Do you have a favorite "candy you ate as a kid"
story? Share it here.
In the early 70's, women were not part of the space program and girls were not allowed to do many of the things boys could. One of those things was going on the high school’s winter camping trip. A group of girls convinced the teachers that girls could handle the rigors of the trip. They finally won approval to include girls IF they could find twelve girls to go. The teachers felt this was an impossible 'quota' but with me as the final entry, we made it. My mother, who had insisted that I go, packed three flavors of Space Food Sticks for me.
Picture me at sixteen, in one of those surplus Air Force parkas (green with fur trim on the tunnel hood), reaching down with my heavily gloved hand to pick up the foil wrapper from one of those snacks. It had lodged between my snowshoes as I stood on ten feet of snow somewhere in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Right at that moment, one of the boys said something sexist. Balancing the 40-pound backpack, I straightened up and held that wrapper high over my head shaking my fist in the Women’s Liberation salute.
The next year, there was no question about whether girls could go on the camping trip. We had broken that barrier forever. Eventually, because of all the girls and women who took a stand against ‘only boys allowed’ rules, Sally Ride went into space. Today, thirty years later, when I’m asked to talk to girls and young women about their career choices, I tell them about that experience. I explain what it means to them that a dozen girls fought to go camping in the snow. Maybe the next time I speak, I’ll bring Space Food Sticks for my audience. ~ Showey from Michigan