Posts Tagged With: girls

A Beautiful Takedown

Bill Nye recently commented that one half of all scientists should be female considering how half of all humans are female. There was an outburst of negative feedback in response to this comment saying something along the lines of: “How the fuck does Bill Nye expect this to happen? What do you want to do, force women to enroll in science courses, regardless of whether or not they want to do it? Just for the sake of having “enough” women? Why the fuck do these fractions matter so much? Maybe, just maybe, a lot of us DON’T FUCKING WANT to be scientists. Is that a crime”

I’m not personally going to answer these questions because I came upon such an A+ commentary that i shall simply copy and paste her genius response.  Read on:

Hi there. Female engineering student here. 

Bill Nye is not saying that you HAVE to be a scientist, and you are right that no one is holding a gun to my head because I am interested in science, but let me tell you some of the struggles of being a woman in the STEM fields. 

1) Because I am a woman, I am not expected these fields. I first fully realized this when I was in high school, on my robotics team. See, although my robotics team was about 50% female, most of the women were part of the “business administration” side of things: finance, marketting, PR, membership, etc. Was this a problem? Absolutely not. But I was there to be an engineer, and specifically, to be the robot programmer. This was met with a lot of hesitation at first from some of the other students (all of whom happened to be male. This is not necessarily a bad thing.) You see, all of the robot programmers before me were guys. Computer programming is just a thing that guys do, or so they thought. Even after I had proved myself to the mentors on the team, many of the students still underestimated my abilities. There were rumors going around that I wouldn’t have been able to program the robot at all if the lead software mentor wasn’t there to help me. This was just flat-out false, but it wasn’t until I won an award for the team that the other students actually saw my merit. 

2) There is not a lot of encouragement for women to go into these fields. I first noticed this when I was in elementary school. I was always interested in math, science, you name it, but many of my teachers and family members pushed that to the side for a long time. When I asked for legos for christmas, I would get ballet slippers. In fact, for a long time, I was training to be a professional dancer. I loved to dance. I loved math more, but no one seemed to notice that about me. It wasn’t until I had a long conversation with one particular teacher in high school that I decided to look into engineering. I had never even considered it as an option before, because no one decided to encourage me to pursue my interest in science. If it hadn’t been for that teacher, I would probably not be at the school I am at right now. 

3) For a long time, Engineering/Science/Math WAS a “boys only” club. Let me tell you when some of the top technical schools and societies started letting women in:

  • RPI, The oldest tech school in the country, founded in 1824. Started admitting women in 1942 to “replace men called to war.” Campus housing for women wasn’t constructed until 1966. 
  • Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society – Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1968.
  • Caltech – Currently rated #3 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1891. Started admitting women in 1970. 
  • Georgia Tech – Currently rated #5 in undergraduate engineering. Founded in 1885. Started admitting women in 1952. 

Do you see the implications of this? Engineering has been a part of our society since around the late 1800s (in the case of RPI, since the 1820s), but women weren’t even allowed in for the most part until the 1950s, regardless of their merit. 

4) Because of the fact that it was a “boys only” club for such a long time, there are not a lot of women engineers and scientists to look up to. When you’re reading your physics, chemistry, and math text books, the majority of those theories were came up with by men. It is true that much of our history was written by White Men, but this does not mean that the fact that there are few women scientists to look up does not matter. 

So, as you can hopefully see, princess-munckin, or anyone else that shares these opinions, Bill Nye was not arguing that women that are not interested in STEM should go into those fields anyway. But he IS arguing against all of the systematic barriers set up against women who ARE interested in engineering and science. There are several women out there who are just as good as the boys at math and science, but will never pursue their interests because it just doesn’t seem like an option. That was me for a long time. I am super grateful for the fact that I fought against that, and that I ended up where I am. 

If you don’t like science, fine. Don’t be a scientist. But if one day you have a daughter and she shows interest in being a scientist, PLEASE encourage her. Because Bill Nye is right, there needs to be more women scientists in the world. 

(Source)

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And that’s how you perform a beautiful takedown.

“When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?”

Sandi Toksvig
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Yassss!

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“Why the need for an “I hate other girls” proclamation? Is there some underlying desperation for male approval, some need to prove that you’re so different from all the other girls out there, when all that boils down to is that you’re one of those chicks who just wants dudes to like her? And you do it by insulting and generalizing about other women. And here’s the thing, once you do it, you start to make it OK for everyone to do it. So saying, “Girls are bitches” or, “Girls are shallow and catty” just opens up the door for guys to say those things. It’s one of the ways that society at large helps to keep women down: by turning us against one another, even subtly. And I know that girls who hate other girls are the first ones to say, “Oh, I’m not like that. I’m like a guy! I like guy things, and guys are easier to be friends with.” So you probably shouldn’t be surprised that all those women that you’re being a jerk about aren’t banging down your door to be your friend. Because by saying all of that, you’re being shallow and catty. You’re reducing women to stereotypes while somehow frantically begging everyone not to apply that stereotype to you.”
Persephone Magazine: “Self-Fulfilling Prophesies: The ‘I Hate Other Girls’ Trap”

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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Don’t Be That Guy

Men… 

  • We need you to be allies in this battle against sexual assault.
  • We need your voices to challenge negative attitudes that say: ‘sexual assault is a women’s issue. It doesn’t affect me’.
  • We need you to reject with us, messages that say: ‘she deserved it’ or ‘she was asking for it’. No one ever asks for or deserves to be sexually assaulted.

See The Website

 

“Typically, sexual assault awareness campaigns target potential victims by urging women to restrict their behavior. Research is telling us that targeting the behavior of victims is not only ineffective, but also contributes to and increases self-blame in survivors. Instead, the SAVE campaigns targets potential offenders – ultimately the ones who hold the power and responsibility to end sexual assault.. By addressing sexual assault without victim-blaming, we intend to mark Edmonton on the map as a model for other cities.”

This approach may not be effective with men who intend to rape. But I doubt that’s the point. Rather than addressing a hardcore, repeated behaviour, these ads seem to try to shake the “nice guy” who “takes advantage” of a female peer out of his delusion that what he did was OK. And perhaps to encourage victims to report what is really a crime and a violation committed against them, for which they need not feel guilt.

Edmonton Police report that more than half of the assaults their Sexual Assault Section investigated in in 2011 involved alcohol. The scenarios we see here are all too familiar to young people who spend a lot of their time drunk and wild. It’s the classic myth of aroused and impaired men being “out of control” when they find themselves in a potentially sexual situation.

Designed to reach youth when they are at most risk of entering these situations, the ads will be posted in men’s washrooms in bars and clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as in LRT stations and campus and entertainment newspapers.

SAVE spokesperson Karen Smith says she believes the campaign will work, adding “the posters are certainly creating conversation around the issue of consent.”

It’s certainly a conversation we need to be having.

(Source)

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You Are Not A Special Snowflake

YES. LOOK AT THAT COMMENTARY.

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Got Eggs?

Move over DuckFace.

We've got an Ovarian Gang Sign in the house now!

This… is totally awesome. I strongly approve this movement. 

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Gendered Toys in 2012

Have you ever seen a commercial aimed at kids? It’s several minutes of toy commercials that hammer gender stereotypes into impressionable kid’s heads. What I wouldn't give to see the marketing companies breaking the social norms a bit to to show a little girl playing with a race car set, or a little boy enjoying a dollhouse, but nope, they’re still so blue and pink.

Seriously people, it’s 2012. Quit it.



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Hell no, that ain’t me!

“It saddens me to see girls proudly declaring they’re not like other girls – especially when it’s 41,000 girls saying it in a chorus, never recognizing the contradiction. It’s taking a form of contempt for women – even a hatred for women – and internalizing it by saying, Yes, those girls are awful, but I’m special, I’m not like that, instead of stepping back and saying, This is a lie. The real meaning of “I’m not like the other girls” is, I think, “I’m not the media’s image of what girls should be.” Well, very, very few of us are. Pop culture wants to tell us that we’re all shallow, backstabbing, appearance-obsessed shopaholics without a thought in our heads beyond cute boys and cuter handbags. It’s a lie – a flat-out lie – and we need to recognize it and say so instead of accepting that judgment as true for other girls, but not for you.”

Claudia Gray

It also saddens me when girls do this: click me, this is educational, I promise!

Hear, hear! 

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You know what depresses me? When I hear black people say, “I can’t stand niggers” or women say, “Women can be so catty” or queers say, “I don’t fuck with faggots” or poor folk say “Don’t tax the rich” because it reminds me how effective White Supremacist Capitalist Heteropatriarchy has been in accomplishing its goals.
— Son of Baldwin

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Epic Facepalm!

What's the difference between a fertilized egg, corporations and a woman? Hint: one of them isn't considered a person. 

If you guessed fertilized egg or corporations – EEEHH, wrong. It's women!

Currently, the U.S is using women's bodies as their new political battleground. The hot topics are the legality of abortions and the use of certain types of birth control. Republic candidates are pushing to criminalize abortion and outlaw quite a few forms of birth control as a means of doing what I don't know. However, I do know that they are forgetting to consider how these decisions will affect women. Allowing women to make their own personal decision for whether/ when they want children is the single most important element in guaranteeing their health, whether they're educated or not, their life expectancy and whether they can be active participants in the world. Politicians should not be part of the discussion between a woman and her doctor – they are perfectly capable of deciding what is best for them and everyone should just leave it at that. 

Below is what these politicians want in a nutshell:

No sex ed and no birth control! If you get pregnant, no abortion for you! Now that you have a kid, you stay at home! Oh, no income? Well too bad because you're not getting any social assistance either! 

Lets all rejoice for the level of intelligence displayed by these genius politicians. 

This women sums up my thoughts exactly:

Why is this so complicated to understand?

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Nakusa

285 Indian girls shed 'unwanted' names

The following is from this article:

The 285 girls — wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair — lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.

In shedding names like "Nakusa" or "Nakushi," which mean "unwanted" in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as "Aishwarya" or Hindu goddesses like "Savitri." Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as "Vaishali," or "prosperous, beautiful and good."

The plight of girls in India came to a focus after this year's census showed the nation's sex ratio had dropped over the past decade from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6 to 914. Maharashtra state's ratio is well below that, with just 883 girls for every 1,000 boys — down from 913 a decade ago. In the district of Satara, it is even lower, at 881.

Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.

Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense of marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying for elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents' funeral pyres.

Over the years, and again now, efforts have been made to fight the discrimination.

"Nakusa is a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned," said Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who came up with the idea for the renaming ceremony. Other incentives, announced by federal or state governments every few years, include free meals and free education to encourage people to take care of their girls, and even cash bonuses for families with girls who graduate from high school.

"We have to take care of the girls, their education and even financial and social security, or again the cycle is going to repeat," she said.

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Don't tell me sexism doesn't exist. 

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Truth

“You have been taught everything, but you are not being taught to be yourself. This is the ugliest form of society possible because it makes everyone miserable.”
— Osho, Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within

‘“Fat” is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”

– J.K Rowling

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