female scientists

N018GH at tamvm1.tamu.edu N018GH at tamvm1.tamu.edu
Sun Aug 1 17:01:00 EST 1993

In article <23ch80INNetn at MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDU>
smith-una at yale.edu (Una Smith) writes:
>>Haven't the sons of white, wealthy, protestants been given an "edge" for
>>enough years, that we can recognize selections for jobs, graduate school,
>>etc. have NEVER been entirely egalitarian?
>Do two wrongs make a right?  How long do we have to run the bias in the
>opposite direction before things are "even"?
Until there is enough *critical mass* to appreciate the values bias which
has been inherant in much of what has counted for scholarship and research.
Surely you've been exposed to enough research methodology to recognize that
values judgements are often necessary to limit a multivariate analysis to a
managable size.  How do we choose *where* and *which* values to exclude?  Is
logical positivism really completely objective or does it wrongly assume
things like, women who cry are not good scientists?  Is intuition bad or are
some scientists in possession of data that they are just not yet able to
quantify or verbalize?
>>Many institutions ARE making such shifts
>>to value many of those feminine traits/values which have for centuries been
>What traits are those?  What values?  It seems to me that it has never been
>the qualities (real or imagined) of women that were discounted, but rather
>women were forcibly excluded a priori and every imaginable reason (including
>those sacred-cow "traits") was sought to justify that exclusion.
Some of the *imagined* values have been, that women are "too emotional" or
not objective enough to be scientists or that, they're just in college to
get that Mrs. degree.  In the social sciences, the emerging school of
naturalistic inquiry is questioning whether it is ever possible to be 100%
objective about any research; how does one quantify loyalty or intention or
concern for human subjects?
My base point is, that women should be free to become more assertive (or
aggressive) to become successful, but they shouldn't HAVE TO become more
like men to be allowed into the game and they shouldn't have survive
extra scruitiny or harrassment just to survive.  Sure it's a competitive
world out there and men harrass each other all the time, but shooting holes
in another's research or attacking their personality (display of emotions)
doesn't necessisarily mean that the most aggressive person's research is
on the right track.  People with the power have been guarding it forever
and they often use pointless attacks on the new person's personality,
gender, demeanor, skin color, cranial size, etc. etc. adinfinituum to
keep the power.  Including such hair splitting as, you're being too
emotional, you're being too assertive, you're being a b___h, etc.  It's a
smoke screen to confuse the real issues.
Sorry to be so long winded, but I think we probably have more points of
agreement than disagreement, however, I have real problems with *educa-
tional institutions* that put more effort into weeding people OUT, than
into actually educating people.  The senior professor who works his/her
G.A.s into the ground to publish his/her research, with the assumption
that the student will ferret out something of value from the experience
is a new and growing issue for those who study education.
Opinions expressed by the Mikester are never intended to represent the
views of Texas A&M University, the TAMU Office of Residence Life, the
TAMU Residence Hall Association, the TAMU Department of Student Affairs
or any other living creature.
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