why does reading about women in STEM make you angry?
because we hardly ever hear about the achievements of women, because women are constantly undervalued and uncredited for their efforts, because GENDER DISCRIMINATION
it’s already difficult enough for women to enter STEM fields. there’s this longstanding notion that boys are the ones that are “good” at math and sciences, as if intellectual ability is something that is inherently male. and once they do, they’re contained within demarcated boundaries. the achievements of the few who can find the resources to carry about independent research are systematically undervalued relative to similar achievements by men. I mean, really, even the European Commission accepts that discrimination against women is a widespread issue but it’s like…..alright……but what are you going to do about it asshole?
it’s ridiculous because there are people who ask things like “but would women in science change anything?” as if gender equality should be a question in the first place. you know what? YES. YES IT WOULD. we live in a knowledge-based economy and we need scientists, it just doesn’t make any sense for us to shut out half our scientific potential, because of what? our reproductive biology? there’s a whole feminist argument one could make, but it’s not just that, not really. the thing is we’ve screwed up so badly that even a fairer representation of women in STEM fields won’t actually solve the problem because these fields are inherently discriminatory and will probably continue to be this way. and yeah, that makes me angry.
it’s bad enough women have to overcome all these obstacles, can you imagine becoming a scientist or whatever and realising that no matter how good you are or how man PhDs you have, there will always be a glass ceiling? it’s frankly exhausting, i’m not even a scientist and I’m exhausted on their behalf.
women who are hired in a department are automatically relegated to the role of the “token woman” because we all know why she was hired, right? this leads to extreme visibility and social isolation because she doesn’t deserve the role, she only got it because we needed to fill a quota. that’s what women are. a quota. a statistic. evidence that the department doesn’t discriminate. don’t even get me started on being an ethnic or racial minority on top of that…..
& you know what’s sad? there was this survey conducted at MIT w/ female faculty members, and those in junior positions thought their departments supported them and that there wasn’t a gender bias (or at least nothing that would threaten their careers) whereas women in senior tenured positions thought themselves to be marginalised and invisible (actual words used!!! can you believe) and basically the more their career advances, the more isolated and marginalised they become. these were the same women who started out in junior positions and thought that, you know, we had actually progressed in terms of gender equality. and it’s like…..say if the proportion of women grow, the department or field where it has is now perceived as female and therefore less prestigious than those perceived as male.
i just wish things were different, y’know?