If feminists are looking for heroes, she is the perfect candidate in addition to the forgotten figures of the past and the unknown heroines of the present. Katie Bouman is 29 years old, and she came up with and wrote one of the algorithms that led to taking the first shot of a black hole. She didn’t invent the black hole, she did not figure out how to capture it by herself, she did not write all of the codes, but this doesn’t take away the value that as a 29-year-old woman, she played a dominant role in this work. And this is perfectly enough to make her a role model. Perhaps we will never know why it was exactly her that was highlighted amongst the countless researchers, young and old, male and female.
Today, in the world of fake-role models produced in the “industry”, it’s good to know what is a real achievement and what is not. And this one was quite real. I don’t even mind if she tries to take advantage of the situation that right now she’s all over the world wide web, because she and her teammates deserve all the attention, and if someone uses that smartly for their own agenda, well, be it. The real achievement is all that matters.
This is also good because if a young girl becomes a role model in the world of space researchers, it gives good apropos for discussing the issue of women intelligently. Countless female researchers and scientists worked quasi anonymously next to their men peers in the past decade, and thank God, in this case, we don’t have to deal with protesters shouting obscenities, trying to draw the attention to themselves.
We would like to honor the women who work from dusk till dawn, may them be mothers, teachers, researchers, or anything else.