Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

Answer for question 4260: greatest invention of all time

What do you think is the greatest invention of all time? Why? Are there any inventions you wish had never been made?
This question brings back memories because we had a discussion about it in my family right before the year 2000 hit and we were discussing the most important events.

As a 20-year-old engineering student, my reply was "the silicon transistor".

My mother's reply? The birth control pill.

After having two babies, I agree with my mother. In fact I am AMAZED that women have made as much progress as we have considering how recently basic contraceptives have become available.

I love my babies, but each time I had one I really had to take a step back, both the months leading up to childbirth and the months after childbirth were a time filled with travel restrictions, limited hours, smaller scale projects. It affected way more than my 6 weeks of maternity leave. It was a different year. And this different year was even with all the modern conveniences - medical resources to fix anything unusually wrong with me and lower the risk of childbirth complications, a breast pump to take to work.

As an engineer I did this baby thing twice, starting at age 30. In a career that I hope spans decades, two years of baby having isn't a big deal. But it showed me that if we lived in that world my grandma did where women had babies every other year starting from age 20, I would not BE an engineer.

And when you read up on famous women who had big impacts on their world... Harriet Tubman, Jane Austen, Susan B Anthony... it's amazing how many of them were NOT mothers! You either got married and had 10 babies, or you didn't. There was no in between!

So yes, above everything... birth control.
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