Antarctic Shackleton's 1914 Endurance Expedition

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The history of Antarctica is one dominated by men. Men were the ones seen as fit enough, strong enough, and as the ones most prepared to face the harsh Antarctic climate. Women, by comparison, were simply not suited for the extreme lifestyle accompanying exploration. But that did not stop many women from trying. Three young women applied to be on Shackleton’s 1914 Endurance expedition, but were unfortunately rejected. Furthermore, “twenty-five women applied to join Mawson’s British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) in 1929 and in 1937 the extraordinary number of 1,300 women applied to join the proposed British Antarctic Expedition. None were successful in being permitted to travel to Antarctica.” (Blackadder, …show more content…
On November 12, 1969, six women went on a ski-equipped LC-130 and were escorted to the pole. All six women were advised to jump off the plane at the exact same moment so that way all could claim to be one of the first women to reach the pole. Pam Young, Jean Pearson, Terry Terrell, Lois Jones, Eileen McSaveney, and Kay Lindsay had made history for women by setting foot at the bottom of the world. For Jones, the oldest member of this group, this “served as an example that women could be more than nurses or teachers, as she’d been told in grade school” (Rejcek 2009). And as Terrell said (Rejcek 2009), “To me, [the visit to the South Pole] was in part to say, ‘The only bounds you have are the ones you put on yourself.’” Furthering this, American biologist Mary Alice McWhinnie became the first female chief scientist of an Antarctic research station in 1974. In the 1960s she worked to become one of the strongest scientists on the continent, which paid off, allowing her to oversee operations at McMurdo station (Rejcek 2009). Additionally, she became one of the first two women to winter at McMurdo. McWhinnie was joined by Sister Mary Odile Cahoon – and 128 men – at the station. “As Sister Odile said, “If women are in science and science is in the Antarctic, then women belong there.” (Salem, 2002, p.4, cited “Women in the Antarctic,”

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