besides we owe to Florence Parpart the first modern electric refrigerator.
See, women DID change the world and they go on! I’m sure you have also many examples to give us.
The more we’ll be sharing women’s successes and contributions, the more efficient we’ll be in our fight against gender prejudices and stereotypes.
So do not hesitate to broadcast everywhere the success stories of great women! Spread the word even during small talk. We all are part of the change!