Carl Sagan on Women

From Letters of Note:

Dear men,

Women pretty much kick ass. You best recognize.



For full transcript and background info, visit Letters of Note.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. I once wrote a letter to Carl Sagan when I was a child and got a reply a few weeks later, and that letter had EXACTLY the same signature as the one Elyse posted here. So I would suggest that the signatures on his replies to fan mail were stamped rather than actually written. It is also possible that the letter was not actually written by Sagan, but was written on his behalf by one of his secretaries, and he may have merely dictated at least some of the words of the letter to the secretary.

    Skepticism is a double edged sword, and I’ve had to learn that even Carl Sagan was not above criticism.

  2. Carl Sagan’s writing has a very distinct voice and this letter is very much written in his style. I don’t think there is any basis to argue that he is not the author.

  3. @Dale Husband: I’m confused. Why is this a problem? “He might have had somebody else write this” is not the same thing as “this is not what Carl Sagan believed” – also, I’m not sure how this letter and a response to fan mail are the same thing.

  4. I was merely pointing out that Sagan was not infallible or absolutely consistent, not that there was anything wrong with how he wrote letters. I’m more realistic now than when I was younger. As a child, I was under the impression that he actually wrote the letter he sent me, but years later I saw a designation at the bottom of it that showed it was written by a secretary, and Sagan may never have even seen the fan letter I’d written him. When I realized that, I thought, “Why bother to send a reply if it wasn’t really personal?”

  5. @Dale Husband: I don’t think anyone here thinks anyone is infallible! I’m sorry your childhood image was ruined, but perhaps he had his secretary send out replies because he truly *did* appreciate that you wrote to him, even if he didn’t have time to respond to each letter personally.

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