Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/10/2015

Why We Need To Be Careful About Emphasizing Women’s Progress in STEM

Intel / YouTube

Intel / YouTube

I saw it in middle school, and later in high school: If the girls in my class didn’t excel in science, no body was surprised, since girls are never expected to excel in the subject. But if they received a low grade on a paper in English or History, they faced far harsher backlash than did any male student who had also done poorly.

This double standard — that girls will excel in the humanities, and boys in the sciences — has roots in an antiquated past and has ramifications for the future. In my experience in the United States, values in schools and in families still largely align with the Colonial or Victorian idea — adopted from European court and estate cultures – that girls should …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 03/9/2015

Being A Young Woman on the Robotics Team

I love math and science and I don’t think I’d be who I am now without it. While I may not know how to code or have taken AP Physics, I appreciate these fields immensely. However, there have been instances where I know that my intersections of identity have shaped my experiences doing what I love.

This has become very clear since I joined my school’s robotics team this year. I am in the minority in terms of gender and race on this team: I’m one of only four girls (out of twelve people total) and am West Indian. Both of these identities have made this experience challenging.

For example, when I’d talk to people about taking both Algebra and Geometry during my freshman year so I would be in

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 10/20/2014

Egg Freezing: Is This Silicon Valley Perk Really Empowering?

Last week, it was announced that Silicon Valley tech giants Facebook and Apple are offering coverage of egg freezing as part of female employees’ health benefits. A huge step, news outlets cried, towards equality for women in a heavily male-dominated industry. But is encouraging women to postpone having children really in the best interest of women?

To Facebook and Apple’s credit, each company offers a suite of benefits for women looking to start a family, ranging from coverage of fertility treatments to daycare. These benefits, in addition to free gourmet meals, lavish vacations, and sometimes even free housing, have been branded as a “War of Perks” through which tech companies entice prospective employees to join their team. There is a major difference, however, between free beer and frozen eggs …

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 06/16/2014

There Are No Good Female Developers

Have you heard? There are no good female web developers. This was news to me, and just about everyone else in the room, at the InteractATX Founder’s Panel organized and sponsored by Sequoia Capital at SXSW this past March.

When asked how they felt about being in a group of all men, the panelists evaded the question, citing tight calendars, logistical issues, and a lack of women Founders outside of the fashion and beauty spaces. Michael Heyward, Co-Founder and CEO of secret sharing app Whisper, took it a step further, claiming that the  almost complete absence of women on the panel as well as on his team (at the time of the panel) was due to a lack of competent women in tech overall. This came as a shock to …

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 05/28/2014

Why Does ‘Success’ For Women Still Ignore Tech?

I recently had the chance to attend two events meant to inspire my burgeoning professional career: Glamour Magazine’s “Top Ten College Women” event and the Bloomberg Enterprise Tech Summit. However, I felt that both events’ presentations of the meaning of success left a lot to be desired.

At the Glamour “Top Ten College Women” event, each finalist was briefly described, called up on stage, and presented with a framed certificate before being ushered off stage to make room for a panel entitled “How to Get Your Dream Job in 2014: Secrets of Success from Women who Know.” Every few minutes during the panel, the girls I was with and I would look at each other and chuckle. Yes, the women participating were all wonderfully successful, but …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 07/7/2012

Saturday Vids: Shree Bose, Teenage Cancer Researcher

Shree Bose

Shree Bose has inspired me since I learned that she was the Grand Prize winner of the Google Global Science Fair. As her TEDxwomen’s speaker’s page describes: “[Shree’s] award-winning project involved the study of a particular protein, AMP kinase, of interest in cancer cells. Through tests on inhibiting this protein’s activity, her research determined its extreme importance in the development of chemotherapy resistance. She proposed a new way to treat resistant patients when they no longer respond to the chemotherapy drug. For the over 240,000 patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, this research will reduce the recurrence rates in patients treated with particular chemotherapy drugs.” Pretty amazing, considering she just graduated high school. I wanted to share with everybody Shree’s entry for the Women’s Media Center’s Girls State

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Feminism | Posted by Cicutae on 08/3/2010

Sexism in Science

but...i built the rocket...

but...i built the rocket...

You know what makes me angry? The fact that I apparently can’t do science because I have a vagina. Now, I didn’t think that my gender was damaging my math and science skills, but I guess having breasts means that engineering isn’t for me.

I went down to a NASA space flight center earlier this year as part of my Rocket Club team. We were participating in a competition sending 10-foot-long rockets a mile into the hot Alabama air. There was a “rocket fair” where we displayed our rocket and experiment for NASA employees and the other teams to peruse. I stood proudly in front of our display and tried to engage the passing engineers.

“Do you have any questions Sir?” The response was almost always …

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Feminism | Posted by Cat F on 05/27/2010

Female/Male Brain?

female/male brains - really just a way to promote sexism?

female/male brains - really just a way to promote sexism?

When I took an online ‘female/male brain’ quiz for class, it told me I have a male brain. I have a strong visuospatial sketchpad – I got nearly 100% on both an angles task and a rotation one. This is an easy thing to explain away culturally: I love cars, speak loudly and frequently in male-dominated conversation, want to be a scientist when I grow up – I may as well be XY. But I got “female” results too – excellent at verbal tasks, ring and pointer fingers are the same length, prefer traditionally masculine faces. It appears that my ability to spin blocks in my head is the only indicator of my so-called masculinity. That it is so strongly …

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