Andrea J. Buchanan racconta su Narratively la storia di Williamina Fleming.
Williamina Paton Fleming had a choice. She could let the laughter die down and allow herself to be the butt of the joke, or she could stand up, turning the joke on its head and using the moment to her advantage.
Her employer, Edward Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard College Observatory, had become so exasperated with the sloppy work of his male assistants — “computers,” as they were called in those days — he’d quipped that his “Scotch maid” could do a better job.
It was true: Fleming was his housemaid. It was also true that she had come to America from Scotland, where she’d been an excellent math student and then, beginning at 14, a student teacher. And it was true, she believed: She could do a better job.
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