Lost Tool Bag

Did you hear the one about the astronaut losing her tool bag on a spacewalk?

And it was a woman. Of course. When I read about this yesterday, I knew I wanted to write about it here, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to come down on the funny side or the serious side. I thought about it overnight and still wasn't sure when I got up this morning, so I dilly-dallied around until now.

On the funny side, most women can identify with this. You hang your bag someplace, and the next thing you know it's on the floor. One time I had a large shoulder bag and had gone to the mall. Bought this, bought that, shoved it in the bag. Stopped for lunch, hung the bag on the back of a chair. Crash! Straight to the floor, chair and all. And this was something I was carrying on my shoulder. No wonder women have back problems. Babies, boobies, and bags. All heavyweights.

But on the serious side, I'm sure this would have made news even if it had occurred to a male astronaut. But it will make more news because it happened to a woman. I come from a long line of strong women. Women who for generations have believed they are capable of doing whatever they wanted to do. Women who have proven this to themselves and others through what they accomplished.

By and large, however, women must work twice as hard to be considered half as good as men on the job. And for this, they receive less remuneration, on average, than their male counterparts. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper was the the first woman to be assigned lead spacewalker. Her co-walker, a male, said she showed "real character and great discipline" by continuing on.

Come on!

Would he have said that if it had happened to another man? I don't think so.

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