good climate

DK dkat at psych1.psy.sunysb.edu
Fri Jun 21 01:15:06 EST 1996


system at niuhep.physics.niu.edu wrote:

>> How does my
>>saying to a young woman that in twenty years she isn't going to fall
>>over backwards to please someone going to help her now?  

>Eh?  Telling a young woman that you think she is getting
>walked over and that she needs to learn how to assert* herself if
>she wants to be successful seems like a reasonable thing to do.
>It might get her thinking, she might not like your telling her that
>but it might just stick in her mind and a year or so down the road
>(as opposed to 5 or 20 years down the road) she might figure it out.

I am not saying we should not give as much encouragment and training
as possible to young women.  I'm referring to a change that occurs
with time to all individuals which can only happen with age.  When I
was young it seemed a negative and sad characteristic that "older"
people were so much "harder" and felt things with such less passion.
It is difficult to tell any young person that what seems to crush
their ego now is something that will slide over them like water on a
duck once they "age" a bit.  It certainly is not going to really keep
them from suffering bruises.  I agree with you that the males in this
culture are encourages to be agressive in order to get their pats on
the back and females are encouraged to be accommodating for theirs.
I suspect that we all go after brownie points in one way or another
throughout our life.  The difference is probably how much we give them
to ourselves rather than expecting them only from others.  I thiink
all people (male or female) in the field need proper training on how
to "present" themselves.  I have to keep reminding myself that not
that much time has passed since the 50's when college for a woman was
explicitly meant as a place to find a "good" husband and that  I
should not expect the women coming into field to be free of all the
1950's type "training" that is not suitable for being competitive in
the field today.  DK

>*I can be quite aggressive in USENET arguements, I am very assertive
>when somebody bigger than I steps on my toes.  
>There is a very real difference. Aside from telling you 
>to look in a dictionary I can't do much better to define that difference.

Have I been insulted?  I'm a bit slow on subtlety.

>>I do not believe that you can change the institution or graduate
>>school.  What can you do short of having female only colleges?  You
>>cannot say males and females get equal speaking time or a recording
>>will be kept and if you plagairize someone else's comments, you will
>>be penalized!  

>During the meeting: "Well, Gina, what do you think of Tom's spin
>on your idea?" or "Excuse me, I was trying to listen to what
>Tina was saying" (feel free to insert male names if they are being
>steamrolled)

Yep, absolutely right.  But what if there is no one there to speak for
the one being walked on?

>After the meeting: "You need to come up with stratigies for making
>sure your ideas are acknowledged..."

>>What very much needs to be done is to reach females in
>>grade school on up and teach them that they are worthy on their own,
>>not just as someones mate or daughter.  

>I am very much in agreement with you here.

>>One idea that might work is that at any group gathering if women are
>>not being listened to, they might group together and discuss the
>>issues amoung themselves. 

You don't think that in a group meeting if part of the group made an
obvious continuation of the original speakers idea with her and
ignored the other speaker that this would not be noticed or that it
would and be frowned upon? 

>bad idea IMHO.

After reading this, what does concern me is I said "women group
together".  I still find it difficult to believe that any University
has such sexism amoung all it's members that the females are forced to
band together for protection.  I know a senior female professor that
comes closer to being misogynistic than any male faculty member I've
ever known.  I also know several male professors that have been
excellant mentors for female students.  Generalizing is a deadly game.
Overgeneralizing is a trap we all fall into.

DK

>>I'll be you anything you like that the
>>males in the group will then want to know what they are saying.  

>I'm not so sure.

>>If
>>they are being talked over turn to one another and continue the
>>discussion.   

>Now this I can agree with.

>>DK

>Robert





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