female scientists

Leslie Kay lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu
Wed Jul 28 18:02:50 EST 1993


In article <9307281340.AA07213 at net.bio.net> tara at CHIMERA.HGEN.PITT.EDU (Tara Cox Matise) writes:
>I'm curious whether its just me - has anyone else noticed that many
>professional female scientists seem to be stand-offish? 

I think that this may tie in with the "conference demeanor" thread.
I have found that one of the options for dealing with 1) unwanted
personal attention from male colleagues or 2) not being taken seriously
as a scientist, is to adopt an ultra-professional attitude, which
can be taken as unfriendly, and in my case sometimes is.  I think it 
might also stem from our training that only the exceptional woman is 
accepted, and along with this, that only one of us can get accepted.
I know I find myself sometimes thinking that other women are not
smart or interesting, having taken in hook, line, and sinker the
sexism in our culture.  Thank goodness I have begun to let go of
this "internalized sexism."  So, this is the set of reasons which
I have come up with, because it is something that has affected me
from both ends.  I'm not sure if they apply to other women or just
myself and a couple of friends.  (Here I am not resorting to the
"this is just my opinion" line, but really I do not pretend to know
what drives other people's behavior.)

Leslie



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