Sally Ride is just one example of how a female hero was not necessarily appreciated during her time in this world. Ride is now best known as the youngest American and more importantly, the first woman in space, and it’s evident that throughout the course of her life, she faced many obstacles, but she was able to break down these barriers to ultimately succeed and move science forward. During her life, Ride is considered to be one of the pioneers for women in the field of STEM because she was one of the five crew-members on ChallengerSTS-7 and and played an important role in NASA. An example of double standards due to gender can simply be seen in interviews when she was asked objective questions that didn’t relate to the space mission. She was asked about the makeup she’d wear as well as whether or not going to outer space would affect her chances of pregnancy. Clearly, a man in the same position as her would not be asked these same questions, and it’s evident that gender norms were still very strict during her time. As per the National Women’s History Museum, Ride is quoted as saying, “It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.” This showcases that although the ideal set is that the workplace is an objective place, this wasn’t the case and our society wasn’t yet accepting of heroic women. In addition, Sally Ride also played an integral role in Imaginary Lines, a program that helps to promote the STEM field in young girls’ lives. Even now, it’s evident that STEM is a male dominated field, and Ride was always working to make it a more level playing field. Ride was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously, and it’s important for us to recognize that she was not properly recognized while she was alive. As a woman, she wasn’t recognized as a hero because it didn’t fit the ideals of the people judging; however, it is evident that her work throughout her lifetime does indeed make her inspirational and heroic.

MSU Fall 2020 LB 492 Section 011