Hidden Figures – for when you’re running low on inspiration on life
I really needed a break from all the studying last night (side note: 12 ATPL exams down, 2 more to go!) and so I decided to watch a movie that I missed in the cinemas last year. Something light and funny. I watched ‘Hidden Figures’. And it was funny and somewhat light, but I felt so inspired and emotional after watching it that I felt I had to share it with the world.
Unlike what our present circumstances would have us believe, right now is not such a bad time for seeking equality of gender and races. Sure, women still sometimes have to fight against gender bias. We still have a long way to go until the ratio between men and women will be equal in all fields of work. However, Hidden Figures tells the story of the struggle for acceptance. Adapted from the bestselling book by Margot Lee Shetterly the film is based on the true stories of three black women working for NASA in 1961’s United States of America. They were key to sending a man, John Glenn, into space and launching a journey to later reach the moon. Hidden Figures is a hopeful, inspiring recognition of the personal fights against racism and misogyny that these and so many other women had to face to realise their dreams.
The narrative is simple, even Utopian in parts. The personal and professional relationships between Katherine, Janelle and Dorothy shows two separate experiences. When the women are driving to work or bonding in a personal capacity, their girlie banter evokes laughter, shows up their frailties and brings to the fore typical chick-flick emotions. At the space station though, the atmosphere is in sharp contrast. These same women are resilient. They slog feverishly on the calculations for the launch and re-entry of US’ first space program. It’s these parts that also give you a chance to brush up on aspects of NASA history. It is inspiring to watch the true story of these three “human computers”, making calculations `faster than you can move your pencil.’ The ringside view of the racial tensions of the Civil Rights era when separate bathrooms, libraries and even coffee pots were the norm for those with dark skin, accentuates how tough these Black women had it when compared to the White folk.
To all you beautiful women out there, regardless of age or race, please never forget, in times when you might think that the whole world is against you, about the wonderful women that have paved the way into STEM subjects for the rest of us. Never forget that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Do no alienate yourself from femininity for personal success, security, or self-image issues. So many women before us have shown us that these traits can go hand in hand. And go and watch “Hidden Figures”. I’ll definitely get myself the book next.
Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength. G.D. Anderson.