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Albert Einstein’s Reply to a Female Fan’s Confession Should Be in Every Science Textbook

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“If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious, you’re on the right track. Wild Woman is close by. If you have never been called these things, there is yet time.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves

 

Thank you for this post, Central Oregon Coast NOW — this is a tremendous and succinct comment on the continued and pervasive problem of women and girls being culturally and socially discouraged from pursuing their interests in math and science.

As German artist, Käthe Kollwitz, once said, “I am in the world to change the world.” Women and girls need to know this in their bones. And women and girls need to remember that anyone who would suggest otherwise or suggest that women are somehow less valuable because of their gender is someone afraid of losing power, is someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and is someone attempting to break down and smother out the multitudinous nature of others.

Don’t ever let yourself be broken down, and don’t forget these wise words from Albert Einstein to a young female scientist:

“I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind.”

Central Oregon Coast NOW

By Smriti Sinha  July 1, 2014

“I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!”

This plea was sent to Albert Einstein by a young South African in the 1940s, and was recently unearthed as part of Alice Caprice’s Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children. Although brief, Tyfanny’s words capture the self-consciousness and self-doubt that have for so long plagued women who aspire to careers in science and technology.

In the letter, dated Sept. 19, 1946, a seemingly agonized Tyfanny admits to Einstein that she has left out a potentially damaging detail about herself. “I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl,” the young scientist writes. “I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the…

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