Getting Heard, get on with it

Bart Janssen bjanssen at
Mon Jan 29 10:52:02 EST 1996

In article <4eecad$8im at>, Sarah L. Pallas
<spallas at> wrote:

> Another interesting topic would be:  why do female scientists need to
> adopt 'male' ways of speaking, etc., to get heard, why can't the men
> learn to hear us just as we've learned to hear them?

Because (inject heavy sarcasm) a good idea can't possibly come from a
woman's mouth or head.  

A crude way of putting the hypothesis that as yet our culture still trains
men to ignore women.  By the way, it seems that this cultural phenomenon
is worldwide.  As far as I know the men who do ignore women fall into two
basic classes, those who don't care that they are ignoring women and will
never change their attitudes even if the woman changes the way she
presents her ideas, and those who don't realise what they are doing.  I
fell into the latter category on occassion, but hopefully I don't any
more.  The solution for this latter category is to point out the
phenomenon to them, once you start looking for occurances it almost
becomes a game to spot men rephrasing a woman's suggestion:).  If you're
lucky, this latter category of men can then become allies.

As to why and how we train our males to ignore women, I don't know the
answer to that.  The fact that it exists across several different cultures
suggests a fundemental aspect of child rearing, or worse an inherited

It would be sad if men and women had to sound the same in order for women
to be heard.  In general, I find that the women in science tend to do
things and say things slightly differently from men.  That difference can
in itself stimulate ideas and discussion to the benefit of all concerned.


More information about the Womenbio mailing list