Sexism: A force stronger than gravity

After more than 40 years, 13 pioneering women pilots are getting their due.
The women, known as the Mercury 13, were honored last night at a ceremony in Chicago. They trained rigorously in the late 1950s to be the first American in space. Then NASA and Congress cut the program. Nevermind that the women had logged more flight hours and were physiologically better-qualified than the seven men who were “really” competing. These women had the right stuff, and NASA told them to go home.
The result? The Soviets really beat us on this front, sending a woman into space by 1963. Americans had to wait another two decades for Sally Ride.
Maybe some of you had more inclusive U.S. history classes than I did, but this was the first I’d heard of the Mercury 13. I plan to check out this 2003 book, because I obviously didn’t get the full story from Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff.”

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