“Feminine” arts were traditionally undervalued and now they have a feminist spin.
1:Embroidery on white linen in an embroidery hoop with a pink and green floral border to the left and right and the words “fuck gender roles” in sky blue thread
Made by Moonrise Whims on Etsy
There’s a pair of gold stork scissors off to the lower right side and a white doily off to the top left of the hoop and a pink linen backdrop.
2: Embroidery on white linen with a lower floral border with tiny pink buds on crisscrossing green stems and the words “you don’t owe prettiness to anyone” in light pink and darker pink thread.
Made by RubyAndJack On Etsy
3: Embroidery on white linen with a lower floral border with burgundy, purple, yellow, and coral flowers and dark green vines and the words “Smash the patriarchy” in dark coral thread
Made by Moonrise Whims on Etsy
4: Embroidery in an embroidery hoop on white linen and a lower floral border with 3 pink pansies surrounded by green grass and the words “don’t tell me to smile” in golden yellow thread
Made by RubyAndJack on Etsy]
I’ve been told
more than once that fighting for women’s rights or even being interested in the
topics of feminism and gender equality is a complete waste of time in today’s Western
There are no more issues to be had, there is no problem, all is well. To test this hypothesis I have made
a habit of thinking “Would you act the same way around me if I were a man? And
if not – why?” So, here are a few examples of suggested improvements to the
treatment of female co-humans, for biologists, other scientist and anyone else.
1) Do not
confuse your co-workers with the subjects of your studies!
especially we zoologists know all about animals, their behaviour, their
reproduction, the crazy lengths they go to in order to get laid… and in the
animal kingdom males and females are simply not equal most of the time. Beetle
ladies get their insides crushed or plugged by their male mates in order to
prevent insemination by rivals. Female cats ovulate due to the pain inflicted
on them by the tomcats’ spiny penis. Gorillas are organised in harem-like
groups of several females being dominated by a male. Many animal fathers tend
to leave their mate and wander off to inseminate their next incubator and
maximize their genetic contribution to the population. Sure, there are also the
opposites – matriarchal hyenas, seahorse daddies and free-love-bonobos (those
hippies!), but statistically speaking the ones with the sperm tend to have the
upper hand. Knowing all of this it makes it seem likely that in human animals,
too, there are some differences between the sexes, and there are – hormonally,
physically, developmentally. The difference is, however, that we are not
limited to our biological traits, so the world we live in should enable us to
overcome these dissimilarities and create equal opportunities for all sexes. In
this world my ability to be a professor is not linked to my level of
testosterone and my being a stay-at-home parent is not dependent on my
milk-leaking breasts. We are animals, we are the products of millennia of evolution,
but we are more than just hormones and instincts, so just keep that in mind.
Do not invalidate my
professional or personal choices!
Never assume that my job is
just a pastime! Yes, I measure ants for a living. Yes, that is an actual job I
get paid for. No, I am not just biding my time until the right wealthy inseminator
comes along to fill my womb with offspring. And also no, at 27 I am not
planning to have kids very VERY soon (tick-tock, ovaries!).
Also, never just presuppose
that I am the underling or assistant in any setting including older male
colleagues. That is just rude!
Just to prove that you can’t
ever get it right: If a woman does choose to have a family, go on a sabbatical
or decide to breed poodles, do not dismiss her as “not a real scientist”, as
someone who is just not driven, passionate or strong enough for the scientific
world. People can have more than one passion, we don’t necessarily have to kill
ourselves over our jobs. And if you actually do perceive that as a weakness,
please don’t blame it on her gender – men can breed poodles, too!
3) Do not make my appearance or
sexuality any more of an issue than you would a man’s!
We all know the
“#distractinglysexy” campaign (or if you don’t, just google it, it is both sad
and hilarious) where female scientists call out male colleagues for questioning
their professionalism based on their styling or wardrobe. What I wear should
not be the basis of how you judge my abilities or my intellect. You would never
call a man “slutty” or “unprofessional” because he wears shorts when it’s hot
(given the dress code at your workplace is ok with that) or consider his
sexuality nullified because he wears rubber boots and cargo pants in the field.
On the other hand, I do not wear a lab coat and glasses because it makes me a stereotypical
sexy science nerd, but because I am short-sighted and do not enjoy dangerous
chemicals on my skin.
Never underestimate the
Some people tend to belittle
those aspects of science (or life, in general) that draw in a predominantly
female crowd. There is hard, manly science, physics, chemistry, and math on the
one hand and then there is a flowery meadow full of little girls playing with
fluffy bunnies. However, my years at the university have taught me that this
trope cannot possibly be based on facts. I have spent most of my lectures
in auditoriums with a 60-90% female audience. And that was not “Cute puppies
101”, that was organic chemistry, physiology, genetics, entomology,
statistics… all things technical, complicated, full of equations, decay and
slimy bugs – and hardly a guy in sight. So, look out, world, and treat your
women with respect because there is absolutely no reason why we should not be
running the place!
The fight is not over, there is still plenty
of work and science to be done!