Trolling the Twitter feed this morning I found this tweeted by Feminist.com:
Q from audience. What can we do to encourage girls to pursue science careers? A: Change their perception of science
Uh, no, how about making science more interesting? I don’t buy into the argument that girls are “kept out” of science because they don’t see other girls interested in careers in science. I think, and everyone get their umbrage spatter glasses on, that some girls just find science boring as hell. I did and so did a lot of my friends, including guys. Oh not all science was boring. I found physical geography, earth science, and meteorology interesting, food science was fun and you got to eat the results, but anything that I had to learn statistics or geometry or physics for on a higher level than measuring cups? Forget it. My brain didn’t work that way. I’m an English major. I deal in story theory, literary tropes, and composition, not in facts. In fact, much like some of Alice’s friends in Wonderland, I can’t hold more than a few mathematical or scientific facts in my brain at one time. There’s just more interesting things out there. I found Algebra interesting in college but failed it in High School (ahem, this might have something to do with my other interests in high school… er.. boys). Algebra was interesting until we got into logarithms or matrices. Bleck. Math theory? BORING! English theory?? Hooray!!
No, I don’t believe girls are kept back from science. Girls keep themselves from science because some of us just aren’t interested. I also think we think differently because, and here’s a concept, we are different. No one will ever convince me that the female brain is the same as the male brain because, and I am officially giving up my feminist “license” on this one, of one difference; hormones. Hormones are why there are effeminate men and masculine women. Testosterone and estrogen and the amounts that each of us are born with pretty much determine how we present ourselves in society and much of our likes and dislikes. I don’t know why this is so, but it is and I’ve lived long enough to observe some facts about that myself. Does that mean that women cannot do science? Lord, no! It means that some of us are so wired that science as a career sounds as boring as being an accountant (believe it or not I started to be an accounting major, but found it… surprise…very boring). I couldn’t imagine doing science or accounting for a living. So, no, I don’t think we can push the sexes to be other than they are, interested in their own areas of knowledge and expertise. Some things you just can’t even out or socially engineer because you wish it so.
- Geek Kids : Potato Chip Science Kit (thinkgeek.com)
- Women in science blogging | Martin Robbins (guardian.co.uk)
- There’s a lot more to science than space and dinosaurs | Alice Bell (guardian.co.uk)