Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images
Great America

A Catwalk in Space

The goal of our space programs should be to elevate the United States over our rivals, not to elevate one sex over the other.


- October 20th, 2019
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This year has been an historic first for American women in space. Not only has an American female astronaut committed the world’s first cybercrime from space (directed against her wife—so stunning and brave!) but the world was also treated to NASA’s first all-female spacewalk.

Of course, the pesky patriarchy at NASA reared its ugly head, as there were not enough medium-size spacesuits aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to accommodate the all-female spacewalk when it was first planned for earlier this year. Needless to say, few real Americans spend much time worrying about such “firsts” or find them terribly meaningful—especially since NASA already placed the first American woman in space, Sally Kristen Ride, who went into Earth orbit in 1983. And Ride was not the last female NASA astronaut in space since that time.

Yet the gods of identity politics must be appeased. The recent spacewalk of two female NASA astronauts aboard the ISS was so inconsequential for the annals of history that, when speaking with President Trump, one of the astronauts on the spacewalk reminded the president that they were not, in fact, the first women in space. The media, of course, ran with astronaut Christina Meir’s chiding of the president as more proof that Trump was a raging misogynist. As Meir told the president, there have been countless women in space before she and her spacewalking partner. It’s just that this was the first time two or more women engaged in a spacewalk together.

Whoop-dee-doo. 

The real issue here is that NASA wants to get ready for its all-female mission either to the moon or to Mars (depending on where President Trump opts to send the next manned spaceflight mission; there does appear to be some confusion).

But whether the president sends an all-female crew to the moon or to Mars, it should be noted that, as with women in combat, the physical and psychological stresses their bodies will endure in space will be far greater than those men would endure on a similar mission. The idea of single-sex missions, for that reason, is a bizarre one that, like most of the social justice craze, actually flies in the face of equality just as it does common sense.

According to a 2014 NASA study, female astronauts are more likely to suffer grave physical degradation from prolonged exposure to the radiation and zero-gravity environment of space. Therefore, under the long-term travel conditions to Mars or the long-term living on the lunar surface that a NASA colony would require, it is likely that female astronauts would be half as effective in conducting missions in the vacuum of space as their male counterparts.

This is not to say that women should not be in space. The point is NASA’s effort to send all-female crews anywhere in space is about virtue signaling, and little else.

This homogenized gender obsession on the part of NASA also puts at risk the essential national security component of any manned mission, either to the moon or to Mars: beating China. Specifically, in the case of the moon, Beijing wants to deploy taikonauts to the moon’s valuable southern pole region before the NASA band of social-justice warrior astronauts can get there. And, China intends to claim that region of the moon for China.

Even if the girl-powered NASA lunar mission is successful, for whom would they claim the moon? Likely for the United Nations, where chauvinist autocracies routinely sit on human rights committees.

Cultural Marxism In Space!

In fact, cutting edge intellectuals, like Columba Peoples, have already written such bravely titled academic papers as, “Haunted Dreams: Critical Theory, Technology and the Militarization of Space,” in which he proves that America’s space program is totally fascist. As it turns out, the paper was widely circulated among senior leaders of the United States Air Force and NASA. Peoples contends that the U.S. space program should be discontinued and future space exploration should be discouraged.

In another academic publication read by America’s space warriors and astronauts, “The Spaces Between Us: The Gendered Politics of Outer Space,” the stunning and brave Penny Griffin writes that U.S. space policy is predicated on “heteronormative tropes of masculinization and feminization.” Griffin takes particular offense at the language undergirding the American space program. “The U.S. techno-strategic discourse reconfigures all other space-able nations as subordinate, constructing a binary, heterosexual relationship of masculine hegemony/feminine subordination,” she writes.

This is what American astronauts and space warriors have been taught over the past decade. The point of such academic writing is not to give our space policymakers a new perspective. It is, in fact, to confound the thought processes of our space policymakers to such a degree that we basically pack up and go home, ceding the high ground of space to a different country because of America’s stifling history of colonialism or something.

Learning to Eat Chinese in Zero-G

Remember, former President Barack Obama, who most assuredly would find much to applaud in the writings of Columba Peoples and Penny Griffin, set the United States on the path of ending our presence in space by dismantling NASA’s manned spaceflight capabilities while refusing to let the military better defend its vital yet vulnerable satellite constellations in orbit.

Compare the writings of America’s space “intellectuals” with those of China’s space policymakers. You won’t find any of the critical theory mumbo-jumbo so prevalent in the West. Here’s what the head of China’s lunar exploration program, Ye Peijian, had to say about China’s long march into space:

The universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands, Mars is Huangyan Island. If we don’t get there now even though we’re capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants. If others go there, then they will take over, and you won’t be able to go even if you want to. This is reason enough [to go to the moon].

Which country do you think, my fellow non-binary, cis-gendered space cadets, is more deserving of dominating space? The country that celebrates a glorified catwalk in low-earth orbit, or the country that is thinking about space in geopolitical terms?

It isn’t that women shouldn’t be celebrated for their catwalk in space, or that they shouldn’t help in the exploration of the cosmos. It’s that the mere fact of their doing something no one disputes they can do is not as important if the goal in their doing so is to elevate one sex over another.

The goal of our space programs should be to elevate the United States over our rivals. Literally. Equality between the sexes in space is not worth achieving if it comes at the expense of the wider mission of space exploration and space dominance. Because without that, we’re all going to have bigger problems.

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