August 4, 2011


Men comprise three-quarters of employment in science, technology, engineering and math, and earn 14 cents more on the dollar than their female colleagues. But that’s still better than the overall wage gap of 21 cents, as the Commerce Department pointed out when it released the data yesterday.

The percentage of women in the field, known by the nifty shorthand STEM, hasn’t grown in a decade, Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank added, calling the figure “unacceptable.”

Wage Gap Shrinks In Science And Tech

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February 17, 2012


How Schools Can Help Moms Stay in Science

"In a study published in the March-April issue of American Scientist, Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci write, "It is when academic scientists choose to be mothers that their real problems start. Women deal with all the other challenges of being academic scientists as well as men do. Childless women are paid, promoted and rewarded equivalently to their male peers (and in some analyses at even higher rates). Children completely change the landscape for women — but do not appear to have the same effect on the careers of men."

Why does this happen? Basically, prospective scientists finish grad school and postdocs and can apply for tenure-track jobs at an average age of 33. That means they won’t get tenure until they’re 35 or older. Until then, they have to work their asses off doing research and publishing papers. Which isn’t so compatible with being a mom.”

http://jezebel.com/5885407/how-schools-can-help-moms-stay-in-science

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March 4, 2012


xojane: NO BEAUTY MISTAKE HAS EVER TURNED A MAN OFF

"At some point, gendered media started dealing in stereotypes so broad that what they’re saying no longer bears any relation to reality. I mean, in what world are men only turned on by perfect-looking women? I could go outside in sweatpants and a puff-paint sweatshirt right now and get some dude to stick it in.

And never, ever in the history of the world has a guy wanted to bone a chick until he saw her glittery manicure. That is straight made up! And seriously, if he won’t put it in you cause you left a little ankle hair, or because your elbows are dry, you should run away as fast and as far as you can. The human body is not a hospital. It doesn’t have to be sterile. It’s sloppy and warm and wet and real. And a woman isn’t sexy because she shows up like some sort of blank canvas for you to project your erotic desires onto.

Women look sexy and feel sexy when they’re being themselves. If a dude is turned off by my bold lip, wait until he gets a load of my bold personality.”

http://www.xojane.com/beauty/no-beauty-mistake-has-ever-turned-man

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March 12, 2012


“You’re sick and there’s two treatments: a device that sets up in minutes and works for years and a pill that’s only as effective as the device if you take at same time every day forever, which is actually so difficult that 31% of users fail at in the first 6 months. Wouldn’t you be like, ‘Fucking give me the easy thing!’ (put on sunglasses) So why is preventing pregnancy so different that you wouldn’t treat with the most effective, least likely to fail treatment first?” (drive away in red convertible)

IUDs, or A Detailed Guide to Long-Term Sperm Scarecrows | The Hairpin

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March 28, 2012


The reality is that fat people are often supported in hating their bodies, in starving themselves, in engaging in unsafe exercise, and in seeking out weight loss by any means necessary. A thin person who does these things is considered mentally ill. A fat person who does these things is redeemed by them. This is why our culture has no concept of a fat person who also has an eating disorder. If you’re fat, it’s not an eating disorder — it’s a lifestyle change.

The Cookies Aren’t For Eating: Food Hoarding, Eating Disorders, and Me | xoJane

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May 9, 2012


Over the last two decades, women have made inroads into the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, and medicine. But you wouldn’t know it if you asked the men who tend to chair scientific awards committees, who award research-based science awards to men 95% of the time. If a glass ceiling breaks and no one is around to notice, is it really broken?

The depressing statistic is brought to you by a 20-year survey of awards given out by 13 different STEM societies. Researchers found that even though awards given to female scientists increased 78% between 1991 and 2010, most of those awards were given in the areas of teaching or service. The “hard science” awards were still given to men, and they were especially given to men if the chair of the awards committee was also a man.

It’s not that women weren’t being nominated for scientific awards, either; researchers concluded that the frequency with which they actually won wasn’t consistent with the frequency with which they were nominated for awards. So this isn’t a case of Ladies Be Hating The Science.

These and other findings regarding bias in the selection of scientific awards will be published in the journal Social Studies of Science (published by SAGE) this month.

Sky Blue, Water Wet, Achievements of Female Scientists Continually Ignored by Men

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September 19, 2012


Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin completed her undergraduate studies on scholarship at Camridge, but was not awarded a degree as Cambridge did not grant degrees to women until 1948. In 1925, she became the first person to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe (now part of Harvard) for her thesis: “Stellar Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Observational Study of High Temperature in the Reversing Layers of Stars”. Astronomer Otto Struve characterized it as “undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy”. By applying the ionization theory developed by Indian physicist Megh Nad Saha, she was able to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures.
She showed that the great variation in stellar absorption lines was due to differing amounts of ionization that occurred at different temperatures, and not due to the different abundances of elements. She correctly suggested that silicon, carbon, and other common metals seen in the Sun were found in about the same relative amounts as on Earth, but that helium and particularly hydrogen were vastly more abundant (by about a factor of one million in the case of hydrogen). Her thesis thus established that hydrogen was the overwhelming constituent of the stars (see Metallicity). When her dissertation was reviewed, she was dissuaded by Henry Norris Russell from concluding that the composition of the Sun is different from the Earth, which was the accepted wisdom at the time. However, Russell changed his mind four years later when other evidence emerged. After Payne-Gaposchkin was proven correct, Russell was often given the credit.
Payne-Gaposchkin remained scientifically active throughout her life, spending her entire academic career at Harvard. She served as a technical assistant to Shapley from 1927 to 1938. At one point she considered leaving Harvard because of her low status and poor salary, as she held no official position there. Shapley, however, made efforts to improve her position, and in 1938 she was given the title of “astronomer”. On becoming director in 1954, Donald Menzel tried to improve her appointment, and in 1956 she became the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within the faculty at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Later, with her appointment to the Chair of the Department of Astronomy, she also became the first woman to head a department at Harvard.
(via Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin completed her undergraduate studies on scholarship at Camridge, but was not awarded a degree as Cambridge did not grant degrees to women until 1948. In 1925, she became the first person to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe (now part of Harvard) for her thesis: “Stellar Atmospheres, A Contribution to the Observational Study of High Temperature in the Reversing Layers of Stars”. Astronomer Otto Struve characterized it as “undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy”. By applying the ionization theory developed by Indian physicist Megh Nad Saha, she was able to accurately relate the spectral classes of stars to their actual temperatures.

She showed that the great variation in stellar absorption lines was due to differing amounts of ionization that occurred at different temperatures, and not due to the different abundances of elements. She correctly suggested that silicon, carbon, and other common metals seen in the Sun were found in about the same relative amounts as on Earth, but that helium and particularly hydrogen were vastly more abundant (by about a factor of one million in the case of hydrogen). Her thesis thus established that hydrogen was the overwhelming constituent of the stars (see Metallicity). When her dissertation was reviewed, she was dissuaded by Henry Norris Russell from concluding that the composition of the Sun is different from the Earth, which was the accepted wisdom at the time. However, Russell changed his mind four years later when other evidence emerged. After Payne-Gaposchkin was proven correct, Russell was often given the credit.

Payne-Gaposchkin remained scientifically active throughout her life, spending her entire academic career at Harvard. She served as a technical assistant to Shapley from 1927 to 1938. At one point she considered leaving Harvard because of her low status and poor salary, as she held no official position there. Shapley, however, made efforts to improve her position, and in 1938 she was given the title of “astronomer”. On becoming director in 1954, Donald Menzel tried to improve her appointment, and in 1956 she became the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within the faculty at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Later, with her appointment to the Chair of the Department of Astronomy, she also became the first woman to head a department at Harvard.

(via Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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October 2, 2012


Does it somehow undermine the goals of gender equality and girls’ empowerment to engage them in engineering by buying into and relying on so many stereotypes about girls in the first place? Cunningham says we need to keep in mind, by the time they’ve reached the age of five (the youngest age GoldieBlox is recommended for), many girls will already have well developed gender identities, and oftentimes that identity will be quite, for lack of a better word, girly. “How can we take the places that girls are and develop the same kinds of innovative problem-solving skills? … We’re very much based in, ‘what is the reality of the now?’ And how do you work with that? Are there small ways you can push the meter to bring in these kinds of skills?”

Sterling reiterated this same idea to me: You have to meet girls where they are.

Can a Kids’ Toy Bring More Women Into Engineering? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

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October 4, 2012


Today’s scientific critiques are rarely so obviously sexist. But the twin gendered responses to Carson’s work—one used to criticize, the other to praise—speak to tropes still wielded against women in science today. If we disagree with her scientific findings, we lean on the idea that women are irrational thinkers. If we accept her conclusions, we express surprise that one outlier has broken through the limitations of her gender—and we wonder if she isn’t a little bit like a man. In fact, feminized terms are still used to discredit scientific work, regardless of the gender of those conducting it. In Slate, Carson biographer William Souder noted that the current debate over climate change appears much like the one over pesticide use half a century earlier: “On one side of the environmental debate are the perceived soft-hearted scientists and those who would preserve the natural order,” he wrote. “(O)n the other are the hard pragmatists of industry and their friends in high places, the massed might of the establishment.” Science is still a fight between soft hearts versus mighty pragmatists, even if the battle is one largely waged by men.

50 years after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: Sexism persists in science.

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November 23, 2012


What if, instead of realizing: Aha! Cinderella is a symbol of the patriarchal oppression of all women, another example of corporate mind control and power-to-the-people! my 3-year-old was thinking, Mommy doesn’t want me to be a girl?

What’s Wrong With Cinderella? - NYTimes.com

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