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‘Girl NASA’ Video About Sexism in STEM Is Funny Because It's True

‘Girl NASA’ Video About Sexism in STEM Is Funny Because It's True

‘Girl NASA’ Video About Sexism in STEM Is Funny Because It's True

A hilarious Nerdist video (in partnership with Women Create!) titled 'Girl NASA' takes a playful satirical jab at NASA’s treatment of women in the 1960s.

A cheerfully clueless male narrator sets the scene: "It’s 1963, and the men of NASA, the American Mecca for science, computing, and space exploration have their curiosity aimed a new experiment: the American woman."

The narrator the welcomes us to the "happy halls" of Girl NASA, where women "just like the ones you see at home" are getting their own division, "just in case they can contribute" to NASA’s studies.

Of course, Girl NASA is a little different than regular NASA, the women explain. They only get about 79 percent of the resources they need to run traditional experiments. Oh, everything, from pencils to microscopes, is pink.


However, the women manage to photograph planets that have never been photographed before, engineer a thermoresistant material for better space suit insulation that will save the government millions of dollars, build rockets, terraform Mars, and blow up a meteor that’s going to destroy Earth during the Christmas mixer they weren’t invited to.

women in STEM

The real life women of 1960s NASA were part of the short-lived, privately-funded Lovelace Woman in Space Program, which grew out of two researchers’ interests in women’s capabilities for spaceflight due to their smaller, lighter stature. Women in the Lovelace Program went through rigorous physical testing, despite the fact that there was no guarantee they would ever be permitted to fly.

women nasa pilots

Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb (pictured above) became the first woman to pass those tests, and by the end of 1961, nineteen women pilots had taken the astronaut fitness examinations. Thirteen of those nineteen women passed. However, the U.S. civil space agency didn’t select any female astronaut candidates until 1978, and it wasn’t until Sally Ride’s flight on STS-7 in 1983 that an American woman went to space.

Unfortunately, much of Nerdist’s satire is still way too relevant for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and it goes beyond everything being pink. A 2015 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that young male scientists receive a median of $889,000 in start-up support for their first project from the research institution they’re affiliated with, compared to the $350,000 given to young women.

Maybe if we leveled the playing field, the current women in STEM could actually contact extraterrestrial life just like the women in 'Girl NASA.'

Watch the full video below.

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Cassie Sheets