When other worlds belong to women

Featured in

  • Published 20211027
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-65-8
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

WHAT WILL IT mean for a woman to set foot on the Moon, a world whose human landscape has so far been shaped largely by men? In the twentieth century, twelve men became moonwalkers, their footprints tenuous trace-fossils pressed into the soft, fine lunar dust. One of the most reproduced images from the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 1969 is a single boot print created by Buzz Aldrin showing the striped ridges of the sole: the mark of ‘mankind’ on another world.

Surely the first footprint of a woman will become a similarly celebrated icon, but of the twenty-first century this time. I imagine so many emotions swirling through her head: excitement, fear, pride, the intensity of being inside her own body at that moment. The male crew will have been instructed to let her go first, a space-age variation of the old chivalry where men opened doors for (some) women in deference to their imagined fragility.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Trace fossils

EssayWinner of the Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing 2017   AS AN ARCHAEOLOGIST working in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor Plain,...

More from this edition

Emily presents

FictionMEG IS ALLOWED onto the tarmac to watch the unloading. It is a vast, empty space at this time of night, except for the...


FictionTHE DELICATE RED filigree of the sea fan coral looked like alveoli in lungs, Clare thought as she kicked through the shallow waters of...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.