Skepchick Quickies, 2.24


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. ” ‘When I first enrolled in college [my mother] was opposed for me taking computer science as a major,’ [Sandra Guo] recalled. ‘She said I’d never find a boyfriend.’ ”

    Man, do these mothers not know the girl-guy ratio in science majors? Guys in my major pretty much left me alone (we all spent too much time together – very few of the women had boyfriends in the department, though flirting was thick in the air), but on campus, I was apparently known as “The Hot Geology Chick”. This I found out from a former classmate of mine, who said when guys found out he was a Geology major, asked if they knew me. (He said he kept many of them at bay because they weren’t worthy of me – I still love that boy :D )

    I only had one or two guys I’d actually call boyfriends during my time in undergrad (and they never really lasted too long), but I sure as hell never lacked for male attention. Especially in the corollary science classes – we shared a building with Physics and several of them constantly hit on me.

    Mothers of the world – wake up and smell the coffee! Your daughter is likely to get a nice, scientist boyfriend who has a wicked-streak a mile wide but will love her to pieces and support her in her professional career. What other kind of boyfriend do you want for her?

  2. @Chasmosaur: You’re right about the ratio, but the other factors vary. I was one of two female computer science majors at my college and most of the guys just seemed weirded out by me. Of course, maybe it was just me, but I didn’t have the same reactions from other guys. Also, honestly, I think that, culturally speaking, there’s often a difference between typical general science personalities and typical computer science personalities.

  3. “God gap”? Of course a roomful of 32 theists patting each other on the back are going to come to the conclusion that secularism causes sectarian violence.

    Would that same think tank agree if I were to say our fundamentalist capitalist policies create great resentment amongst all the socialist, tribalist regions and we need to immediately address them on the basis of our shared agrarian economic roots?

  4. @scribe999:

    Scribe. When I submitted the link to the article, I also submitted the link to the actual paper.


    Their points are not that we need to become a theocracy, but that religion is an undeniable fact of life. To ignore it because the West is generally more secular (or at least more pan-religious) is foolish. Religion should be a part of international policy. Can’t say I disagree with that – I don’t agree with many world religions, but they are a huge part of why shit happens.

  5. @Chasmosaur: You know, honestly? I don’t care about the ratio.

    I’d rather parents and people in general stop caring so much about women finding A Man. Ugh. Finding A Boyfriend is NOT the most important thing most college-aged young women should be worried about!

  6. so depressed by the lack of critical thinking in so many of the comments on the chinese medicine article.

  7. @marilove: Thirded. Articles or discussions over “geek girls” always seem to put the OMG men love them aspect first. Really it’s a further turn off for girls to go into these areas since who wants to feel like they’re being oggled all the time. (I’m getting a PhD in IT so yes this aspect annoys the hell out of me).

    Also the Chinese medicine article is interesting. Apparently my face is broken because I’ve been sick all week from a food allergy that upsets my intestines. Face is clear and looking fine though :)

  8. Re TCM and your face. I have my own system:
    Mouth: If the corners of your mouth are turned down, you may be sad. Are there any emotional stresses in your life that are causing this? You may want to watch a comedy or use one of my other “de-saddening” tools.
    Nose: Is there any yellow or green discharge coming from your nose? This may be a viral rhinitis. A week of detoxification with my herbal teas will correct it. Please visit my website.
    Eyes: Is there a clear fluid coming from your eyes? If so, you may be in pain. If there is a red fluid coming from your eyes, you should go to the emergency room, or at least an ophthalmologist.
    Finally, if any of these signs are accompanied by dizziness, chest pain, or numbness or tingling in your left arm, they could be signs of a heart attack. See your cardiologist.

  9. @Siveambrai:

    Articles or discussions over “geek girls” always seem to put the OMG men love them aspect first.

    Dontcha know, you can’t discuss young girls or women without first mentioning how sexually attractive they are?!

    I didn’t think my first comment went through…lol. I blame the DayQuil.

  10. @Chasmosaur: It’s just getting really, really old that, whenever this kind of subject comes up, the first thing everyone talks about is how easy or not-easy it will be for a woman to find a man in whatever field it is they decide to study.

  11. While it doesn’t exactly pertain to the comments you all have made re: Edu vs. Lurve, I know that If I could go back I would concentrate more on school work than trying to find my One True Love at 19 years old. I’d punch 19 year old me in the face real quick if I could, yell “Concentrate, you idiot!” and then I’d hop back into my DeLorean.

  12. @marilove: @Chasmosaur: You know, after reading through all the comments, it did occur to me that many years later, the guy I did fall (and am currently) in love with is a computer programmer. I didn’t plan it that way, though. :)

  13. Hmm… now I have to decide if I’ll buy the Computer Engineer Barbie, since I voted for her (yes, I’m a grown woman who plays with dolls).

    As a computer tech who wears contacts & glasses, I can’t decide if I should identify more with the Barbie, or be insulted that they went with the stereotypical be-spectacled geek. At least they are a cute shape, even if they are Barbie pink!

    Oops, edited to link to the Barbie: http://www.barbie.com/vote/

  14. Religion needs to be a bigger part of our foreign policy? Most of the Middle eastern countries have done so with their foreign policy towards Israel, and see how that has turned out. There are many more examples, but I’ll leave those for another time.

  15. @Siveambrai: And then after a career has been decided upon, the emphasis is how easily you can raise a family. When I started my clinical year in medical school, still wide eyed and excited that I could do anything, I was operating with a surgeon who kept telling me which careers I should choose- pediatrician, dermatologist or radiologist- so that I could stay at home and raise children. He then started teaching me a stitch called the snare technique and said, “this is the snare- you should learn this and use it to snare a man and get him to marry you.” I was very calm when I told him that I was interested in learning surgical skills, not how to live my life as a woman. He immediately started pimping me. Sigh.

  16. @marilove: That’s the truth right there (double truth for it being worse on women). Although having agreed with you, I am lucky enough to have found NOT my One True Loveâ„¢ (because it’s a silly concept), BUT my Best Friend Who I Happen To Be Head Over Heels In Love Withâ„¢
    And she would absolutely agree with you. It’s a wonder she married me :)

  17. @Skept-artist: I know someone who found his Two True Loves! (He’s married to a woman and also has a long-term gay male partner. The three of them bought a house together (they had to write a letter “explaining” why three adults wanted to buy a house together, and they had to fudge a bit…lol.)

    I think our society focuses too much on traditional monogamy and such in general, but that’s waaaay off topic. ;)

  18. @marilove:
    “(they had to write a letter “explaining” why three adults wanted to buy a house together, and they had to fudge a bit…lol.) ”

    Dear Mortgage Company:
    None of your effing business. We have the money and credit history to qualify, yes or no? The rest is BS.

  19. God gap? My head just exploded. Now I have to feel around for all the little bits and glue it back together. I’m glad I know how to touch type. Now where the hell are my eyes?

  20. @Skulleigh: I don’t know if it was the mortgage company, actually; I think it was to the HOA in the community their house is in! I’m not 100% though, it was several years ago. I just remember my friend saying, “Jon is our “family friend” *SNORKLE*”.

  21. @Marilove: Ha! True, it would be way off topic, but that’s okay. The threadjack is my fault anyway because of my time travel beat down fantasy comment :)
    I have a friend who was planning on one day entering into a sceanrio similar to your friends. Didn’t work out that way for her (not to her regret happily), but still, it makes one think of all the possiblilities available.
    Okay, enough of my threadjacking. Apologies.

  22. @marilove:

    Of course it’s getting old.

    It was old when I got twenty gazillion rounds of “what’s a pretty girl like you doing in a profession like this?”…with both professions.

    It was annoying when I was doing an ESA (that would be Environmental Site Assessment) on a fabulous house in NW Washington and the realtor – an older woman who lived in the neighborhood – told me I was entirely too pretty to be working and she could introduce me to some nice wealthy men.

    I’d go to Internet developer user groups in the mid-late 90’s and I could see the men (grown, adult men), looking at me and whispering. The day I won a little group competition on who could build the most useful XSL application was when they finally talked to me like a peer. The app was small but effective and they forgot to remember I was a girl in asking me to dissect it for them.

    These are deeply set cultural norms. It’s gonna take ages to get over them. And the only way we do is by just ignoring them and doing what we do brilliantly. If we bitch about them (legitimately or not), then we’re just being sensitive or PMSing or whatever. (Okay, egregious sexism? I’ve been known to threaten bodily harm. I like men and treat the family jewels with respect, but threatening them seems to be the only way to get some sleazeballs to back off. Sorry reasonable men, but it’s true.)

    Am I pissed off? Sure. But throwing tantrums does nothing except opening the door for someone to say you’re hysterical and then anything legitimate you say is discounted.

    I have got a REALLY bad temper (on an archaeological dig? I threw a trowel at a guy so hard it stuck in his shin – no one blamed me, so that tells you what a !@#$%^&* he was). But I’ve learned just doing my shit, doing it well, and well chosen words work better than raging for advancing my agenda.

    Raging I save for the gym. Good sublimation.

  23. “You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security.”

    National security involves politics? I had no idea.

  24. The authors of the “God Gap” article are nearly at the right idea, but they do not go far enough and thus fail to see the larger picture. The problem is not simply failing to address god(s) in foreign policy, but rather the typical American fashion of forgetting to take into consideration how other cultures see the world.

  25. @Chasmosaur: ” I like men and treat the family jewels with respect, but threatening them seems to be the only way to get some sleazeballs to back off. Sorry reasonable men, but it’s true.”

    No apology neccesary. As a reasonable guy I’ve never had a woman threaten my jewels.

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