*warning*: this post uses the word ‘badass’ (more than) a few times to describe the true personality of Jane Goodall. This word was not chosen by me, but by the author of an article I am reflecting on.
At the end of my last post, I hinted that if Jane would have been a young scientist in today’s world, she would have been seen as a feminist. After some research, I came across the perfect article that describes just what I was talking about.
This article, written by Bee Gray, was posted on bust.com under the ‘Feminism’ tab. It is titled “Ten Times Jane Goodall Was A Total Badass” and proceeds to explain ten things about Dr. Goodall that qualify her to be as defined. Although this is far from an academic article or an article that would be found on a site such as National Geographic, it is the perfect example of how Dr. Goodall is viewed in the minds of young people today.
The first time has a picture of Jane as a young girl with the caption “Hi, it’s me, Jane Goodall. As a child, and in my rare moments of leisure, I take extensive notes, draw sketches in my journal, and love reading about zoology and ethology. What are dolls?” According to the Gray, breaking the stereotype for a little girl classifies Jane as a ‘badass’ very early on. I find it comical for this to be the first reason, seeing as all it has to do with is the fact that she likes to do something other than play with dolls. Would that mean a little boy that doesn’t like to play with trucks or dinosaurs and play with dolls instead would also be classified as a ‘badass’?
The second and third times comment on the fact that Jane took the initiative and asked an anthropologist to go on an ‘anthropological dig’ and then he asked her how she felt about doing a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild. She apparently wasn’t qualified to do such a thing, but her assertiveness qualifies her as a ‘badass’ and feminist.
The fourth time is probably the one that truly does make Jane Goodall the woman she is. It says that she spent 55 years in Tanzania studying chimpanzees. Regardless of the fact that she is a woman, she dedicated 55 years of her life to these animals and if you ask me, this article should be “The One Time Jane Goodall Was A Total Badass” and should include this point and this point only.
The fifth, sixth, and seven times all deal with Jane’s work outside of the chimpanzee world. Not only did she work on awareness of the primate world, she also worked to help those in poverty in the areas she researched.
The eighth time was when Jane wrote a book and “climber a mountain alone” after the passing of her husband and the ninth time is when Jane was named a UN Messenger of Peace.
The tenth time Jane Goodall was a badass was when she said “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” Jane is an activist for the less fortunate, for those without a voice, and for those who don’t know how to use the voice they have been given.
Although these ten ‘times’ seem trivial, they have truth behind them. I find it comical to make a post on a feminism website and to classify different actions of Jane Goodall as being ‘badass’, but the internet never ceases to amaze me in this way. Despite a few of these reason being comical, an article such as this one shows just what an impact Jane had and still has on our scientific world. She is gentle yet strong, humble yet accomplished, and a woman yet a scientist and researcher. She is all of these things and more. She was never one to make grand speeches about how women should be more recognized or how woman should pursue careers in science. She didn’t dedicate her career to pushing for women or for joining the feminist movement. She simply was herself. She set goals, achieved her dreams, and changed the world of science forever. She is a female, a doctor in her field, and according to Gray, a ‘badass’.