Una Smith smith-una at
Sat Jul 31 10:23:05 EST 1993

Laura wrote:

>It _is_ true that if you're meek you get walked on and if you're agressive
>(in the good sense of the word, not in the abuse sense that you demonstrated
>so well) you get called "difficult" or a "bitch" [...]

I don't know why you think I was abusive.  I guess I hit a nerve with you.

But you missed my point entirely.  My point was:  *so what* if you are
"difficult"?!  That is part of having a mind of your own, and telling
others where it leads you.  Yes, women-in-bio is useful in that it lets
women see that other women, and men, face the same problems as they do.
But that's a pretty minor utility for a potentially powerful global tool.
I would consider it a wasted opportunity if I went to an international
scientific meeting and all anyone would talk about was how life is unfair. 

>Maybe they're getting along fine in life and science and don't need to be
>as angry as you.  Maybe they don't need to computer network right now. [...]

Clearly some women *do* need to network via computer, since "they" do it
all the time right here.  I am not the "angry" one here, by the way:  you
are.  I don't have a problem with women complaining about the raw deals
they get (or think they get), but I have to wonder why complaints are so
often the *only* contribution many women ever make in public in bionet.*.

I'm not flaming anyone for complaining, but for doing nothing else.  Any
woman who thinks she can dump her anger and distress onto hundreds of other
people and receive understanding sympathy, encouragement, and advice,
but who isn't willing to make the extra effort to "pay back" the bionet.*
community is a *parasite*.  I don't think it is sufficient to pass on the 
sympathy and advice to other women.  Women's support groups are available
on every university campus and in every city, but there is only one women-
in-bio newsgroup, so why are you using this expensive, unique, potentially
invaluable *global* resource to air such pedestrian complaints? 

You are fortunate to have this resource, and arguably you have the right
to use it as you see fit.  But with that right comes the *obligation* to
put back *more* than you take.  The world is watching to see what you do.


      Una Smith      Department of Biology       smith-una at
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511

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