Food for thought
Ellen Harding Baker (1847-1886) was an American astronomer and teacher, her lasting gift is her gorgeous Solar System Quilt which she used as a teaching tool. The quilt measures about 7.5 feet by 9 feet.
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) discovered a comet later known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet” in 1847, the year Baker was born. Mitchell was the first internationally known woman to work as both a professional astronomer and a professor of astronomy.
Hired by the United States federal government for a “specialized nondomestic skill,” Mitchell scorned the “needle” believing it chained women - “stitch, stitch, stitch” - society’s method of keeping women stitched to the domestic sphere. “The eye that directs a needle in the delicate meshes of embroidery will equally well bisect a star with the spider web of the micrometer.” To be clear, it wasn’t the craft that she despised but rather the societal viewpoint of keeping women tied down in one domain, domestic arts. Handcrafts, in her view, should be equally shared by all genders, not designated as women’s work.
Notice the pronoun . . . just saying.