As a double major, I often get asked how my interests in feminist theory and science overlap. To me it seems rather obvious, but others do not seem to quite see the connection between the two. As noted by Deebolena Roy: “For many individuals, the mere idea of mixing feminism and science together sets well – established modes of reasoning (perhaps even gravity) into topsy-turvy motion” (Deebolena Roy from article in Women, science, technology page 233 – online one). However when we closely examine the goals of feminism, we see how the two studies fit hand in hand with one another.
Feminist scholars, across disciplines, have made an effort to study and understand systems that perpetuate subordination and marginalization. In doing so, feminists hope to diminish differences between genders, as well as other oppressed groups, and to establish equality across all groups. As noted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities: “In applying feminist analyses to scientific ideas and practices, feminism sees science, like all spheres of intellectual activity, as conditioned by historical circumstances, societal beliefs, and accepted norms” (AAC&U, 1999:3). In other words, feminism examines how cultural norms and stereotypes translates and contributes to our own scientific thinking and practices.“
Mayim Bialik is Emmy Award winning actress best known for her role on “Blossom” in the 1990s and as Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory.” Mayim also has very successful, career in neurobiology!Mayim received her PhD from UCLA 2007 upon completing her thesis : “Hypothalamic Regulation in Relation to Maladaptive, Obsessive-Compulsive, Affiliative, and Satiety Behaviors in Prader-Willi Syndrome.” She has also written books on parenting/hormones and designed a neuroscience curriculum for middle-schoolers! While Mayim had originally anticipated spending her career as a research professor, she decided to focus on acting, a career she is also passionate about that also allows her to spend more time with her children! So what is this superstar doing on the scientist to know list? Mayim defeats the stereotype of a nerdy scigrrrl, showing science’s appeal to any kind of grrrl, from the bubbly Blossom and actress Mayim, to geeky Amy. Just because you are into science doesn’t mean you can’t have or shouldn’t pursue other interests too!
Sneak peak of my next zine! Let me know what you think!!! The full zine will be available soon at scigrrrl.blogspot.com!
Giving another talk about women in science and my zine series (tomorrow at 11 am!) So excited to expand my reader base and get more people talking about women in science and changing systems of sexism that have historically excluded women from the field!
The third zine of my series (on content studies) is coming will be coming out in a couple of weeks! I hoped to get this one out earlier, but thesis writing trumps zine-ing ): Can’t believe my thesis will be done in a week (scarily already 70 pages and counting ….)!
Creating scigrrrl and my very first zine (+my cover)
My very first zine:
I wanted my first zine to be simple and provide a foundation for future zines. Originally, I anticipated that this zine would be a complete introduction to the equity and content branches of feminist science studies, however, as the focus of my first semester research is on the equity branch, I figured it may make the most sense to break the zine up into two separate editions: the equity edition and the content addition. This makes the most sense for the flow of my zine series as well as the first couple of zines explore the equity branch.
I struggled with the creation of the image of scigrrrl for my zine. I wanted her to appeal to all kinds of women interested in science with all kinds of backgrounds (with respect to ethnicity, field, and gender performance). In order to do so, I thought of changing her image/look in each of the zines I create to represent that anyone can take on the identity of scigrrrl. I also thought of attributing the title of scigrrrl, not only to the image and myself, but also to my readers and women who I look up to in the field. In the process of making my second zine, I decided the latter may be the best way for me to go about making scigrrrl inclusive.
In creating the image of scigrrrl for this particularly zine, I had a lot in mind: I wanted her to look sciencey but also feminine to go against the most prominent image of women in science - reserved, masculine, dorky. With this being said, I also did not want her to look over feminine, or be wearing something you would NEVER see a women wear in a science/lab setting ( so no intense make-up, open-toed heels, or over-the-top dress).
While this cover does not look like much, I can assure you it took hours on hours for me to create. I included a diverse range of scientific images to represent math, biology, neuroscience, physics, chemistry, and medicine. I did so because I wanted my zine to appeal to a diverse group of scientists and not only those in a certain field.
I also decided on using bright colors and cartoonish drawing to make the text more appealing. Since the original intent was to distribute the zines across my college campus, I believe that bright cartoons screamed “pick me up and read me” more than any other format I could have chosen (feel free to disagree or give me feedback on this!)