When NASA does design logistics or equipment specifically for women, the results can be off-kilter — or revealing.
The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, had to explain that women didn’t need 100 tampons for a one-week mission. The agency also designed a makeup kit for the female astronauts, which Ride laughed at. But her colleague, Rhea Seddon, requested it because she knew how the media represented women who appeared without makeup.
NASA has been aware of the problem with the EMUs for decades but lacks the funding to create new ones. All they can do is try to keep 40-year-old suits going, carrying a decades-long imprint of sexism into the present. Why are we asked to adapt our own spacesuits just to participate in space exploration? What kind of expectations are we carrying into the future when we have to figure out how to conform to decidedly earthbound expectations of beauty?