March is Women’s History Month (in the US).
I’m doing a series of posts about women who’ve inspired me.
I’m running out of time for today’s post!
I started reading Madeline L’Engle‘s “A Wrinkle in Time” books when I was in grade two or three. They were the first science fiction books I read, and they ASSPLODED my mind. Thus began my lifelong love of science fiction. I would learn, through my further assplorations into the genre, that there really weren’t that many women science fiction writers who’d achieved any large degree of success.
Yet again, I ran into one of those “men do this, and women can do it too, if they work really really hard at it and are willing to have a picture of a unicorn on the cover” things. Well. Okay, that sentiment actually wasn’t *that* prevalent. But it did make me wonder, even as a preteen, why there were so many fewer female science fiction writers than male. And of course, the answer is that there *aren’t* a great deal fewer science fiction writers who are women; it’s just that (at the time), fewer women were published.
It didn’t mean much to me at the time, but then again, I didn’t think about it much. I did, however, start trying to find more science fiction books written by women.
What I loved about Madeline L’Engle’s books is that the lead character, Meg, wasn’t a “typical” girl. She was into science, and she didn’t care about things like shopping and nail polish and boys (except for Calvin, of course). And she loved her Dad and her brother and she didn’t get along with her mom. Let’s not forget the actual REAL SCIENCE (imagine my surprise when I discovered that mitochondria are REAL THINGS!).
This may surprise you, but I’ve always been pretty interested in the sciences. In University, in fact, I was a Biology major taking classes for pre-med. I did well in the sciences (with the exception of chemistry, which involves rather a lot of arithmetic, which is not my strong suit. In fact, in high school, my highest marks were in science. Anyway. L’Engle’s books introduced me to the science fiction genre.
Back when I did a radio show, I read “A Wrinkle in Time” on air. It was some of the most fun I ever had on the radio. Apparently the local bookshop had to order more in during that time.
For opening my eyes and my mind, Madeline L’Engle makes my Most Important Women list.