Women in science

Two posts from PZ at Pharyngula.

Firstly, a repost of a strip from the brilliant comic Non Sequiturwith a single short paragraph of commentary:

You know, when you stop to think about it, this strip really isn’t that funny — it’s cutting a little too close to the truth. Ladies of the readership, you may vent your frustration here.

girls.gif

That post has thus far generated 246 comments. Nextly, PZ is disappointed in an article by a German scientist about her experience of sexism throughout her career, despite admiring many of her sentiments and especially her achievements, because she appears to endorse some troublesome (though comparatively mild) gender essentialism. PZ’s dissent:

An individual woman ought be able to be ambitious, pushy, vain, and focused and succeed in science without her approach being considered in conflict with her gender. It isn’t. Similarly, an individual male researcher can be considerate and giving and helpful without betraying his sex. I want women to succeed in science because I don’t want anyone to be hindered in their careers by the imposition of stereotypes, and let’s not have women graduate students walk into a lab under the shadow of an expectation that they have to be the liberal nurturers of the research group, the ones who’ll be interested in art and music more than the nerdy males. It’s a nice reputation to have, I’m sure, but it’s also an imposition of an unfair expectation on women that we don’t place on men.

Very much worth reading his post in full, and the ensuing 100+ comments worth of discussion.

That phrase in the quote above about not wanting anyone to be hindered by the imposition of stereotypes pretty much sums up all of feminism and other anti-oppression ideologies, I reckon.



Categories: gender & feminism, Science

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