Sometimes, in the dark fringes of the Internet, I will encounter something of such unspeakable, singular stupidity that I will have no choice but to simply wave my hand and dismiss it as parody. And then there are times when I will keep reading, through the comments and other parts of the site and find, to my mounting horror, that the author is absolutely serious.
This is one of those times.
To summarize, the article (which comes from a blog called “The Thinking Housewife,” a name which frankly should in and of itself be setting-off all kinds of alarm bells) is about how Sally Ride’s lesbian lovelife proves that she was, in spite of being the first [American] woman in space, a failure as a woman:
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.
You’ve got to love the way that she just kind of casually throws around discredited sexist stereotypes about the inferiority of women in the sciences.
But, of course, she goes on:
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. 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.
I’m sorry, you’re seriously arguing that wiping the shit off of a two-year-old’s bottom is a thrill greater than flying into motherfucking space atop tons of burning jet fuel? Really?
Also: the idea that women should only be interested in spaceflight out of a desire to bag a man sounds more like the plot of a Lois Lane comic from the 1950s than it does a serious attempt at sociology of gender.
But, it somehow gets even stupider:
The vast majority of women would sooner love an astronaut than be one[Citation Needed]. 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.
So men are entitled to explore space alone, because otherwise, they woulkd wind-up relegated to “Inglorious jobs.” You mean, jobs that are actually less glorious than housewifery? Do these exist? It seems like we should be able to automate them by now.
At the risk of engaging in a little ad hominem argumentation against this sexist, homophobic, historically illiterate* little moron, I think it’s pretty clear what motivated this brainfart. Indeed, it reads quite a bit like the final few years of the comic strip For Better or For Worse. Namely, I suspect that the author secretly hates her life and is acting defensively against other, more successful women in an ultimately-doomed attempt to convince herself and others that staying in a suburban home, crapping out babies for a 1950s-era salaryman is the absolute height of female achievement. Up is down, black is white, stop is go!
*The first woman in space? Really? Ah, but she’s a dirty communist foreigner, so she doesn’t count.