Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science is one of those books that makes me think, "wow, someone other than me finds this stuff interesting?"
Renée Berglund's post at Beacon Broadside makes me want to read the book even more. I sense an upcoming Non-Fiction Monday post here.
"On one hand, it’s exciting to realize that there was a time (not that long ago) when a girl like the young Maria Mitchell grew up believing that there was nothing preventing her from achieving scientific greatness. On the other hand, it’s a bit discouraging to realize that when I was born in New York City in the late twentieth century, the odds were worse for girls in astronomy than they had been when Mitchell was born on Nantucket more than a hundred and fifty years before.
There’s a problem with stories of triumph against all odds. As long as we cling to the belief that truly great and heroic figures don’t need encouragement or good opportunities, we’re giving our society permission not to create opportunities. The realization that Mitchell was encouraged by her family and by a community that was willing to support her efforts to achieve scientific greatness shouldn’t be depressing at all. To the contrary, it should push us to create similar opportunities today."