Women in science, it's patronising

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limetang
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We have bodies like athena swan that are there to promote "Women in science". I've got to be honest, from where I'm sitting it seems like these organisations are entirely unhelpful to female scientists. By making a big deal about it when a woman progresses in science, or by giving extra help or praise to women who excel in science as far as I can see you basically patronise women. We create a culture that instead of viewing women succeeding in science as being something normal, we see it as something bizarre that only a select few women can do.

I currently work along side many incredibly talented female scientists and the thing is I've never once thought it was strange that they were talented female scientists. The only time I've ever thought anything negative about it is in the situations where people have made a big deal that there are talented women in science.

To summarise, it's patronising to make a big deal about women in science instead of viewing it is something norma, and as far as I'm concerned things like the Athena Swan charter are ultimately more damaging to women than they are helpful.
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Serine Soul
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I get what you mean. Today in tutorial my tutor showed me a website that supports women in science etc.

I guess their main objective is to try and make more women enter science as a career.
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HigherMinion
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(Original post by enaayrah)
I get what you mean. Today in tutorial my tutor showed me a website that supports women in science etc.

I guess their main objective is to try and make more women enter science as a career.
Women should not feel pressured or even encouraged into fields their nature clearly tells them no. Most science is monotonous research anyway, why the incentive to push certain demographics into these research fields?
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Serine Soul
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(Original post by HigherMinion)
Women should not feel pressured or even encouraged into fields their nature clearly tells them no. Most science is monotonous research anyway, why the incentive to push certain demographics into these research fields?
Your first sentence belongs in the 19th century- get with the times.

And most science isn't monotonous research, there are always problems in the world that need to be solved with science.
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HigherMinion
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(Original post by enaayrah)
Your first sentence belongs in the 19th century- get with the times.

And most science isn't monotonous research, there are always problems in the world that need to be solved with science.
What times are these, dear lady? The century that science got the touch of female intuition?
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ilem
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Yes it's highly patronising and shouldn't be done.
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vanillapod
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i definitely see what you mean, but maybe these organisations arise because statistically a lower proportion of women go into science?

But ye, equality! in every way!
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Serine Soul
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(Original post by HigherMinion)
What times are these, dear lady? The century that science got the touch of female intuition?
Well, what's wrong with female intuition?
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reallydontknow
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(Original post by vanillapod)
i definitely see what you mean, but maybe these organisations arise because statistically a lower proportion of women go into science?

But ye, equality! in every way!
Statistically less women are binmen.

Let's promote wen getting into trash collecting Hey :rolleyes:

If there aren't that many it's usually cos they don't want to be cos they prefer something else.

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ilem
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(Original post by Gorthaur)
Anyone should be encouraged into fields that they want to be in. There are huge numbers of female scientists, who excel at what they are doing, and their 'nature' has clearly never 'told them no' to pursue a scientific path. Also no, science is not just monotonous research, for those truly engaging in it at top institutions it is an extremely rewarding activity (though at times obviously some motivation may be lost).

Though I am also annoyed by all the campaigns to get more 'women in science', I disagree with your claim that it's not women's 'nature' or whatever. Take a look at biomedical sciences - the majority is female and there were never any campaigns for that.

In fact, science does not fit the 'nature' of the vast majority of the entire population of Earth. If you take the percentage of scientists, you'll find out that it will be a very tiny number. Male, female, whatever inbetween - doesn't matter. Anyone who has abilities and interest for scientific research should be believed in and encouraged, since there is now a shortage of good scientists and engineers.
I wouldn't bother arguing with that pillock if I were you mate. He's the guy who posted the thread about how women shouldn't be allowed to vote.
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vanillapod
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(Original post by reallydontknow)
Statistically less women are binmen.

Let's promote wen getting into trash collecting Hey :rolleyes:

If there aren't that many it's usually cos they don't want to be cos they prefer something else.

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Ye, but organisations aren't as simple as that LOL a lot of these scientific organisations have these new initiatives because they're linked with funding initiatives. I don't know if anyone would sponsor a bin woman ...
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HigherMinion
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(Original post by Gorthaur)
Anyone should be encouraged into fields that they want to be in. There are huge numbers of female scientists, who excel at what they are doing, and their 'nature' has clearly never 'told them no' to pursue a scientific path. Also no, science is not just monotonous research, for those truly engaging in it at top institutions it is an extremely rewarding activity (though at times obviously some motivation may be lost).

Though I am also annoyed by all the campaigns to get more 'women in science', I disagree with your claim that it's not women's 'nature' or whatever. Take a look at biomedical sciences - the majority is female and there were never any campaigns for that.

In fact, science does not fit the 'nature' of the vast majority of the entire population of Earth. If you take the percentage of scientists, you'll find out that it will be a very tiny number. Male, female, whatever inbetween - doesn't matter. Anyone who has abilities and interest for scientific research should be believed in and encouraged, since there is now a shortage of good scientists and engineers.
I'd agree with this. I didn't mean to say we should tell women as a whole they cannot enter the sciences. It just shouldn't be forced upon them just because it's not a 50/50 split, and egalitarians are desperate to make it so. They want a well-oiled machine, kind of like a German dictator we all learn about wanted.
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HigherMinion
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(Original post by ilem)
I wouldn't bother arguing with that pillock if I were you mate. He's the guy who posted the thread about how women shouldn't be allowed to vote.
oi. Notice how there was no argument. Women in sciences vs. voting rights are two completely different topics.
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Drewski
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I'd agree with this. I didn't mean to say we should tell women as a whole they cannot enter the sciences. It just shouldn't be forced upon them just because it's not a 50/50 split, and egalitarians are desperate to make it so. They want a well-oiled machine, kind of like a German dictator we all learn about wanted.
Godwin's law within 14 posts on a "women in science" thread, that's got to be some kind of idiot award...
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interstitial
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encourage get girls into science - its so patronising we don't need to be talked down to, if we want to do science we will cos we are strong independent women who don't need no man

don't do anything about it - there's not enough girls in science and no ones doing anything about it, it must the patriarchy and those horrible misogynists with their dirty male privilege!!111

derp

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emanueladiana
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Tbh although I see the point of the scholarships for women in science, and even the extra appraisal (to get the media's attention most likely, I don't thing they try to be patronizing), I'm applying just for the money. Maybe more bursaries for people that need them regardless of gender or nationality? Those money are a bit insulting anyway, they transmit the idea that we can be 'persuaded' by them to go for a specific career.
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limetang
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(Original post by vanillapod)
i definitely see what you mean, but maybe these organisations arise because statistically a lower proportion of women go into science?

But ye, equality! in every way!
I mean, I know why these organisations exist, but we do have to wonder if this methodology is fair or even a good idea. Now, I'm all for removing barriers that may exist that may prevent women from thinking about science as a career, but to my mind these organisations go further than that principally because their focus is "women in science" rather than "equal opportunities in science". By putting substantially more time and resources into encouraging women to go into science it seems you risk doing something quite damaging to women in science. By employing this incredibly patronising approach you risk re-creating an issue of gender equality within the system. When it's known that women receive more help to enter science than men, you risk creating a system where men may think that their female counterparts are inferior to them, because they haven't had to work as hard.

This as a practical downside to what I see as the patronising nature of the goal to "encourage women into science".
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username1560589
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(Original post by limetang)
We have bodies like athena swan that are there to promote "Women in science". I've got to be honest, from where I'm sitting it seems like these organisations are entirely unhelpful to female scientists. By making a big deal about it when a woman progresses in science, or by giving extra help or praise to women who excel in science as far as I can see you basically patronise women. We create a culture that instead of viewing women succeeding in science as being something normal, we see it as something bizarre that only a select few women can do.

I currently work along side many incredibly talented female scientists and the thing is I've never once thought it was strange that they were talented female scientists. The only time I've ever thought anything negative about it is in the situations where people have made a big deal that there are talented women in science.

To summarise, it's patronising to make a big deal about women in science instead of viewing it is something norma, and as far as I'm concerned things like the Athena Swan charter are ultimately more damaging to women than they are helpful.
I agree completely. Women shouldn't be more encouraged or discouraged to enter science than men. They should choose it based on how good they are at it and how much they enjoy it.
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caravaggio2
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I disagree. We will never have equality in employment without quotas. Quotas are the way forward.
Without quotas there will never be equal gender numbers working the black stuff, roofing in July, window cleaning in January or down sewers all year round. Bring in quotas and women will naturally free themselves from the shackles on their keyboards in the air conditioned he'll holes.
Never again will they be forced to work 10 steps from a kettle a water cooler or a toilet.
Quotas, I'm tellin yer.
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King Boo
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Not only is it patronising, I find it sexist that the loreal women in science award only rewards female scientists. Could you imagine the outrage if a male award scheme was set up!
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