Although my last blog post was a little bit of a tangent on the subject of Jane Goodall, I still believe it shows just the impact she still has on young girls and on the field of science today. Not only has this woman positively impacted the field of science, but she also speaks about how females need to become more involved in STEM. STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. All of those subjects that get a weird look if you tell people that’s what you’re studying (trust me, I study math, I know hands-down just that certain ‘look’). But why? Why do these esteemed and completely necessary fields of study create people to make a face as if they just smelled a baby’s diaper? In an interview, Jane Goodall addresses some of these issues.
To open, Jane says that this field had the “perception of it being a rather cold sort of discipline to go into, without heart. And I feel that women — really, we need to be involved with not just with our brain, but with our hearts as well.” These studies, to me, are full of heart. Would I choose to study math if I didn’t love it? I would be insane to just voluntarily study math. I think, for me, heart is where it all comes from. I think the same was true for 26 year old Jane when she decided to go deep into the forests of Tanzania.
She was criticized for almost everything. She was criticized for giving the chimpanzees names instead of just numbering them. She was criticized for claiming that these chimps could have (and did have) personalities. She was always, for some reason, having to justify the way she did things. How she did her work with a little extra ‘heart’. (Because apparently doing what you love with passion should be seen as a bad thing, right?)
Later on in the interview, Jane is asked if she thinks females alone possess that little bit of heart that is needed to further STEM areas. I assumed she would answer yes, but to my surprise she said “I think they do. But fortunately, a lot of men feel this way, too.” I can only commend and applaud Jane for the way she answered this question. She acknowledges that we all possess this little bit of ‘heart’ needed in STEM. She knows that we all have this ability, whether it is always used or not.
To make sort of a conclusion on my posts regarding Jane Goodall (only 4 posts total, sorry! I could write for days about this incredible woman), I would like to say what an inspiration she is in all walks of life. She is an inspiration for young girls wanting to get into the field of science, she inspires those who want to work with the animal kingdom, she inspires feminists that want to classify her as a ‘badass’, and she inspires the world daily to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It all started with her crazy dream to want to explore the forests of Gombe and see what exactly chimpanzees were all about. Her perseverance and dedication is more than admirable and turning 82 this year, she shows us that every day is an opportunity to change the world, no matter what.