Empowerment & Feminism

The Real Warrior Women Behind Hidden Figures

What is it that women can’t do?

After spending an unreasonable amount on popcorn, we had our tickets checked and headed to our screening room. The next hours were some of the most enlightening of my life. Hidden Figures tells the story of three African American women working for NASA in 1961, in the midst of the civil rights movement and space race. The movie not only sparked my interest in space and the infinite possibilities of what could lie beyond, but also gave me the best inspirational boost possible. Throughout the movie, one question kept popping into my mind- what is it that women can’t do?

We are stronger together

In today’s society, especially lately, it’s often hard to keep a positive mindset every waking second. The media is constantly flooded with reports of the President’s newest attempts to ban refugees and immigrants from our country. It can be hard to keep faith in a world that seems to be crumbling at our feet. But if Hidden Figures taught me one thing, it is that we are all hidden when we sit back and watch.

Through teamwork and perseverance, the three protagonists were able to show that the color of their skin didn’t, and shouldn’t determine their potential and intelligence they possessed. Katherine, Mary, and Dorothy were finally recognized as key contributors to the Mercury-Atlas Launch and the NASA program as whole, but if they had given up and let their superiors belittle them? We might have never heard their story. The three women of NASA shined brighter than any star they engineered those astronauts to see, because they stood together and kept their heads high. We are always stronger when we stand together and continue to be steadfast to our ideas. We must never give up in the race for complete equality.

hidden figures

How many stories like this one are hiding?

The reason that I, and clearly thousands of others, view Hidden Figures as such an intriguing movie is because the story of Katherine, Mary, and Dorothy is not a familiar one. Oftentimes, we hear the same stories of important historical figures repeated throughout our lives. We all know the story of George Washington, or Alexander Hamilton. But what about the millions of stories that are left untold?

It’s important to remember that the history textbooks can’t cover it all, and many have biased filters. Taking an extra ten minutes a day to look into an invention, event, or place that you’re interested in can surprisingly lead to some pretty intriguing discoveries. For me, I found that taking a trip down to my town’s museum led me to uncover our own hidden figures that built the foundation of the place I call home today. You never know the stories you can uncover with an open curious mind.

What now? We make sure the hidden figures are seen.

For me, I believe it’s a person whose story has been left untold either purposefully or accidentally, but needs to be heard. There are so many untold stories from the people that have built our country and kept it alive and running. In this time of change, we have to remember that our voice is one of our most valuable tools. We must not let our voices be muffled out. There have been countless hidden figures that have gone through the pains of society so that we can live our lives today. We must remember them, and remember their wish for us to be the generation that’s rights are no longer hidden.

Images via IMDb.

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Elizabeth Ramirez is from Suquamish, Washington, and attends Kingston High...