female scientists

S. A. Modena samodena at csemail.cropsci.ncsu.edu
Thu Jul 29 14:02:11 EST 1993

In article <2370iq$t3c at agate.berkeley.edu> lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu (Leslie Kay) writes:
>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.  

Perhaps, Leslie, you should outline for us what the *elements* of a female
ultra-professional attitutde consists of?  Then we all would be sure to
recognise what you are up to at the next meeting, and not take offense at
your "unfriendly" demeanor.

> .......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."  

The converse of this sexiem is that *all* women are intelligent and
interesting.  I can see the dark struggle that women (in general?) must be
going through:

	That woman is talking like an idiot: she bores me.

	Wait, that can't be! She's a professional woman, therefore she
	must be intelligent and interesting.

	No, I'm sure she is talking nonesense!

	Hold it: don't fall pray to this life-long cultural-sexism-training
	you are being victimized by.

	But ........

.....    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

As you said: you are victimizing people from *both* ends.

>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.)

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