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#61 DRT

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 07:44 PM

....so what were the guys doing while the women were engaged in such tedious computational tasks?


In the library??
Remember the time when researching a topic involved looking up the index of every journal in turn.

#62 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 03:28 AM

Wrong casandra - leelee's question were pure ad hominem - ignoring the question (for which data could have been offereed pro or con) and probing the nature of the questioner. Her comments were a whining demonstration of female chauvinism and no more justified than the opposite. I'll ask if leelee wouldn't rather be barefoot and pregnant and if she thinks women can compete in the lab and then suggest we all "lighten up" after the usual distaff outrage.

#63 casandra

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 09:10 AM

Wrong casandra - leelee's question were pure ad hominem - ignoring the question (for which data could have been offereed pro or con) and probing the nature of the questioner. Her comments were a whining demonstration of female chauvinism and no more justified than the opposite. I'll ask if leelee wouldn't rather be barefoot and pregnant and if she thinks women can compete in the lab and then suggest we all "lighten up" after the usual distaff outrage.

Hi George....if it's just probing/divining the other's intent- that's still not considered ad hom and esp not "pure"....it could even provide a backdrop for the discussion itself...besides, you also ignored her questions so would you admit committing the same fallacy...perhaps it would be better if you make clear your position on this and hence justify your asking her/us to prove that the women scientists had indeed contributed to the progress of science (or not, as also implied by your tone and line of questioning)...or are you one of these guys who's just interested in having an argument for the pure art of argumentation and not really on the position/side of the fence one is in?
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#64 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:58 AM

It's ad hominem as it questions motivation of the individual asking the question without addressing it in the least manner - as is your "one of those guys" who enjoys argument for argument sake.

Again - I asked for proof that the following was true.
"Science was able to make great progress in the 20th century because sexism ensured that at least half of its’ best and brightest talent was retained at the ‘lab bench’ where the useful work was done."

Seeing nothing but ad hominem responses from the distaff side, I'll close my participation in this discusion.

#65 casandra

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 08:57 PM

It's ad hominem as it questions motivation of the individual asking the question without addressing it in the least manner - as is your "one of those guys" who enjoys argument for argument sake.

Again - I asked for proof that the following was true.
"Science was able to make great progress in the 20th century because sexism ensured that at least half of its’ best and brightest talent was retained at the ‘lab bench’ where the useful work was done."

Seeing nothing but ad hominem responses from the distaff side, I'll close my participation in this discusion.

But what exactly was your participation, if I may ask, without being accused of resorting to ad hom :P...to ask us to prove what was not even claimed by any of us but was quoted from Bryson? And when leelee asked you questions in return
(just so you can clarify your position), you then refused on the ground that she used ad hom? And I had to google what "distaff" meant- really George...you're such a picky customer :)....this is not exactly to prove anything but it is an interesting read..a bit dated too but at least it has some stats that can be checked out...job discrimination.....there's something there about women in science and technology...
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#66 casandra

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 09:05 PM

....so what were the guys doing while the women were engaged in such tedious computational tasks?


In the library??
Remember the time when researching a topic involved looking up the index of every journal in turn.

:P hmmm...I bet they'd already discovered power naps at that time...or weren't they checking out the stars (as well as the "computers") plus all the catalogue numbers....
"Oh what a beauteousness!"
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#67 leelee

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

I'm not sure I understand why you are so upset that I didn't answer your question, GeorgeWolff. And in the interest of peace and in the hope that no hard feelings will be harboured I will again offer my apology if you feel my line of questioning was inappropriate.

In answer to your question about my personal life choices, no I would not rather be "barefoot and pregnant" as you so eloquently put it. But when the time comes for me to decide if I wish to start a family or not, I will make sure that I am working in an environment that recognises that I have a lot to offer to my lab and allows me the flexibility to be a parent whilst not having to give up my love of science.

And on a final note, yes I do think that women can compete in the lab, I don't think that gender even comes in to ones ability to do good science.

#68 pito

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:45 AM

I'm not sure I understand why you are so upset that I didn't answer your question, GeorgeWolff. And in the interest of peace and in the hope that no hard feelings will be harboured I will again offer my apology if you feel my line of questioning was inappropriate.

In answer to your question about my personal life choices, no I would not rather be "barefoot and pregnant" as you so eloquently put it. But when the time comes for me to decide if I wish to start a family or not, I will make sure that I am working in an environment that recognises that I have a lot to offer to my lab and allows me the flexibility to be a parent whilst not having to give up my love of science.

And on a final note, yes I do think that women can compete in the lab, I don't think that gender even comes in to ones ability to do good science.



To put some more oil in the fire of this discussion I have to ask you the following:

Is it possible that there are less women in science because they are less assertive?

I have noticed that a lot of women seem to be more shy , lacking the "bad ass" attitude and thus not being able to get far in research.

I ask this because during my school time I have noticed that a lot of the women of my class were affraid to ask teachers certain things or even during a practical course they didnt even dare to ask where certain equipment was etc...

what is is your opinion on this? (or any female opinion, reading this)

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#69 Doki

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:41 AM

Is it possible that there are less women in science because they are less assertive?


I would not agree to that. They also have inquisitive mind as much as men have just that the field of interest might be different.

Bigger question is : are there really less women in science?

Remembering my school/college days, they were as (or sometimes even more) attracted to science. Boys were more into Physics and Chemistry while girls more into Biology. Even in biology, girl only wanted Botany while boys preferred Zoology. Even the staff in my school reflected the same pattern. All the staffs in Botany were female (except one who was just there for something even he did not understand) and in zoology, all the teaching staffs were men.

I guess animal experiments keep them away from biomedical research. Botany forum should have more women.
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#70 pito

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:24 AM

Is it possible that there are less women in science because they are less assertive?


I would not agree to that. They also have inquisitive mind as much as men have just that the field of interest might be different.

Bigger question is : are there really less women in science?

Remembering my school/college days, they were as (or sometimes even more) attracted to science. Boys were more into Physics and Chemistry while girls more into Biology. Even in biology, girl only wanted Botany while boys preferred Zoology. Even the staff in my school reflected the same pattern. All the staffs in Botany were female (except one who was just there for something even he did not understand) and in zoology, all the teaching staffs were men.

I guess animal experiments keep them away from biomedical research. Botany forum should have more women.


Eum, my experiences do disagree with this.

you say that there are more women in botany? I went to a "botany" school ( dont know how to say this really, but it was a school specialised in botany) and all the staff were male! Ex 2 womens and one of that womens was specialised in cows lol
Another point: the studies to become a vet: almost all women! Especially in the small animals direction or the horses. Farming animals are more boys
During my schooltime and practical lessons I noticed often that girls were more affraid to ask things, they lacked a certain attitude to ask or do things.

Example on what I mean with missing a certain assertiveness: I was once working with a girl and she needed something , but didnt know where it was. I noticed that she wasnt working anymore, but just sitting there and I asked why she stopped and she said: I need this, but do not know where it is.
I simply stood up, went to a person that worked at the lab and asked him: where is this and .... he told me where it was and I gave it to the girl...
After a while, I asked why she didnt ask it herself and her answer was: I just waited till our supervisor passed by , so I could ask him. I do not know the other people here and do not want to disturb them.


I have plenty of examples like this. I used to ask teachters questions that the girls had , but didnt dare to ask.
And I have had this many times.
They never dared to open their mouth.


I am not saying they are worse in science or that they do not have a certain interest or whatever , but I am stating that a lot of women are more scared, less "agressive" and thus less likely to get somewhere.

I think if you do not dare to open your mouth sometimes you lose oppertunities.

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#71 LostintheLab

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:09 PM

Is it possible that there are less women in science because they are less assertive?


I would not agree to that. They also have inquisitive mind as much as men have just that the field of interest might be different.

Bigger question is : are there really less women in science?

Remembering my school/college days, they were as (or sometimes even more) attracted to science. Boys were more into Physics and Chemistry while girls more into Biology. Even in biology, girl only wanted Botany while boys preferred Zoology. Even the staff in my school reflected the same pattern. All the staffs in Botany were female (except one who was just there for something even he did not understand) and in zoology, all the teaching staffs were men.

I guess animal experiments keep them away from biomedical research. Botany forum should have more women.


Eum, my experiences do disagree with this.

you say that there are more women in botany? I went to a "botany" school ( dont know how to say this really, but it was a school specialised in botany) and all the staff were male! Ex 2 womens and one of that womens was specialised in cows lol
Another point: the studies to become a vet: almost all women! Especially in the small animals direction or the horses. Farming animals are more boys
During my schooltime and practical lessons I noticed often that girls were more affraid to ask things, they lacked a certain attitude to ask or do things.

Example on what I mean with missing a certain assertiveness: I was once working with a girl and she needed something , but didnt know where it was. I noticed that she wasnt working anymore, but just sitting there and I asked why she stopped and she said: I need this, but do not know where it is.
I simply stood up, went to a person that worked at the lab and asked him: where is this and .... he told me where it was and I gave it to the girl...
After a while, I asked why she didnt ask it herself and her answer was: I just waited till our supervisor passed by , so I could ask him. I do not know the other people here and do not want to disturb them.


I have plenty of examples like this. I used to ask teachters questions that the girls had , but didnt dare to ask.
And I have had this many times.
They never dared to open their mouth.


I am not saying they are worse in science or that they do not have a certain interest or whatever , but I am stating that a lot of women are more scared, less "agressive" and thus less likely to get somewhere.

I think if you do not dare to open your mouth sometimes you lose oppertunities.


I think its wrong to say that women are scared- that is you percieving that not speaking directly or being instantly assertive is a sign of fear. I can indentify with the situations you have described, but from the female perspective, however in my opinion it is not fear, it is deference and respect for others around. Often I can see that the supervisors are busy so I wait for a easier opportunity to approach people and ask for help, when I think that people are more likely to be positively responsive.
I can understand how this could be perceived as fear or being un-assertive, but that is perhaps from your "male" perspective. Psychologically men and women respond to circumstances differently and think differently. Maybe this is partly the issue here. How men and women see each other responding and behaving- as a man you are you more likely to remember someone or listen if they are being more assertive or aggressive in a positive way? Historically men had an advantage in gaining positions, but now those barriers are far less, but the psychological differences are acting as barriers now? what do you think?
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#72 casandra

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:01 PM

I think its wrong to say that women are scared- that is you percieving that not speaking directly or being instantly assertive is a sign of fear. I can indentify with the situations you have described, but from the female perspective, however in my opinion it is not fear, it is deference and respect for others around. Often I can see that the supervisors are busy so I wait for a easier opportunity to approach people and ask for help, when I think that people are more likely to be positively responsive.
I can understand how this could be perceived as fear or being un-assertive, but that is perhaps from your "male" perspective. Psychologically men and women respond to circumstances differently and think differently. Maybe this is partly the issue here. How men and women see each other responding and behaving- as a man you are you more likely to remember someone or listen if they are being more assertive or aggressive in a positive way? Historically men had an advantage in gaining positions, but now those barriers are far less, but the psychological differences are acting as barriers now? what do you think?

And I really wonder how people and esp guys would react if they are faced with such an assertive, aggressive or demanding woman? Would they be more inclined to help her out (if she needs any help) or would it be a turn-off? Would she have earned respect and admiration or instead provoke the raising of defense barriers? Would she be treated any differently since she doesn't fit the stereotypical image we have of how women shld behave?
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#73 leelee

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:31 PM

lacking the "bad ass" attitude and thus not being able to get far in research


a. None of the successful male scientists that I know personally have a "bad ass" attitude either. I don't think you have to be aggressive to get to where you want to be. I also think that women have to be a little more careful then men when they are being assertive as there is a tendency to see it as bitchiness, where in a man it would just be assertiveness.

b. plenty of women "get far" in research

less women in science

I disagree, in my department the majority of the 3rd years, honours and PhD students are female (although you do get a bit of fluctuation year to year with the undergrads, so I am speaking in general).
We have 7 main lab groups and 4 of these are run by women (2 of which have children).

Two recipients of Australian of the Year awards in recent years are female scientists (both of which have children, one actually has 5 or 6 kids!!), we have a new hospital being built in honour of one of them.

#74 pito

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:34 AM

Is it possible that there are less women in science because they are less assertive?


I would not agree to that. They also have inquisitive mind as much as men have just that the field of interest might be different.

Bigger question is : are there really less women in science?

Remembering my school/college days, they were as (or sometimes even more) attracted to science. Boys were more into Physics and Chemistry while girls more into Biology. Even in biology, girl only wanted Botany while boys preferred Zoology. Even the staff in my school reflected the same pattern. All the staffs in Botany were female (except one who was just there for something even he did not understand) and in zoology, all the teaching staffs were men.

I guess animal experiments keep them away from biomedical research. Botany forum should have more women.


Eum, my experiences do disagree with this.

you say that there are more women in botany? I went to a "botany" school ( dont know how to say this really, but it was a school specialised in botany) and all the staff were male! Ex 2 womens and one of that womens was specialised in cows lol
Another point: the studies to become a vet: almost all women! Especially in the small animals direction or the horses. Farming animals are more boys
During my schooltime and practical lessons I noticed often that girls were more affraid to ask things, they lacked a certain attitude to ask or do things.

Example on what I mean with missing a certain assertiveness: I was once working with a girl and she needed something , but didnt know where it was. I noticed that she wasnt working anymore, but just sitting there and I asked why she stopped and she said: I need this, but do not know where it is.
I simply stood up, went to a person that worked at the lab and asked him: where is this and .... he told me where it was and I gave it to the girl...
After a while, I asked why she didnt ask it herself and her answer was: I just waited till our supervisor passed by , so I could ask him. I do not know the other people here and do not want to disturb them.


I have plenty of examples like this. I used to ask teachters questions that the girls had , but didnt dare to ask.
And I have had this many times.
They never dared to open their mouth.


I am not saying they are worse in science or that they do not have a certain interest or whatever , but I am stating that a lot of women are more scared, less "agressive" and thus less likely to get somewhere.

I think if you do not dare to open your mouth sometimes you lose oppertunities.


I think its wrong to say that women are scared- that is you percieving that not speaking directly or being instantly assertive is a sign of fear. I can indentify with the situations you have described, but from the female perspective, however in my opinion it is not fear, it is deference and respect for others around. Often I can see that the supervisors are busy so I wait for a easier opportunity to approach people and ask for help, when I think that people are more likely to be positively responsive.
I can understand how this could be perceived as fear or being un-assertive, but that is perhaps from your "male" perspective. Psychologically men and women respond to circumstances differently and think differently. Maybe this is partly the issue here. How men and women see each other responding and behaving- as a man you are you more likely to remember someone or listen if they are being more assertive or aggressive in a positive way? Historically men had an advantage in gaining positions, but now those barriers are far less, but the psychological differences are acting as barriers now? what do you think?



Yeah, but you say that you would ask it at another time.... I ment that they do NOT ask it NEVER! (or they wait for minutes, hours untill someone passes by they know)

I also think that the females active here have the assertivenes to do so, but what about all those other women that lack this ?

I have met a lot of women during my school time and 80% of them were very shy and didnt dare to ask anything and I do not mean that they waited for a more appropriate time, they just never asked it.
I do not think its normal to be affraid of teachers and not daring to ask them questions.

I remember that when I had a problem or question I asked other students and of they did not know it: I asked the teacher.
If the girls had a problem: they asked eachother and if no one knew the answer they just left it and didnt ask the teacher.

And I do not think that people would see a women as a bitching girl if she asks questions.

And in genearl I also want to note (because I think some here misunderstand me) that with "having a bad attitude" I do not mean being agressive or brutal. I mean simply that men seem to be more outgoing and more relaxed in daring to ask questions.

A last example I want to give is the use of emailing: during my research or study I email to authors of articles when I have specific questions, NONE of the females at my previous job dared or even concidered doing this even if they had questions.
More then once I said: this is very specific on the article, ask the author .... they always smiled and said oh well, maybe I'll do it like this, its ok...

I really do think that a lot of females drop out because of this or do not start because of this.

I think thats also why they always state that females pick the more "soft" jobs, or enter the "soft" industries more.

I think in general girls are more "soft" maybe I have had the bad luck with being in a class with a lot of "soft" gils, dunno, but I have seen them cry more then once during my schoolperiod over stupid things like not being able to solve a chemistry question or not understanding something.
I really do not know if this is the case for the majority of women.


Historically men had an advantage in gaining positions, but now those barriers are far less, but the psychological differences are acting as barriers now? what do you think?


you do have a point here.

However I think those barriers will indeed go away in time.




@casandra

And I really wonder how people and esp guys would react if they are faced with such an assertive, aggressive or demanding woman? Would they be more inclined to help her out (if she needs any help) or would it be a turn-off? Would she have earned respect and admiration or instead provoke the raising of defense barriers? Would she be treated any differently since she doesn't fit the stereotypical image we have of how women shld behave?



If she asks it in a normal way, why not? I think people should be able to speak to eachother and ask questions!

But I do have to admit , I am more of the "new" style then the "old" firm style where you had all those stupid rules and acting harsh things.

I noticed this a lot during school: older profs didnt really appreciate it when you asked them questions: you should ask their assistents etc.. but the newer younger generation is different: they are more open.
Same with taking an exam: older ones prefered you to come in wearing a suit.. seems kinda stupid to me, its about knowledge, not the way you are dressed.
And yes some of the older profs were also against women.
On the other hand: I once had a prof that was pro women if they dressed sexy... 5 boys 8girls during that semester: all girls passed, only 2 boys passed and it was a very technical course, the women understood almost nothing of it , but they passed.... it made us wonder... also the prof had this kind of reputation... so oh well..

If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#75 LostintheLab

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:22 PM

Can I ask where you are Pito (and you don't have to to reply). Perhaps some of the "shyness" from the women from the cultural background they were raised in?
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