Toggle navigation
September 11, 0001 / September 20, 2017
Log in with LinkedIn Log in with Facebook Log in or apply
Ross.Cheeseright

Asgardia's 15%

August 20, 0001 / September 1, 2017
Asgardia's 15%<br/>

According to some recent sources, only 15% of the 100,000~ people that have signed Asgardia’s constitution are women. This blog explores that number and what it might mean for the future.

This is a cross-post from my blog, you can view the original here.

I am currently running for the position of Strategist, please view my Candidate Profile and support me if you agree with my platform. 

ASGARDIA’S 15%

Posted by Ross | Sep 1, 2017  

What does Asgardia’s 15% mean for our future?

The first I heard about this figure was from the Wall Street Journal, and later from the Times, they maintain that only 15% of the people that voted for the constitution (which at the time had been signed by about 100,000 people.) were females, but what does that really mean to the project? Does it matter that we appear to have so few females in our ranks and what can we do to address this small number?

(A woman gazing up to the stars. Photograph via Unsplash)


I think that the first thing we need to look at is why are the numbers so low?

Asgardia itself currently exists in a very unique ‘space’ – It exists pretty much on paper and in the minds of the visionaries that want to make it work. The topic of ‘Space’ immediatly puts this into the realm of ‘science fiction,’ a genre dominated by male readers and writers. So when people hear about Asgardia and it’s lofty goals, it’s easy to be put off.

The elements of Asgardia that make the news are typically things like the development of space platforms and planetary defence weapons and defending humanity from threats from outer space. These things currently only exist in the realm of science fiction.

If we look past people’s perceptions of Asgardia and focus on what it’s really about, we find at the core it’s about Science, Technology and the development and protection of humanity. Infact, in the core concept, 2 of the 3 parts that make up the project’s concept focus wholly on science and technology.(source: https://asgardia.space/en/word)

Classically, women in the STEM fields are underrepresented or have less interested in STEM disciplines than men. Only 13% of all people working in a STEM are female.
(source: https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/uploads/wise/files/WISE_UK_Statistics_2014.pdf)

With Asgardia’s focus on science, technology and near science-fiction goals, it’s easy to see why this might not be the most attractive community for the majority of women.

However, as Asgardia expands and starts to create results and communities, the appeal of the Space Kingdom will grow and the demographic will start to increase in diversity. People will start to understand that there is a lot more to it than science and technology.

We have teachers, artists, creators, carers and people that genuinely care for the welfare of the planet. It’s a project that will appeal to a great deal of people and by the time we’re actually ready to move up and start building platforms in space, then people of all genders and backgrounds are going to be chomping at the bit to join.

“Only 13% of all people working in a STEM field are female.”

(Picture of a woman reading a book. Photograph via Unsplash)


So we’ve addressed why the population of women is so low. But why does a low population of female asgardians cause problems for us?

Firstly people seem to have this notion that Asgardians are a group of people that simply want to rise up and colonise space. I was recently interviewed for an article that is set to appear in The Times (UK) and the question I was asked was:

Wouldn’t that be a problem if there was a colony in space with only 15% women?

My first response to this question was that at the core of our concept, we want space to be accessible by everyone, regardless of their geographic location, wealth or religion.

We’re not looking to assemble and all just abandon earth and head for the stars and start to compete with ‘humanity’. We want to be an independent nation of Earthlings that gradually expand our territories into space. Article 5 of the constitutionon Territory outlines our plans of expansion and it clearly mentions having territories on earth, earth orbit and celestial bodies.

The intermingling between people of all genetic backgrounds will still be intrinsically possible, regardless of what Asgardia’s current digital population. So it’s a moot question.

But, let’s just consider the question — would a population of 15% of 100,000 people be a problem for a space colony?

According to some some calculations a population of 20 generations could be maintained with as little as 80 – 160 people while others suggest a population of 10,000 – 40,000 people would maintain nearly 100% generic diversity.

15% of our 100,000 constitution adopters is 15,000 people – and if we consider that Asgardia has 300,000~ members in total, 15% of that would represent 45,000 females which is more than enough to completely repopulate the human race.

 

 

(A woman traveling in a foreign land. Photograph via Unsplash)


So looking at the question from multiple angles, we can see that the 15% female population doesn’t really represent a problem to Asgardia – but there are definitely some areas that we should keep in mind.

with only 15% of the population that signed the constitution female, it means that there is a danger that women will be poorly represented by the nation and that the needs of women in general might go unheard.

There are issue that might not be addressed — such as women’s rights, equality, government subsidised sanitary products, abortions and specialist health care.

We’re fortunate that some of the top members of our administration and community are women such as Lena De Winne and Rebekah Berg. This shows that Asgardia is serious about being a progressive nation and making sure that women have strong representation.

(With 15,000 women, we can colonise the moon! Photograph  via Unsplash)

AquariusEarth

This is the problem i mentioned a year ago, we need more women to become apart of our nation.

But i guess when progress is being made as time go by, our nation will attract more women to come sign up to be apart of greatness

reply
Ross.Cheeseright

Definitely, a diverse and balanced population will be important, especially to ensure that people are fairly represented and a diverse viewpoint is provided on how to solve our problems. But I don't think that this is a problem for Asgardia, as you say -- as time goes on and we establish the nation our female population will naturally increase. 

reply
Richard Howell

Great article. I've raised this point as a major concern for Asgardia.

reply
Ross.Cheeseright

Thanks for taking the time to read the article, Richard. :)

reply
nihylum

The gender does not mean anything. All people should receive support. And since you do explicitly rise your voice for the femal gender and not for the LSBTTIQ community in generel, this comes half-baked to me and more like a result of a old-school feminist.

We should not keep in mind that womans should be represented. We should keep in mind that the gender does not matter, and that everyone of us is free to live as gender fluid, queer, female or male or whatever they come up with in the future.

The "you" matter, not "what you are".

reply
Ross.Cheeseright

I certainly don't disagree with you, Nihylum. But the article is specifically addressing comments made in various newspapers regarding the female population in regards to 'colonisation' of Asgardia and that's what I responded to, to keep it on topic. I definitely encourage you to write an article further explaining your own views. 

reply
PhantomOfAsgardia

What does the 15% mean? Propaganda basically. They don't understand that we are a United Humanity Nation, and they might have interest in dividing us using the same equality tactics they use in their nations. Race, Gender, Sex, Nationality, doesn't matter here. We are One Humanity. One Unity. 

reply
Ross.Cheeseright

It would matter, from a colonisation point of view. If there isn't enough Genetic biodiversity, then it could lead to the downfall of the entire nation through the rapid expansion of genetic defects caused from inbreeding. However, you're right in what you say - Asgardia is a united people. Just humans :)

reply
HarryMonmouth

It would be interesting to know what percentages of early settlers in any other nations were female.  Men are typically more brash and open to exploration and gambling whereas women can seem far more cautious and demanding of certainty.  Either without the other is weakened by its extremes, though I have long felt that the female approach is probably far more sensible in the modern world.  I would suggest that in these early stages the imbalance of genders is only to be expected.  If we were all to launch into a fully fledged space nation then my wife would remain my wife, but at present I think she pityingly looks upon me as having found another silly computer game to play. (not that computer games are silly, but I think she is thoroughly too biased towards clothes and decoration in preference.)

reply
Ross.Cheeseright

I agree, Harry - that would be very interesting. In regards to "I think she pityingly looks upon me as having found another silly computer game to play." It is definitely taking some work to convince my partner that this isn't just a hobby. However, my kids are looking forward to going to space :)

reply
Lena De Winne

It is up to all of you to make Asgardia an attractive place for women to join and contribute to the development.

I am personally, as a woman, do not agree with a separate treatment for women in intellectual settings - unlike in top sports or in childbirth and breastfeeding there are no physiological predispositions for predefined gender segregation in this case. Asgardia, first of all, is an intellectual, philosophical and visionary humanistic environment. Such demographic attributes as gender, orientation, race, Earthly religion do not play a role in pursuing Asgardia's vision and taking it forward.

So as far as the rights and opportunities are concerned, please be assured, Asgardia is gender neutral, and all the people will always be recognised for their achievements. No one will be judged on belonging to any group (gender, orientation, race, Earthly religion).

Why not ask your girl-friend if she would join, and if she says no, ask her to explain why. We might all learn something new and interesting from these answers!

reply
NEW ASGARDIANS
1anstdev
English
2El bronx
Spanish
3Carlos Hinostroza
Spanish
4GeorgeRichard
English
5ABDUR RAHMAN
Arabic
English
6joaquintgonzalez
Spanish
English
7RomanWheel101
English
Spanish
8Rainbowchild2012
English
Japanese
9darlianto
English
10JoselynGabriela1
Spanish
English