So many “Woman, Keep Out!” barriers have been breached! These days, women can be admirals, generals, preachers, secretaries of state, members of the Vienna Philharmonic. But women’s path is still so littered with traditional obstacles that we at Women’s Voices feel a jolt of admiration and satisfaction whenever we read of another female “first.”

This past month we’ve celebrated a trio of extraordinary victories. Consider the accomplishments of —

  • mone-davis.vadapt.320.medium.0Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League pitcher with the 70-m.p.h. fastball. She’s the first girl ever to pitch a shutout in a Little League World Series game—a feat so remarkable that Sports Illustrated recently featured her on its cover. She is, in fact, the only Little League player to have made SI’s cover. (And she’s just as talented at basketball.) You go, Mo’ne! Hear sports scientist David Epstein explain how Mo’ne’s athleticism has triumphed over Nature: Long before puberty, when boys go on a natural steroid cycle, making them bigger and their bones more dense to support more muscle, “boys . . . in the womb actually develop a longer forearm proportionate to the total arm than girls do, and that gives them a more efficient throwing whip, and that becomes exaggerated even more through puberty.” What a gal!

Read all about it:

  • Michele A. Roberts, the new leader of the N.B.A. players union. She has been a criminal defense lawyer and a trial lawyer in a prestigious private firm, with no experience working in sports. Still, she shot to the top of the pool of 300-odd candidates to become the first female leader of a major North American sports union. The New York Times quotes Roger Mason Jr., the union’s vice president, recalling Roberts’s remark about the long line of men who could attest to her grit. “It resonated,” he said with a chuckle. “Her history and her success supported that comment.”

Read more:

  • Maryam Mirzakhani, who was born and raised in Iran, has been awarded the highest honor a mathematician can attain, notes The Guardian. “It will go down in history as the moment one of the last bastions of male dominance fell. A woman has won the world’s most prestigious mathematics prize for the first time since the award was established nearly 80 years ago.” That prize is the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize for mathematics—awarded to [two to four] “exceptional talents under the age of 40 once every four years by the International Mathematical Union.”

Read more:

To all of us: Excelsior!


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