Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let Sally Ride rest in peace

There are times when gay activists should, well, shut the fuck up. Andrew Sullivan, a proud gay man, made this problematic observation about the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space:
"Her achievements as a woman and as a scientist and as an astronaut and as a brilliant, principled investigator of NASA's screw-ups will always stand, and vastly outshine any flaws. But the truth remains: she had a chance to expand people's horizons and young lesbians' hope and self-esteem, and she chose not to. She was the absent heroine."
An absent heroine? Really, Andrew? Like most folks, I had no idea Ride was gay. More to the point, I could care less. Ride chose to keep her sexuality private. You know, like most people. Though she was openly gay, she opted not to go all Joan of Arc about it. Sullivan, frothing with righteous indignation, is insisting that she was obligated to help lead the Hundred Years' War for gay rights. Um, no, she wasn't. Ride was content to shatter NASA's glass ceiling by pioneering space for females, no trivial task. Sullivan is flat wrong to redefine Ride to fit his own narrow precepts. And nobody has a monopoly on truth. An absent heroine? Hardly. Tell that to the millions of girls -- gay or straight -- that Dr. Ride has inspired by her example and fortitude.

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