Women in Science poll responses

Linnea Ista lkista at UNM.EDU
Tue Sep 24 12:04:49 EST 1996

On Tue, 24 Sep 1996, S L Forsburg wrote:

> JuneKK wrote:
> > 
> > Dear Colleagues,
> > Not too long ago, I posted some poll questions in this internet group.
> > Replies were used to write a newsletter article for an organization called
> > Women in Neuroscience. 
> > 
> ....report deleted....
> Thanks for posting this interesting article, June.
> One thing that strikes me is that there is a clear division
> between a relatively large group who  see some problems, and a
>  steady about 25% who don't.  Did you collect any data about the 
> ages/stages of the respondents?  My hypothesis would be that the 
> younger women are more likely to feel that they have not suffered
> discrimination.  I think that reflects that the doors are now
> open at the student and postdoc level; about 50% of grad students and
> postdocs that I see are likely to be women.  I also think that
> reflects a lot of discussion on this group.
> Comments?

I think that also you experience it less as an undergrad. I know I 
thought things were fine and dandy until I got into grad school. In 
college one tends to pick the people with whom one spends the majority of 
the time. The guy who is a real jerk in your organic chemistry lab 
doesn't seem like that big of a deal. When he is a fellow student or 
a postdoc in  your grad school laboratory, suddenly it is a big deal and 
something that must 
be confronted. Also I know I was not sure what offensive behavior I had 
to accept and what I didn't. I had a professor at one school that would 
routinely pat me on the head, literally. I am short and it bothered me, 
but it was not until an older woman (I mean older than I was) pointed out 
that I did most emphatically not have to take this  that I did anything 
about it.

I also noticed this when I taught a course on women and the culture of 
science. There was one young woman who just did not understand why people 
got upset about the "little things" being called "girls" when your male 
colleagues are refered to as "men" for example. She thought we should 
all  just get along. I kept myself from getting upset with her by 
remembering I felt much the same at her age.

Well, I meant to add my $0.02 and it seems that it has been more like 
$1.50, so I will end this.

Thanks for listening,

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