Women's History Month, Women in Planetary Science
"Several people have sent me a photo of NASA's Women's History Month Celebration recently, expressing dismay at the images NASA and the White House chose to represent women inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to launch the new Women@NASA website. They object to the skimpy outfits, to the emphasis on cheerleading, and they wonder how this happened. I don't know. But I do know one thing: Women at NASA *do* come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages."
Keith's note: To be honest I really had no issue whatsoever with this website or its intent. Quite the contrary. But until today I was unaware of the women in skimpy skin-tight clothing on the stage at NASA HQ when this website was unveiled (Larger view). This one has me baffled. Would NASA ever put dancing men on stage in Speedos for a Men@NASA website? Not that being a cheerleader or a dancer is not a perfectly valid career path - but my understanding of the intent of this website was to get beyond stereotypes - and yet the organizers choice of an opening act only serves to reinforce at least one of them.
Keith's update: Darlene, the captain of this cheerleading squad, has had a few things to say. You can visit her team here.