lack of posts

forsburg at molbiol.ox.ac.uk forsburg at molbiol.ox.ac.uk
Wed Jul 21 02:51:32 EST 1993


In article <1993Jul20.200629.4742 at msus1.msus.edu>, skluz at mhd1.moorhead.msus.edu (Erika Skluzacek) writes:
> In article <CAHB4A.5w3 at news.cis.umn.edu> diqui at lenti.med.umn.edu (Diqui LaPenta) writes:
> 
>>be a good starting place for a discussion here.  Many of us women have the
>>unfortunate tendency to lessen the impact of our statements/ beliefs/opinions
>>with just such belittling comments (I'm as guilty as anyone else).
>>
>>"I don't know if this is right, but..."
>>"I could be wrong, but..."
>>"I think that maybe..."
>>
>>These are not statements that indicate confidence in one's own knowledge, and
>>I hear myself and too many female colleagues use them over and over. How can
>>we go about changing this, so that we feel more confident expressing ourselves
>>in groups? How can we be taken seriously, if we don't appear to take ourselves
>>seriously?  I don't expect that there is any one answer to this, but I'd be
>>interested in hearing what others have to say.
>>
> 
> I think that the problem is not our confidence in our own knowledge (at
> least, not entirely) but our confidence in ourselves, in general.  I know
> I, personally, am quite deficient in the self-confidence area and that
> tends to make me a little shy about speaking up with my thoughts and ideas
> because that would make people notice me and, of course, if they notice
> me they will instantly notice my abundant faults. 


As we've said before in this forum and elsewhere:
there is a tendency for women to be ignored in discussion
	which belittles their potential for contribution
an assertive, confident woman is viewed as aggressive and
	bitchy, which puts her off contributing
when you are treated as though your opinion is worth less,
	it begins to affect your view of your own ability
self confidence is hard to instill and harder to project
	
and, as we've said before, this is a societal problem,
not just an academic one.  Until we change the views
and behaviours of our culture, we'll continue to face
these difficulties.  

Anyone who thought that everything was solved once we
gained access to the academy, think again.  if women
tend to be more objective, neutral, and cautious,
why is that a problem?  Because the structure of
the profession views it as one!  This isnt
an easy thing to change, and it will take time as
it depends on the turnover of a whole generation at
the top.  And it takes us a while to get there....;-)

I could go on about how women are still  expected to
show far more dedication to their work than men--almost
a religious devotion--to be taken seriously as scientists,
but I'll let someone else pick that up.

Finally guys, I could do without the "helpful" email messages
that often follow my posts here, telling me how to be more
like a man, okay?  

susan
forsburg at molbiol.ox.ac.uk



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