Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Women in Science -- It's a Thing.


I have been reading articles online such as this one which talk about how institutional sexism, particularly in the sciences, still exists.  I think back to when I formed my definition of what a scientist is, and it went something along the lines of:

So, an older white man, basically.  This was reiterated throughout my childhood, in science classes, when my elementary school teachers would put on a video to introduce a lesson, or whenever I would see doctors and nurses in movies.  Typically, the doctor is the man and the woman is the nurse.  It wasn’t until I got older, when I started watching my favorite TV drama, Grey’s Anatomy, where I saw powerful women surgeons working alongside men. 

As girls grow up seeing male scientists on classroom posters and the traditional older white male character in children’s science videos, they are going to think of science as a field where only men belong.

Now, I happen to go to a woman doctor, who inspired me to want to work in the medical field.  Am I going to face the problems that this article addresses, such as covert discrimination, less opportunities for promotion, less research opportunities, less acknowledgement, and less of a salary than my male peers?  Part of the reason why women don’t choose a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is because they have developed, from a young age, a sense of careers that are for men versus careers that are for women.  As a group of people who know better, let’s make sure the children in our lives know they can be whatever they want to be, regardless of institutional gender roles.


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