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“Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-aligned video game badge for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry. — Amy Allison, vice president at Women in Games International on the new Game Development badge being worked on for the Girl Scouts.”—Girl Scout Game Development Badge | The Mary Sue
“We believe, however, that science sells itself. It needs no polish or varnish or manufactured appeal to be attractive to women. To imply otherwise is an insult. To science and to women.”—Technology - Megan Garber - We’re Really Sorry, Marie Curie - The Atlantic
What did you think of "paradox-explained" post about girls in science? Do you agree with her points?
Well, assuming you’re talking about this post, I just read it and I completely agree honestly. The negative stigma [from both sexes] concerning women in STEM fields is beyond appalling, and we need to encourage our fellow [future and current] women and girls to branch into these areas of expertise, whether it be a profession, or as paradox-explained pointed out even more importantly, the classroom.
I say more importantly in the classroom because that’s where it starts. If you look at recent studies, that I apologetically can’t find right now, when it comes to classroom response within the girl-students they are substantially less responsive statistically compared to boy-students’ responses to the teacher[s] and material being taught within the course[s] themselves. Even when the playing field is evened out, and girls are given equal attention and opportunity to respond as the boys, the boys, and sometimes even male teachers, feel that the girls are getting “too much” attention and are having “too much” of a voice. This is due to the usual accustomed settings of girl-classmates being “quiet” and less reactive than the boys as a whole.
This obviously can be a bit intimidating being a women or girl in a STEM course or profession when you have the pre assumption that “you have to work twice as hard as a man in the same position would to be just as smart or get just as noticed” which is complete bullshit, if you ask me. We need to get to the point where we no longer base one’s [potential] career or interests based off of their gender, but rather their capability and intelligence.
If we keep doing crap public advertisements/projects like Axe’s Apollo Space Academy’s [whole presentation], and instilling simple ideas projected through mere commercials, such as Fireman Vs. Astronaut, that basically spell out “if you go to space, and leave as a man, through this contest and come back you’ll be a ‘hero’ and win the pretty girl”, in this case over the fireman, and assuming you’re interested in women, then we will continue to be telling young girls and young women that there are certain things that are ‘better left to the men’, I feel. [I understand it’s not just for men but the advertisements and websites made for the general public tend to visually display otherwise, and if you get pissy about that in response to what I said then you’re completely missing my point.] Have the video if you think I’m joking:
And the site’s home page that clearly says “Leave a man come back a hero.”
But for the sake of me trying not to rant too much here’s a quote to show you exactly what I’m talking about in a bit better wording: “Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.”—[x]
It seems a bit shocking when you look at it on paper, but it’s an all too-real every day occurrence. This, I feel, is even more true for STEM based classes. So yes, I agree with the post in question whole heartedly enough to say here here! We need more girls and women getting interested in, and consequently actively participating in, STEM courses and professions. And above all, we need more girls and women of all races and walks of life supporting and encouraging each other to get inspired and, quoting the original post, “Take a deep breath and jump right in.”