The Gender Stereotype proved wrong
As much as we would like to deny or erase it, oppression of women exists. And it is everywhere – in the fields of science, intellectual work, even art this injustice has led to the loss of great potential for our society. While progress terms of equality is undeniable and achieved daily, traces of senseless domination of men in many fields are still present. It is ridiculous how something that started in ancient times and has been consistently been proved unjustified still persists to exist in modern times. We want to take a look back at history and explore 9 things invented by women most people have no idea about.
Women’s place in the story
The patriarchal nature of the world and the unexplainable belief that women are inferior to men and have less capacity for developed can be traced back to ancient days. Even after a lot of scientific proof that gender does not affect the intellectual capacity or development possibilities was brought forward (for example Helen Hamilton Gardner’s research on brains) the age-old belief appears hard to shake off.
According to UIS research, less than 30% of the world’s scientists are women. Despite all the progress made since the 1920s when women’s rights were beyond limited, there is still a lot of work to put into reducing the gender gap. Reaching equality seems to be a harder task than one would imagine.
The same research also shows that women in the science field are also paid less, get published harder, and encounter many irrelevant difficulties progressing in their careers (http://uis.unesco.org/en/topic/women-science).
Here are 9 unexpected discoveries most people don’t know were made by women1. Computer Algorithm – Ada Lovelace, 1843
Ada Lovelace was a long-term contributor to Professor Charles Babbage. She was translating his notes on equations and formulas when she added her own analysis and findings to his work in order to make it more accurate.
Those additions were the reason the world’s first computer algorithm got developed. Philip Allwood names them as “arguably the most important paper in the history of digital computing before modern times.”
Ellen Fitz is an example of the underestimated capacities of women during the late 1800s. Apart from being a respected educator, Fitz managed to hold the position of president of Wellesley College for 25 years.
However, her greatest achievement is without a doubt the invention of the globe. She designed the globe mount so that it could display the Earth’s daily rotation in relation to the sun – a noteworthy contribution to science that has affected its development ever since.
Pollution and noise reduction in trains – Mary Walton, 1881
The pollution and noise created by trains could be way bigger if it wasn’t for Mary Walton’s work on those issues. She is the one who created and patented the pollution-minimizing locomotive chimney greatly reducing the hazards of emitted smoke.
She also developed a system for noise-reduction of the loud machines by insulating the tracks with wooden, cotton enforced boxes filled with sand.
Alphabet blocks – Adeline D. T. Whitney, 1882
A writer by profession, Adeline Whitney not only contributed to the world of science and education with many books but also brought in the early version of alphabet blocks.
She created wooden pieces of various shapes and sizes that could form letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols. A discovery that we still benefit from to this day as an early education method.
Fire Escape – Anna Connelly, 1887 An architectural discovery that has saved many lives was made in 1887 by Anna Connelly. Uncontrolled fires were of much more deadly character before fire escapes existed. The invention of an external, easy to access metal staircase was also used in the first New York City building codes serving as a secondary means for emergency escape.
The First Monopoly Game – Elizabeth Magie, 1904
Deliberately erased from history or unintentionally forgotten, the achievement of Lizabeth Magie is sadly not very well-known. The common story of Monopoly’s origin gives credit to Charles Darrow, however, this is not even close to the truth.
Monopoly began as The Landlord’s Game – something Magie created as a form of protest and disagreement with capitalism and monopolists like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller.
The Landlord’s Game had two sets of rules – one for anti-monopolists who were awarded as they created wealth and one for monopolists whose aim was to crush the others.
Wireless transmission technology – Hedy Lamarr, 1941
Hedy Lamarr is more known for her acting career – starring in over a dozen well-received films at her time. However, there is something even grander she should be remembered with.
During World War II, Lamarr developed a communication system of frequency-hopping that could guide torpedoes undetected. Her invention was not implemented until 1960 but it later served as the foundation behind the creation of Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
First computer software – Grace Hopper, 1952
Grace Hopper was a computer scientist and a rare navy admiral who had an essential role in creating Harvard’s Mark I Computer. Apart from, that she was the pioneer behind developing the first linkers and compliers translating written language into computer code, as well as part of the team that created COBOL – the first computer programming language.
Urine-powered electricity generator – Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola, 2012
A more recent discovery worth talking about was made in 2012 by a team of Nigerian high-school girls at the age of 14 and 15.
The generator was developed for a science fair and even though it might not turn out to be as groundbreaking as the above-mentioned (it requires more power to work than it produces in return) the forward, creative thinking of the young women definitely deserves praise.
The way it works is an electrolytic cell separates the hydrogen from the urine. Then a water filter purifies it and pushes it in a gas cylinder where the hydrogen is purified further and pushed into the generator.
It’s male/female thing
If there is one thing we should be aware of by now is that gender separation has no place in science or any other field for that matter. There is no room for old, outdated believes supporting the oppression of any gender in modern society.
The contributions to the progress and development of our species from both men and women are historically documented and continue to happen every day. Undervaluing of one gender with the lack of any valid reasons only restrains our progress and leads to loss of potential. It is a big change of mentality we are talking about but it is about time we understood this should not go on.
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.” – Michelle Obama
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