Skepchick Quickies, 11.7


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. In other news, the judges for Olympic boxing will now be rich noblemen who will choose the winner based on how pretty she is when she fights.

    The winner will then be crowned and taken away from all that boxing so she never has to fight again (or do math).

  2. “AIBA suggested to its national federations last year that wearing skirts would help the women stand out from the men’s competitions.”

    …No shit? This is about on par with the LFL, and I’m certain that their uniform set them apart so much from the NFL that men watch them for the athleticism and skill involved and certainly not to gawk at scantily-clad women.

  3. The Olympic boxing story reminds me of a martial arts tournament I heard about. I do not think it was Olympic TKD (because they wear pads that would have made the suggestion even more ridiculous) but the organizers suggested the women competitors compete with only sports bras on their upper body instead of the traditional dobak (tunic) to increase spectator interest in the sport. They, however, did not require the men to be similarly shirtless.
    Some of the female competitors at these tournaments are girls under the age of 10. You gonna make then strip as well?

  4. Wow… why is that olympic thing even a question any more? I mean I remember seeing the same discussion about women in baseball on A League of Their Own. *head desk*

  5. I think it really sucks how there aren’t as many women graduating in the more physical & engineering sides of STEM.

    I have a personal feeling it’s because there’s a societal slant towards women NOT being in those fields and that in the younger years, there’s not a whole lot of encouragement by schools & communities towards young girls to investigate things like Software Development, Engineering, or Physics as a career path. I think there should certainly be more of this.

    1. As a woman in biology, I can say that as a high school student I was essentially told by an engineering school “not here.” I knew that I wanted to be in science, and at one point I thought maybe engineering was what I wanted to do. When I approached a table for The XXXXX School of Mines I was met with the most condescending representative that I have ever encountered. The way that I was spoken to, in the “oh, so you think you might like science, little girl?” sort of way completely turned me off. Maybe I should have been stronger and fought it, but I’m not sorry to be in biology. Not one little bit. It’s not easy, and it’s not a cop out. I love every minute of what I do.

      1. That’s terrible, but I assume it happens in all the time in both blatant and subtle ways from admins, family, and peers.

        Have any other women here experienced such discrimination as a result of examining a career in the TEM part of STEM?

        1. I work in technology, with a computer science background, and women in technology is my special area of interest. Personally, I haven’t experienced as much outright discrimination as much as I have seen the sort of subtle cultural pressures you described earlier. I think that’s even more dangerous, because it’s harder to fight.

  6. Even if that miniskirt suggestion was taken out of context, or exaggerated for effect by the media, it’s still a colossal WTBF* moment. What the fuck, Olympic Committee?!!

    *What The Buggering Fuck

  7. I thought about engineering, my grandfather was the one who really pushed me towards it, told me from infancy that I was bright enough to do it. Unfortunately, the vast majority of engineering majors were creepy men who enjoyed making suggestive comments about my boobs and butt, not to mention all the comments about being blonde. Nice Guy ™ run amok. The only women who seemed to do well in these majors were androgynous, and mostly sexless, I would imagine in self-defense. They didn’t really date, either. Quite frankly, I like people, and I like interacting with them. I never saw examples of careers that could combine that with a physics or engineering degree.

    1. Yet another example of how biases and uneven access to opportunities harms everyone. People who are good at engineering and also can relate well to other people, especially non-technical people, are rare and valuable members of many engineering groups. Discouraging women from engineering careers automatically cuts the number of such people in half. I think if you had continued with engineering, you may have eventually discovered your skills are more valuable than you thought. But there is no rational reason you should have to put up with so much nonsense to achieve this.

      I hope you have found or will find another career that suits you and that you enjoy.

      Logical fallacy time: All engineers are nerds. No true nerd would discourage nerdery in another nerd. Therefore the engineering students you knew were neither true engineers nor nerds. :-)

  8. “Young women, she says, don’t realize they are limiting their pay and job options by flocking to the same field.”

    Lines like this irk me. Yes, lower pay is a problem. Yes, limited jobs are a problem. However, I’m not keen on the implication that we’re supposed to choose paycheck over passion. If you go into the life sciences because it’s what you love, then yes, you should be warned of potential setbacks in the job market where they exist, but you shouldn’t feel forced to choose a secondary field or one you merely tolerate for the sake of competitive pay.

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