Many years ago, when the world wide web still had that brand new smell to it (circa 1997), I frequented a usenet group called, “alt.nuke.the.USA”. On that list, during one of the many flame wars that happened, a misogynist claimed that women had invented nothing worthwhile. This, unsurprisingly, upset me and I went about proving he was wrong, because it was not all that difficult. Well so I thought, but in 1997 useful pages that listed inventions by gender weren’t available and so I had to do some digging. The internet today is a much more organised place.
This post is to acknowledge the awesome work done by some amazing women who often had to fight to have their inventions recognised, for example, “The [USA] Patent Act of 1790 opened the door for anyone, male or female, to protect his or her invention with a patent. However, because in many [US] states women could not legally own property independent of their husbands, many women inventors didn’t bother to patent their new inventions.” (Wikipedia)
I could write about all the amazing female inventors that have graced the planet, but as several other sites (see above) have already done that for me, I won’t, though I do have quite a few favourites. What constantly surprises me is how many female inventors were denigrated because their inventions only helped women, as if helping 50% of the population of the planet was a bad thing or something not worth doing.