Archive for the 'Sex Discrimination' category

It's Not The Same

It drives me nuts to read stuff like this and this about presidential candidate "likeability".

People don't like Trump because he is a racist, sexist, egomaniac who wants to Make America Great Again -Now With More Fascism! People don't like Clinton because she's a woman who doesn't give them a warm fuzzy feeling, and whose strong leadership qualities, which they would admire in any dude candidate, make them anxious and confused because they are attached to a Person Of Vagina.

People don't like Trump because they recognize him as the populist threat to democracy the Founding Fathers fretted over. People don't like Clinton because they are more comfortable with an old dude spouting fiery socialist rhetoric than a (less) old woman proposing thoughtful policies to advance the welfare of women and families.

People don't like Trump because he's tearing down an established party, running roughshod over that party's longstanding cherished policies and principles, and doing his level best to destroy any remaining shreds of respect not just for party leaders but for the concepts of experience, expertise, knowledge, logic, democracy, nonviolence, and civil rights. (Even if one can argue that Trump is merely reaping what the GOP has sown for years now, nothing says the sowers have to like the result any more than the rest of us.) People don't like Clinton because, you know, she's certainly qualified to be president, but, well, she's stiff, she's old, she's unattractive, she shouts/shrieks/cackles, she has that hair/those pantsuits/those cankles, her only qualification [besides the Senate and Secretary of State experience] is being married to Bill.

People like Trump because he's a filthy rich New Yorker who says he knows how Wall Street works and who disrespects women. People dislike Clinton because they suspect her of being filthy rich and hanging with people on Wall Street.  And people dislike Clinton despite her promotion of women-centric policy issues [either because they are anti-women or because "she doesn't speak for women". You know, the way Bernie does.]

When the press talks about Trump and Clinton being the two most unlikable presidential candidates ever in the recorded history of time, about how people are just having to choose between who they dislike the least, it obscures serious and meaningful differences. If Bernie's supporters can't bring themselves around to voting for Clinton in the fall, it doesn't mean they are standing true to their principles or trying to bring about a revolution. It means they would be more comfortable with American-style populist fascism than with a democratic leader who shares many but not all of their policy goals, but who happens to be female.

11 responses so far

When to Tell? Who to Tell?

The most awesome Hermitage asked in a recent post

Ignoring the fact that knowing who to even complain to, and to what purpose, is not always clear, how bad does something have to be before you are compelled to take a stand? Should the criteria be severity, or simply how easy something is to prove? Should you always do the right thing, or should your career come first?

I wrote a long comment that sort of turned into a mini-post.  I'll reproduce it here. My answer was written assuming that what was being complained about was harassment or discrimination.  One main point I wanted to get across is this:  DO NOT WAIT until you have been harassed or discriminated against to try to figure out what you should do when you have been harassed or discriminated against.  Read and educate yourself about your school or workplace's relevant policies and procedures, understand how things would officially be handled and what that would imply for you.  Go talk to someone at the office of diversity or the equal opportunity office (where a complaint might be likely to be handled).  If your university has a women's studies department, ask them for resources to help you understand the situation women in science face in academia and how to respond to harassment and discrimination (tell them you don't need to read high theory, you need practical stuff about dealing with douchebags).  An informed woman scientist is one who is less likely to be harassed, and more likely to be able to aid a colleague who is dealing with a problem.

Okay, here's the rest of what I wrote over at Hermitage's place.  I encourage you to go read her post and the comments there, too.  Continue Reading »

11 responses so far

2011 St. K3rn Olympic Competition Heats Up Early!

Pace yourselves, Graybearded Eminences of STEM. The year is still young.  Plenty of time left before we award the 2011 St. K3rn Medal come December to the douchenozzle who's single-handedly done the most to uphold and extend institutional and structural norms of oppression in STEM careers.

Although, come to think of it, you might want to get cracking.   Edward Feldman DVM, Chair of the Department of Medicine & Epidemiology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has begun the year in a spectacularly k3rntastic fashion.

Fear not, though, there's still plenty of room to play.  While he invited his students to vote on a knocked-up harlot's grade, he did not provide them with a voting option to fail their Whore of Babylon classmate or throw her out of the program altogether.  This glaring absence is a concern to me.  These are third year vet school students, after all, and if they have not learned anything by the third year about the mechanics of how to manage animal reproduction, it's not clear to me they should be allowed to stay in the program.  So failure and the boot should have been among the voting choices.  Step up your game, Mr. Feldman, if you want to do better than place or show!  Kudos, though, for training an entire class in how to appropriately socially sanction a woman in STEM who can't keep her legs together.  That "automatic A final grade" they were allowed to vote for as one of the options - does it come in scarlet?

Isis remarks in her post:

If she had earned an 'A', why would the 'B' or 'C' be an option?  The arbitrary nature of these options is baffling.  I also fail to see how the issues related to this individual student are of concern to the entire 3rd year class of a veterinary school.

Baffling until you remember:  procreating marks you as Clearly Not Serious About Your Career.  Once so marked, there's no point in GE of STEM wasting their precious time trying to evaluate you.  Some sort of reality show viewership (hence involving the entire class) voting popularity contest method of assigning your grade (until you can be shamed into quitting altogether) will do.  The class clearly should have been given the option to vote Miss Bun-In-The-Oven off the veterinary island.  She could have been given an opportunity to do a final dance or something similar.

In the future, I recommend that other GE of STEM ratchet up the creativity even more.  Maybe look to the reality game show format. Million Point Final Grade Drop. You're pregnant, what should your final grade be? You start with a million points, Dr. K3rn-Wannabe gives you 7 random multiple choice questions, there's a frantic 60 seconds following the question to bet your points in a distribution over possible answers, all your classmates are watching you.  Wrong answer choice?  Lose your points!  At the end of the 7 questions, your grade is based on the percentage of the million points you've retained. If televised, this would be hugely entertaining, and would serve as an object lesson to young ladeez everywhere.  Think of the synergy, St. K3rn wannabes.  It's one thing to social norm a third-year vet school class about gender role expectations in STEM, but tv could let you do so much more.  An eager nation awaits your tutelage.

10 responses so far

Cuisine, With Feminism: I'll Have The Large Plate, Please

A Kitchen of One's Own is a brand new blog, but I am already madly in love with it.  Blogger Ginny W is bringing the kick-ass. We thought STEM fields were tough places for women to make a living - and they are - but this post makes, say, your average physics department or engineering construction site look like a care bears tea party.

Women are also expected to take part in active misogyny: to refer to men and other women, and even themselves, as bitches; to deal yo mama insults; to deplore weakness, weeping, and other “girl” faults; to make and laugh at rag jokes, rape jokes, and a host of other jokes relying on the revilement of women. Not just tolerate it from the men, but actively take part in it.

The post on Disability and Restaurant Life is also highly recommended.  It gives me a new perspective on this Philadelphia Inquirer story from last July about Jennifer Carroll, pastry chef at 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge.  Hell, the whole damn blog, new as it is, is a real eye-opener for me in thinking about any of Philly's women chefs (and how precious few there are, given the restaurant renaissance the city has seen over the past few decades).

Zuska loves good food and good restaurants, and, of course, is a feminazi.  This new blog is a delight to her hairy-legged heart.

5 responses so far

Things Are Getting Better All The Time...

Female Science Professor has posted a checklist - "Kind of like Sexism Bingo, but in list form." - and asked for additions.
I was going to offer a few additions, but I thought "all that crap happened a thousand years ago, when I was an undergrad/grad student. I'll just read this list of new stuff to see what teh wimminz are whining about these days." Because things are getting better all the time.
Alyssa at 6/17/2010 10:03:00 AM said:

Someone asks why you bothered getting a PhD if you're "just going to have children"

and DRo at 6/17/2010 10:36:00 AM said:

You are told that you won't be interested in a TT position once you have children.

Time machine, take us to.....1984! Hello, classmate! Hello, undergrad thesis advisor!
Anonymous at 6/17/2010 12:16:00 PM said:

Someone tells you not to talk about women or minority in science issues because it makes people think you are not committed to science.

Time machine, take us to...1988! Hello, thesis committee member! (And major thanks to all of you for that 4.5 hour prelim, in complete violation of university policy, while I'm back here visiting!)
Anonymous at 6/17/2010 12:40:00 PM said:

** When you are in YOUR OWN office, visitors assume you are an administrative assistant **
and then, when you point out that you are not the admin, are told "Oh, you must be the student worker, then!"

Time machine, take us to...1999! Hello, various random d00dches!
Anonymous at 6/17/2010 03:12:00 PM said:

One of my personal favorites from my graduate school was a comment by a faculty member meant as a compliment, at a reception, "Surely, you're not a physicist". "Surely, I am" I said.

Time machine, take us to...the entire decade of the 1980's! Hello, every pickup artist and sad sack conference fuckwit who thought "you're too pretty to be an engineer!" was a great come-on line.
Rachael Shadoan at 6/18/2010 06:58:00 AM said:

I feel that the more we focus on this kind of thing, the more discouraging it is for young women trying to join the field.

and at 6/18/2010 10:02:00 AM

Instead of long lists of how we're under-appreciated and gender-stereotyped and in general discriminated against, I would like to see lists of creative, professional, appropriate ways to handle some of these situations.
Then, it's less depressing because it provides the tools to handle this sort of thing. Over time (presumably), if we all use the tools to address these issues, they will decrease in number and severity.

Time machine, take us to...1989! Hello, contentious discussion at AWIS meeting where I was invited to speak about gender and science!
On second thought, time machine, never mind.

40 responses so far

Dress For Success! Or Not!

Ladeez! Please remember not to be too fat, because James Watson doesn't want to hire your ugly ass. Everybody knows fat people can't do science. But they don't care if we say so, because they are so jolly, and lack ambition!
Likewise, it is also not good to be beautiful and curvaceous, and wear clothes that fit you. For alas, Citibank will have to fire you. Your tailored clothing is "too distracting". You distracting ladee, with your distracting turtlenecks!!! Begone from our stolid gentlemanly banking establishment!!!!
Too thin, too thick, too sexy, not sexy enough - clearly, there is no good way for you to appear in public, ladeez. Why do you even leave the home? Unless you are on your way to a gentleman's club to do a pole or lap dance. (Thin ladeez with double D's only, please! All others, please stay home and mind the kids.)

186 responses so far

Objectification Silences Women - Or, They Were Asking For It, And They Like It, And...

Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science has a fascinating post summarizing a recent research paper that shows how objectification silences women.

As Saguy [the lead researcher] explains, "When a woman believes that a man is focusing on her body, she narrows her presence... by spending less time talking." There are a few possible reasons for this. Saguy suspects that objectification prompts women to align their behaviour with what's expected of them - silent things devoid of other interesting traits. Treat someone like an object, and they'll behave like one. Alternatively, worries about their appearance might simply distract them from the task at hand.

Or, if you read the incredibly intelligent comments on the post, the REALZ interpretation of the data is...

  • Women were asking for it.
  • And they like it.
  • And it's their fault, because they have poor self-esteem.
  • And men are oppressed, too!
  • And evolushunz means menz haz got to stare at teh boobiez.

Which pretty much sums up every stupid-ass comment you get these days whenever you try to talk sensibly in any manner about sexual harassment, sexual objectification, sexism, sexual discrimination, bias, etc. Generally you also get comments like "this is all anecdote, there is no real data" but it seems that when even a man writes a blog post laying forth exceptionally strong data making the case that objectification is harmful to women, it's not sufficient.
The bleating hordes will still show up and cry "wah wah, no, it is all wrong! My theory, which is mine, about this data, in this paper I have not read, is much better! The next thing I'm going to say is my theory. Ready? My theory by A. Douche. All women exist to be ogled by men, and then to be fucked by men, and then to say how much they loved it. That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too."
Go read Ed's post, then instead of the comments, just watch this:

21 responses so far

Links for 4-3-2009

Scads of stuff I don't have time to blog adequately...

  • Johns Hopkins Provost Kristina Johnson was nominated by President Obama to be under secretary of the Department of Energy in mid-March. From the email press release:

    She is a distinguished researcher, best known for pioneering work -- with widespread scientific and commercial application -- in the field of "smart pixel arrays." Last year, she was awarded the John Fritz Medal, widely considered the highest award in engineering and previously given to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Westinghouse and Orville Wright. She is an entrepreneur and has served with distinction as dean of engineering at Duke and, since 2007, as provost at Johns Hopkins.

    I should have blogged that for the last Diversity in Science carnival!

  • Isis smacks down the whiny jerkwads always complaining about "illegals" stealing "our jobs". You know, the ones the whiny jerkwads don't want to do.
  • Bean-mom left this very meaty comment three days ago on the motherhood/science careers issue,and it got lost in moderation. Check it out. Also check out her blog!

More stuff after the jump.

Continue Reading »

5 responses so far

Links for 03-20-2009

NSF ADVANCE Workshop For Women Transitioning to Academic Careers

The University of Washington's ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change received an award from the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program to hold professional development workshops for Ph.D.-level women in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs who are interested in transitioning to academic careers in STEM. The first workshop will be held October 18- 20, 2009.
This workshop will be very helpful to women interested in making the transition to academia. The workshop speakers will primarily be successful women faculty members who began their post-Ph.D. careers in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs. The attendees, speakers, and workshop organizers will form a community who can support each other during the job application period, the interview process, the startup negotiations, and the first years in academia.
Please note, this workshop is NOT designed for research faculty, PhD students, graduate students, or post-docs on university campuses. It is instead targeted toward women who hold Ph.D.s and are currently working in industry, research labs, consulting, or national labs.
The workshops will be limited to 30 participants. Registration is free and some travel funding for airfare and hotel will be available.

More good stuff after the jump.

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: Even When You Win, You Lose

Reader JC left a comment on a recent post about sexual harassment that led me to a Feminist Law Professor post on a sexual harassment lawsuit against Brigham & Women's Hospital. It is a post well worth reading, if you have ever wondered why more women don't sue over sexual harassment, or why women don't just speak up immediately and complain at the first sign of harassing behavior. Maybe you have been secretly suspecting that women who file sexual harassment charges or lawsuits just have some ax to grind and/or are trying to ruin some Nice Man's career because they are bitter pre-/post-menopausal shrews and are just doing this to get sympathy. Uh huh. Well, read this, my dears, and be disabused of all your false ideas and pretty fantasies about how easy it is to file these lawsuits, and just what it means to "win" one. Here's a taste:

So even if you get a verdict like this, the amount is barely enough to cover the costs of litigation (that's definitely true here) because the impact of the attacks on your livelihood, professional reputation, etc. is minimized. You of course realize that this woman is now marked for life: she will never, never, ever, get a job offer from any other hospital in this country. So, the bonus payoff here is, she gets to work in an environment where she is ostracized, despised, feared, and hated - barred from any leadership position - and will never be taken seriously as a decision-maker or policy-maker - for the rest of her professional life. And that's because she WON!

10 responses so far

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