female scientists

N018GH at tamvm1.tamu.edu N018GH at tamvm1.tamu.edu
Fri Jul 30 17:41:18 EST 1993

In article <23c4scINN8ml at MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDU>
smith-una at yale.edu (Una Smith) writes:
>I wrote, about an undergraduate woman complaining that not enough women
>were speakers at a professional meeting:
>>The organizer answered that he'd done his best, and he had also tried to
>>give all the session coordinating jobs to women.  Well, that *really*
>>soured the experience for me.  I thought I'd been asked to do the job
>>because he knew me and respected my social skills, *not* because he wanted
>>to be politically correct for his students.
>In fact, I am confident that he did invite me because he respects my
>ability.  Thus conceding to the undergraduate that he had stacked the
>decks was in part a *lie*, one that comforted her at my expense.
>Was it a necessary lie?  I think not.
>It seems highly counter-productive to enlist women for professional
>meetings, and then *explicitly state* that those women were asked
>because they are women, not due to merit.  This is an true statement
>*only* if the women in question *do not* merit the invitations they
wreceived.  This is not what the women's movement is all about, is it?
aThe *simulation* of equality is *not* equality.
I guess I missed something, was the qualifier "....not due to merit."
ever used in the initial story?  Maybe we have a self-confidence issue
here which is being magnified by like-believers?
>In my opinion, affirmative action is *not* a good thing in general,
>and it is certainly *not* a good thing for its recipients, who may or
>may not *need* the help, to be branded with a big letter "A".
>      Una Smith      Department of Biology       smith-una at yale.edu
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?  Certainly, those who go
beyond strict comparison of talents to consider gender, race, etc. need to
be more discrete for obvious reasons, however, to make up for many many
years of croni-ism, some type of affirmative action needs to be in place.
This is not to say that there are not qualified females or other *target*
(as opposed to the term "minority" as used by the author Janet Helms) groups
available, but that the institution (whatever institution) is making a
conscious shift in its values.  Many institutions ARE making such shifts
to value many of those feminine traits/values which have for centuries been
discounted.  Isn't this better than saying that all scientists should become
as anal retentive as many of the men/women/people who have been occupying
the top posts for many decades?

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