Long walk to equality
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2019-04-12

US astronaut Mae Jemison was only a little girl back in the 1960s. But she was old enough to know there was something strange with the Apollo astronauts as she watched them go into space on TV: They were all men – no women could be seen.
上世纪60年代,美国宇航员梅·杰米森还只是个小女孩。但她已经懂事,看到电视上阿波罗计划的宇航员们前往太空时,她感到有些奇怪:宇航员都是男性 ——没有女性的身影。

“That was the most absurd thing in the world,” Jemison, now an astronaut herself, once told The Atlantic. “I just thought, would the aliens actually think this is all there is to humanity?”

Fortunately, the past five decades have seen the world becoming a less “absurd” place. From NASA’s first astronaut class in 1959, which was all-male, to its 2013 class, in which half of all eight members were women, we can see how things are changing.

And on March 29, another history was about to be made when an all-female team – Anne McClain and Christina Koch – was scheduled to make an “all-women spacewalk” since all previous spacewalks were done with at least one male astronaut.
而今年的3月29日原本也要创下另一项历史:一支由女性组成的队伍 —— 安妮·麦克林与克里斯蒂娜·科克 —— 计划进行一次“全女性太空行走”,此前,所有的太空行走都在至少一名男性宇航员的参与下完成。

But that plan was eventually canceled, due to “spacesuit availability”, which means NASA doesn’t have two suits that fit women.

The world is still pretty “absurd” after all.

In fact, tests have long proved that women are not at all less competent than men when it comes to space tasks. But apparently, test results are not enough to fight off the world’s long-existing biases against women. According to Atlas Obscura magazine, female astronauts were sometimes asked sexist questions during news conferences – examples include how they would live for a week without makeup, or how they could leave their children behind to go on space missions – when male astronauts were never bothered by such questions.
事实上,早已有试验证明,女性在完成太空任务方面的能力并不比男性差。但显而易见的是,试验结果并不足以对抗世界长久以来对于女性的偏见。据《阿特拉斯奇妙之旅》杂志报道,女性宇航员在新闻发布会上有时会被问到性别歧视的问题 —— 比如她们要如何一周不化妆,或者她们要如何撇下子女在家而去执行航天任务 —— 而男性宇航员却从不会被这些问题困扰。

Hopefully – give it another few decades – we’ll be able to see a world that’s fully grown out of its absurdity in terms of gender equality. And hopefully, when aliens do come visit one of our space stations, they’ll see humanity the way it should be.

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Ji Yuan)
Spacesuit availability  宇航服供应问题
Competent  有能力的
Biases  偏见
News conferences  新闻发布会