By Emily Ramser
Picture by Kirill Kallinikov / RIA Novosti
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Salemite or Salem Academy and College.
I believe that women are capable of performing duties stereotypically done by men. In a way, one can accredit this belief to my education at a women’s college. I know that women can do whatever they desire because I have seen them do it.
I have seen my female classmates take on theoretical math problems and study microbiology. I have watched them intern at hospitals, police departments, schools, banks, news stations, and museums. I have watched them write and present papers on ethical issues in politics, literature, and science.
I have seen these women tackle all of this while wearing everything from sweatpants to heels. Their intelligence and intellectual ability has never been dependent on what they were wearing or how they looked. This is why I found the questions recently posed to Russia’s new all female scientist team so disheartening.
On Oct. 28, a group of six female Russian scientists aged 22 to 34 participated in a press conference. The women have backgrounds in everything from medicine to biophysics. They were about to begin an eight day experiment where they were going to be living together in a mock spacecraft at Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow in order to test how an all female team would interact on a trip to the moon and back. Before entering the capsule, the scientists were asked a few questions that had nothing to do with science, space travel, or their jobs.
A reporter asked an all female team of highly qualified scientists who are running tests so that they can go to the moon how they would handle not having makeup, showers or male attention for eight days.
Anna Kussmaul is one of the scientists participating in the experiment and during the interview she said this to the reporters, “We are doing work. When you’re doing your work, you don’t think about men and women.”
The scientists are women, so society boils them down to their appearance and their dependence on men.
The only way to change this perception is to fight back. Women and men alike have to start calling out one another when these kinds of sexist questions and statements are made.
If you are unsure how to respond when someone asks a question like the ones the Russian reporters asked, challenge your inner Anna Kussmaul.