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To be the first to enter the cosmos, to engage, single-handed, in an unprecedented duel with nature—could one dream of anything more?

Yuri Gagarin, prior to his space flight 1961

It’s interesting how the imagery of “an unprecedented duel with nature” rather than something more mutual dominates our thinking—both from the then Soviet Union and the capitalist space power, the US. Patriarchal relations with women are also projected onto “nature” in most cases. An excellent and accessible study of this can be found in the scientist Evelyn Fox Keller’s book, Reflections on Gender and Science.

(via theweeklyansible)

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