She’s a Genius

I don’t hear that expression very often, and I wondered why.

I could quickly think of 5 men who would generally be accepted as geniuses; Einstein, Michelangelo, to name just a couple.  I’d be hard-pressed to identify even 2 women who would be commonly referred to as geniuses.

I Googled “list, genius, female” and again for males. Interesting results. Give it a try it yourself.

A few thoughts.  Margaret Atwood is the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. Could she be considered a genius? She wrote her book many years ago. Her name is not spoken in awe with the reverence as a host of male authors might be. Could Atwood and Hemmingway be considered to be geniuses? I differentiate between the terms of being a genius and being famous.

The door to geniushood is barely ajar for women.

This is a bias in our society that is so deep-seated, it is almost invisible. Yes, some female names will be spoken in the genius context. However, this application is not often widely accepted. Try labelling a female person you think deserves to be referred to as a genius to some friends of yours. Pay attention to the discussion. Are there attempts made to exclude her by referencing a definition of genius? Do others immediately offer their suggestions? Is your proposal compared to a male genius? Are there differences in the responses between males and females?

Before I end with my frequent “give it a bit of a think” nudge, I want to talk about changing the world. That is too daunting for me. However, I can try to change minds within my personal sphere of influence. I include in this sphere all the people I love and who love me. As well, in this sphere, I put acquaintances with whom I regularly keep in contact. I also accept and hope that they change my mind, too.

Here’s an idea, especially for the older adults amongst the readers. You have the life experience to help select a genius. Search out a female person who you think deserves to be referred to as a genius. Take your time and enjoy this part. Believe your find is obvious and should be widely accepted. Then commit yourself to promote your choice to geniushood, at least within your sphere of influence. Let me know how it is going and who you picked to advocate for.

Oh, here’s a quote from the September 2020 People magazine. “Gifted star and business genius Wayne Gretzky…”. Really!

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

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7 thoughts on “She’s a Genius

  1. Alice marchand says:

    My choice for female genius would be Madame Curie medical genius. Her work inspired so many others.

  2. Diana+Magrath says:

    Here are a few and in my opinion they many men who are so termed _ Marie Curie,
    Grace Hopper,Hedy Lamarr, Lise Meitner. I seem to remember a few that I have noticed more recently _ mainly in the science field, When their named return to my consciousness I will add them

    • glenn says:

      Just have to give credit where it is due: For those with a curious spirit…

      Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (née Murray December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral.[1] One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first linkers. Hopper was the first to devise the theory of machine-independent programming languages, and the FLOW-MATIC programming language she created using this theory was later extended to create COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.

    • glenn says:

      I had heard of Heddy Lamarr but not in this context. Curious…

      Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born American actress, inventor, and film producer. She appeared in 30 films over a 28-year career in Europe and the United States, and co-invented an early version of frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication, originally intended for torpedo guidance.

    • glenn says:

      Last one…

      Five Facts About Lise Meitner:
      Lise Meitner was the third of eight children.
      She loved mathematics from an early age.
      She was the first woman to get a doctorate degree from the University in Vienna, and second in the world.
      Lise made the discovery that nuclear fission can produce large amounts of energy.

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