Moonwalking: When other worlds belong to women

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


WHAT WILL IT mean for a woman to set foot on the Moon, a world whose human landscape has so far been shaped largely by men? In the twentieth century, twelve men became moonwalkers, their footprints tenuous trace-fossils pressed into the soft, fine lunar dust. One of the most reproduced images from the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969 is a single boot print created by Buzz Aldrin showing the striped ridges of the sole: the mark of ‘mankind’ on another world.

Surely the first footprint of a woman will become a similarly celebrated icon, but of the twenty-first century this time. I imagine so many emotions swirling through her head: excitement, fear, pride, the intensity of being inside her own body at that moment. The male crew will have been instructed to let her go first, a space-age variation of the old chivalry where men opened doors for (some) women in deference to their imagined fragility...
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Specialist publicationGriffith Review
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • women in space
  • gender equality


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