Archive | March, 2013

Outrage over obit’s focus on female scientist’s beef stroganoff

31 Mar

Outrage over obit’s focus on female scientist’s beef stroganoff


If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

29 Mar

If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

A great piece by Lindy West at Jezebel, on the off-chance that you missed it. My favorite section might be “A List of ‘Men’s Rights’ Issues That Feminists Are Already Working On,” but this stood out too:

Maybe you’re saying, “Hey, but my life wasn’t fair either. I’ve had to struggle.” I know it wasn’t. I know you have. But that’s not how fairness works. If you present fairness as the goal—that some day everything will be “fair” for everyone—you’re slipping into an unrealistic fantasy land. Life already isn’t fair, because of coincidence and circumstance and the DNA you were born with, and we all have to accept the hands we’re dealt and live within that reality. But life doesn’t have to be additionally unfair because of imposed systems of disenfranchisement that only affect certain groups. We can fight against that.

Feminism isn’t about striving for individual fairness, on a life-by-life basis—it’s about fighting against a systematic removal of opportunity that infringes on women’s basic freedoms. If a woman and a man have equal potential in a field, they should have an equal opportunity to achieve success in that field. It’s not that we want the least qualified women to be handed everything just because they’re women. It’s that we want all women to have the same opportunities as all men to fulfill (or fail to fulfill, on their own inherent merits) their potential. If a particular woman is underqualified for a particular job, fine. That isn’t sexism. But she shouldn’t have to be systematically set up, from birth, to be underqualified for all jobs (except for jobs that reinforce traditional femininity, obv).


– Kris


“Grandma Got STEM”

26 Mar

“Grandma Got STEM”

Over at Slate’s Future Tense blog:

More to the point, some of us are guilty of shrugging grandmothers off as being hopelessly tech-illiterate, when in fact many mee-maws pioneered the newfangled electronics we hold dear….

The stories go on and on. Which is to say, of course they do. Of course women have contributed much to the annals of science. Of course they have overcome great odds and persevered through all manners of discrimination and sexism. Of course they had more interesting things in their lives than attending our choral concerts and soccer tournaments. Some of that might even be plain ignorance of our grandmothers’ contributions to STEM.

Too friendly? [Tell Your Story]

21 Mar

I’d like to bring up the subject of male professors.

Not because they are misogynistic, or biased, or sexist, or just hit on their female students all the time — although ALL of this can be true.

I’d like to focus on the respectful ones. The ones who are intelligent, thoughtful, good listeners, and are willing to engage their students in discourse regardless of that student’s gender.

My issue is this: as a student who also happens to be a hetero woman, I am hesitant to get “too friendly” with a professor who happens to be a hetero man, because I am afraid of what would be implied.

I don’t worry about this with my female professors. As a result, I feel like I am really missing out on some great mentorship opportunities. Any suggestions/insights?


Do you want to tell your story? You can do so here. You will be kept anonymous (leaving an email address is optional) unless you ask not to be.

These Women

19 Mar

A poem by WITA Secretary Jennifer Gammage.

These women that dare believe in me,

They build me with hands worn from work,

And veins that make maps to hearts stronger than mine.


They raise me up from self-imposed swamps when I lapse into self-pity,

And they breathe into my mouth the breath of history’s sacrifice.

These women, my friends and ancestors,

They make me, and re-make me.

Against all odds, they remind me to keep walking uphill.

They have woven the threads of nations with revolution,

And they believe me into being. Continue reading

16 Mar

Kris here. Came across a must-read response to one of the articles in Nature that I linked to yesterday.

Erin C. McKiernan

Warning: I interrupt your regular open science blogging service to bring you a more personal and emotional post. But this has to be said. Normal service will resume when I calm down.

Yesterday, Nature published an article about women building successful careers as scientists while also building families. I think they had the best of intentions. I think they wanted to highlight some great women making it work. I think they wanted to support other women out there who are doing the same by voicing their situation. I think they wanted to reassure women who haven’t yet started families that it is possible to be a mom and a scientist.

I think it backfired.

I am a mom of two and a scientist. You’d imagine I’d be supportive of efforts to show that it is possible to do both. And I am. But I don’t think this article accomplished what…

View original post 922 more words


Women in Science: Women’s Work

15 Mar

Women in Science: Women’s Work

At Nature, the weekly science journal. A bunch of interesting articles linked from this page. Doesn’t seem to be a paywall at any point.


Creating Female Networks

15 Mar

Creating Female Networks

At What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?


The Glass Ceiling Index

11 Mar

The Glass Ceiling Index


Gloria Steinem: “domestic violence is original violence”

10 Mar

Gloria Steinem: “domestic violence is original violence”

SS: Sorry to interrupt, but when you put it like that it just makes me wonder whether most women these days in Western, developed societies would feel the same way that you do. Because when you talk about the importance of democracy in the home, wouldn’t most women in the developed world today feel that—

GS: No. Of course not.

SS: —they have democracy in the home.

GS: Of course not. Are you kidding? Do men raise children as much as women? No.

SS: But do women feel oppressed today in the way that they did in the ’60s and ’70s?

GS: Yes, more so because now, for instance, when we started we didn’t have a word for “domestic violence.” It was just called “life.” People would constantly say, “Why didn’t she leave?” “What did she do?” Now we understand that domestic violence is original violence.

And, for instance, in my country, there are…if you count up all the people who were killed in 9/11, plus Americans who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you count up all the women who were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the same amount of time, more women were murdered by their husbands and boyfriends than were killed in those three events.

Video here: