50 Shades of Prudishness


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Sissyl wrote:
It is heartening to know you solved the issue of confirmation bias about this issue, thejeff.

Well, since apparently your solution to confirmation bias is to not study the things that you worry about there being confirmation bias on, I think doing research and publishing your methods and results for others to examine is a step up. You know, that whole "scientific process" thing?

Sure, it's flawed. It's still a lot better than just deciding a problem doesn't exist without study. No confirmation bias on that side.


What I asked you for was the end point. I.e. what criteria would you accept as reasonable to state "further work against discrimination against women in the hard sciences is not necessary"? We have agreed that specific numbers are useless. What else? Never? When no women complain about being discriminated against? Please, make a suggestion. "When we look specifically for it and don't find any" will happen as soon as all the anti-discrimination center people decide they do not need a job.


Sissyl wrote:
What I asked you for was the end point. I.e. what criteria would you accept as reasonable to state "further work against discrimination against women in the hard sciences are not necessary"? We have agreed that specific numbers are useless. What else? Never? When no women complain about being discriminated against? Please, make a suggestion.

I suggested such: When research stops showing institutional sexism.

You attacked the very concept of such research, so I don't know what else to say.


No. I just attacked the current form of such research.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Do women in the hard sciences like or dislike bad BDSM movies?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
No. I just attacked the current form of such research.

Is there anything you would recommend replacing it with? I'm legitimately curious what method you think would be better.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that your position is not "Well, we'll never end discrimination, so let's do nothing at all". I'm sure you have very interesting ideas for solutions. (Not Sarcastic)

Back on the original topic...

Read the Kushiel series. That is all.

Psst...Mikaze! Back me up!


Any form of research where you can actually determine if you've done enough, I guess. To do this would require measurements that were better than "only you can know if you have been discriminated against" and similar slogans. And just to stave off a suggestion: the proportion of men and women in a sector is not in and of itself a valid measurement.


Sissyl wrote:
Any form of research where you can actually determine if you've done enough, I guess. To do this would require measurements that were better than "only you can know if you have been discriminated against" and similar slogans. And just to stave off a suggestion: the proportion of men and women in a sector is not in and of itself a valid measurement.

So you would agree that studies like the one I linked earlier are a valid approach? Assuming of course that the methodology holds up to review and results are repeatable. You know, like science.

There really are ways to study this kind of thing.


Using a p value of 0.05, you will find a significance for every 20th correlation studied. Thus, what you need to find a significance is to make a few dozen studies looking at just the stuff you want to prove. Which wouldn't mean much if there were other people doing related studies, looking at the other stuff... but there really isn't. The ones with the grants will be the ones producing studies, so those grants need to be free of bias. If they are not, everything in the field will always be suspect. Further, you need to know if there are conflicts of interest among the researchers (in this case, it would be involvement in groups advocating women's rights, wouldn't you say?), the studies would have to actually be replicated (something I don't remember seeing often if at all), and so on and so forth etc etc etc.

If you WANT to fub science, you can. The issue is with the wanting.

Silver Crusade

Kalindlara wrote:

Back on the original topic...

Read the Kushiel series. That is all.

Psst...Mikaze! Back me up!

Still say it would be a healthier choice for mainstream representation. Instead of the spike in sex-related injuries seen after 50SoG, we'd probably just get an increase in elaborate back tattoos.

I mean, at the very least it recognizes that what might be sexually fulfilling is not always equal to what's actually healthy. And it does it without getting all didactic too.

Also, I just reread the part where

Spoiler:
two of my favorite characters died
and got sad again. :(

Terre d'Ange still makes me want a nation based primarily on the veneration of Empyreal Lords, complete with all the flaws and beauty that come with that package. Maybe Magnimar can be pushed further in that direction, but it's still not quite the same. Lymnieris as Naamah is the easiest port ever though.

Spoiler:
I just want "everyone in the Delaunay household lives" AU fanfic. Yes, including Guy. He and Joscelin could get some excellent interaction in.

Edit- Also, potentially NSFW:

Cracked talked to a power exchange engineer.


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Sissyl wrote:

Using a p value of 0.05, you will find a significance for every 20th correlation studied. Thus, what you need to find a significance is to make a few dozen studies looking at just the stuff you want to prove. Which wouldn't mean much if there were other people doing related studies, looking at the other stuff... but there really isn't. The ones with the grants will be the ones producing studies, so those grants need to be free of bias. If they are not, everything in the field will always be suspect. Further, you need to know if there are conflicts of interest among the researchers (in this case, it would be involvement in groups advocating women's rights, wouldn't you say?), the studies would have to actually be replicated (something I don't remember seeing often if at all), and so on and so forth etc etc etc.

If you WANT to fub science, you can. The issue is with the wanting.

I give up.

"You attacked the very concept of such research, so I don't know what else to say."

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:


And back closer to the topic, per my original point, it's very easy to assume the current state actually represents the natural default for things like gender equity. It just gets a little cringe inducing when you realize those oppose further progress have been making essentially the same argument for decades, if not longer, even as women have become more and more prominent in fields they once weren't allowed to enter. It's always been, "Yeah there was discrimination back in the bad old days, but we've changed now and see: Women are still a minority, even if a larger one. That's just the way it is."
Different people making similar arguments for different reasons is not exactly new. Religious people have always said we wouldn't find life on the moon, way before we were capable of knowing for sure. But today, any respectable scientist would laugh at the idea of life on the moon. So the very fact that the argument that women (and men) are currently in their natural state was made before by various bigots is not a real reason to cringe from the idea.

No. What makes me cringe is things like:

"Women are incapable of doing hard science, that's why there aren't any."
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 5%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 10%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 20%"
X years later: "Very few women are capable or interested in hard science, that's why they make up only 25%"

All the while we continue lowering the legal and social obstacles and the number keeps increasing.

Maybe they're right this time. After all, now there's firm empirical data, unlike all those times in the past, when they only thought they had firm empirical date.

Valid point, though I do think you shrug off the concept of accumulated data a bit too easily here - with every x years passing we possess more knowledge than we did before. For example, during this time women have rampantly taken over as majority in most fields of study, advancing way more quickly than they did in hard sciences.

Unlike you, I'm very hesitant to believe that specifically the math, engineering and physics departments are an impenetrable boy club that, unlike other traditionally female faculties such as law, biology and business management, is very hostile to women.

Also, the claim was never that the number we see right now is the final number and we never expect it to rise. Rather, it was that the same societal changes that brought women to a majority in other faculties apply to the hard sciences as well, and that there might be a reason (cultural or biological or likely a mix of both) for the comparatively glacial pace at which women increased their presence in the hard sciences.

Stop me when I'm saying something unreasonable, but we have an enormous sample size here that suggests that discrimination in the campus itself is likely not the problem - it did little to hinder women in any other occupation in the past few decades, even in areas that were initially at least as male dominated as the hard sciences.

The Exchange

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Sissyl wrote:
If not a number, when would you say it's not necessary to do more?

I don't think looking for some statistic or number is the way to decide when to stop working on the issue.

The ideal situation (which I get to cite because this entire discussion is theoretical anyway) is one where the problem is being handled by competent researchers rather than political activists. In such a beautiful world, the measures taken to address the issue are different than in ours, and would focus on two axis - one is identifying the problems and the second is devising solutions.

I lack the knowledge and possibly the intelligence to give a comprehensive answer of what such problems and solutions might look like, but just by implementing the measures I describe we assure that at any point, the effort to fix the problem will be as close to proportionate to the size of the problem as we can determine. The smaller the measured problem, the less we need to increase our efforts.

All I can say is that much of what I see today is the opposite of what I described. Confirmation bias plays a huge role as political forces motivated not by the desire to learn the truth and act appropriately but by the political concept of equality are the ones running the show. In their one dimensional view, they might damage the hard sciences.


Lord Snow wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
If not a number, when would you say it's not necessary to do more?

I don't think looking for some statistic or number is the way to decide when to stop working on the issue.

The ideal situation (which I get to cite because this entire discussion is theoretical anyway) is one where the problem is being handled by competent researchers rather than political activists. In such a beautiful world, the measures taken to address the issue are different than in ours, and would focus on two axis - one is identifying the problems and the second is devising solutions.

I lack the knowledge and possibly the intelligence to give a comprehensive answer of what such problems and solutions might look like, but just by implementing the measures I describe we assure that at any point, the effort to fix the problem will be as close to proportionate to the size of the problem as we can determine. The smaller the measured problem, the less we need to increase our efforts.

All I can say is that much of what I see today is the opposite of what I described. Confirmation bias plays a huge role as political forces motivated not by the desire to learn the truth and act appropriately but by the political concept of equality are the ones running the show. In their one dimensional view, they might damage the hard sciences.

But as I keep saying, confirmation bias works at least as much in the "There isn't a problem" direction as anything else.


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Mikaze wrote:


Edit- Also, potentially NSFW:

Cracked talked to a power exchange engineer.

I'm a little disappointed... I expected to see someone in the know rip 50 Shades apart, but what I got seemed more like an interview about bondage with 50 Shades of Grey tacked onto it :(


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MeanDM wrote:
Do women in the hard sciences like or dislike bad BDSM movies?

Flagged your post. Please try to stay on-topic, guys.


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Hey Kobold, If you include emoticons, we'll know if you're being ironic about the thread title. :)


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ಠωಠ

Silver Crusade

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
ಠωಠ

Why does that skateboard have REDACTED?

[/beingdifficult]


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Mikaze, that sort of tasteless humor has no place in a classy thread like this.


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looked like Zoidberg...

Silver Crusade

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Mikaze, that sort of tasteless humor has no place in a classy thread like this.

I have a perfect follow-up to this but then things would get weird. -er.

It involves contrition and a Golden Child quote.


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Golden Child, in which Tywin Lannister, um, I mean Charles Dance played the villain? To hell with everything, let's just go full Game of Thrones!

Seriously though, Mikaze, have you ever seen the BBC adaption of the Raj Quartet? The DVD miniseries is titled The Jewel in the Crown, and I think you might just enjoy the hell out of it. :)


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I really wanted to post on women in academia earlier today but didn't have the time. So excuse the return to the earlier tangent.

At any rate, I only recently finished a PhD in Ecology (really biology/paleontology), and have several female friends who also recently have finished their degrees (and know of many more)

I would say that I feel fairly confident that current discrepancies in the sciences are not simply some sort of gender-related differences in science.

TheJeff made a great point earlier about the old adage that sciences progresses by the old guard dying off. This very much also applies to attitudes towards women in science. Unlike many jobs, scientists don't really fully retire, and tenure often means near complete immunity against even egregious offenses.

I don't consider myself a huge social butterfly, but I have heard the following stories:

First, my advisor (who was in a PhD program in the late 70's/early 80's), was forbidden from field work, because it wasn't consider a proper activity for a women.

More recently,

A museum curator told one friend she shouldn't bother with getting a PhD, but should instead work on her MRS

Same friend, when on a field season dig, was always assigned (with the other female PhD) cook duties. Despite not at all being a good cook.

Another female colleague took a postdoc at a prestigious university in the lab of a rather well known researcher, and suffered some pretty nasty sexual harassment

Add on several researchers who have a notorious...record of hitting on/harassing younger female researchers? Yeah I think there is still a lot of discrimination going on overtly.

But even ignoring the overt stuff, there are a lot of aspects of academia that turn women away. For instance, one common complaint is that the tenure system basically means a faculty member has to devote most of his life towards that goal. He always has the option of waiting until his 40's to start a family, or foisting a lot of the childcare onto his wife. A women however really doesn't have that freedom, and many faculty members don't really consider pregnancy or child-rearing "acceptable" reasons why a given person's productivity is not on par with her male colleagues. It's also a lot harder to get tenure when women often get consistently worse teaching evaluations than men, or are judged as less successful than male candidates with similar publication records


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That said with the above, in the 10 years I have been in academia, I have seen a huge surge in increased participation of female grad students. I do think there is a huge shift, and that things are improving.


So, if there is a huge shift coming along, what we obviously need is to push even harder to get women into the hard sciences.


Maybe whether or not a huge shift is coming depends on whether or not we push even harder to get women into the hard sciences, you see?

Silver Crusade

Hitdice wrote:

Golden Child, in which Tywin Lannister, um, I mean Charles Dance played the villain? To hell with everything, let's just go full Game of Thrones!

Seriously though, Mikaze, have you ever seen the BBC adaption of the Raj Quartet? The DVD miniseries is titled The Jewel in the Crown, and I think you might just enjoy the hell out of it. :)

First I've heard of it! Aaaand that's yet another British series I'm going to need to check out someday. (they keep piling up(looking at you, Sharpe)).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
Mikaze wrote:


Edit- Also, potentially NSFW:

Cracked talked to a power exchange engineer.

I'm a little disappointed... I expected to see someone in the know rip 50 Shades apart, but what I got seemed more like an interview about bondage with 50 Shades of Grey tacked onto it :(

A friend of mine linked that article earlier. The thing about ripping into 50SoG is that it's low hanging fruit. Much more productive to make positive use of the column inches. 'You like 50SoG? Great, here's some other things you might be interested in/have a use for if that interests you...'

As much as I abhor (& am on record as abhorring) both that trilogy & the book series it was originally based off of, even I can recognize that I am more likely to get useful/safe/healthy information out to people who have read & enjoyed the books by encouraging them to add to their reading lists than I am if I take the easy route of shouting 'You're doing it wrong!'.

Silver Crusade

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Thymus Vulgaris wrote:
Mikaze wrote:


Edit- Also, potentially NSFW:

Cracked talked to a power exchange engineer.

I'm a little disappointed... I expected to see someone in the know rip 50 Shades apart, but what I got seemed more like an interview about bondage with 50 Shades of Grey tacked onto it :(

A friend of mine linked that article earlier. The thing about ripping into 50SoG is that it's low hanging fruit. Much more productive to make positive use of the column inches. 'You like 50SoG? Great, here's some other things you might be interested in/have a use for if that interests you...'

As much as I abhor (& am on record as abhorring) both that trilogy & the book series it was originally based off of, even I can recognize that I am more likely to get useful/safe/healthy information out to people who have read & enjoyed the books by encouraging them to add to their reading lists than I am if I take the easy route of shouting 'You're doing it wrong!'.

To be honest, I think 50SoG mockery peaked with the celebrity readings. But yeah, definitely onboard with the more productive reaction like that article and shilling Kushiel's Dart.

srsly though, Kushiel's Dart is great even if it's (intentionally) cringe inducing at times


Hitdice wrote:
Maybe whether or not a huge shift is coming depends on whether or not we push even harder to get women into the hard sciences, you see?

As stated, the change has been coming despite the hostile male environment, so...

The Exchange

Quote:
But even ignoring the overt stuff, there are a lot of aspects of academia that turn women away. For instance, one common complaint is that the tenure system basically means a faculty member has to devote most of his life towards that goal. He always has the option of waiting until his 40's to start a family, or foisting a lot of the childcare onto his wife. A women however really doesn't have that freedom, and many faculty members don't really consider pregnancy or child-rearing "acceptable" reasons why a given person's productivity is not on par with her male colleagues. It's also a lot harder to get tenure when women often get consistently worse teaching evaluations than men, or are judged as less successful than male candidates with similar publication records

While I find the rest of your post to be focused on anecdotal evidence and so not very convincing (I can say for myself that despite spending several years in two of the supposedly most hostile faculties - electrical engineering and exact sciences - that I have literally never seen any male student or professor treating any woman differently because of her sex. Furthermore many of my professors, younger and older alike, expressed strong feminist sentiments during class. I have had the pleasure and the honor to study under some really big names in the field, and they were all modern and open minded, and most of them were actively working with women. The thing with anecdotal evidence is that it's really easy to counter by other anecdotal evidence), this last part is a very real thing.

Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Sissyl wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
Maybe whether or not a huge shift is coming depends on whether or not we push even harder to get women into the hard sciences, you see?
As stated, the change has been coming despite the hostile male environment, so...

...we've done everything we need to, and can now cease any and all efforts? This seems like what you're saying. Have I misunderstood? If so, I apologize.

Also, I think you missed my question earlier in the thread. I thought it was a reasonable question. If you disagree, I would appreciate knowing what you found inappropriate or offensive about it.


If there is a large change coming, it would seem like the most reasonable attitude to wait and see. The changes that are made all come with costs and have consequences. If the change slows down, you need to evaluate to see if you still want to push in some direction. To do that, you need to find some definition of equality that makes sense.

It was a decent question, and I did answer it as I understood it. Please tell me if you think I misunderstood it.


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Lord Snow wrote:
Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.

The problem is that ace women who have no interest in procreating are treated exactly the same by prospective employers. Whether you have any interest in actually having children and thus removing yourself temporarily from the workplace doesn't matter, just the fact that you theoretically could.


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Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.
The problem is that ace women who have no interest in procreating are treated exactly the same by prospective employers. Whether you have any interest in actually having children and thus removing yourself temporarily from the workplace doesn't matter, just the fact that you theoretically could.

Or lesbian women.

Or heterosexual women with no interest in procreating.
And as far as I know, there's nothing inherent to asexuality that implies "doesn't want kids". Any more than there is about homosexuality. Or that heterosexuality means "Wants kids".

And people change their minds about "Wants kids", unlike (usually) sexual orientation.

The more obvious and generally better solution to this problem is paternal leave. Don't put the whole burden of childcare and it's effect on the rest of life and career on women. Obviously, they'll still be doing the actual pregnancy and birth part, but if men also routinely take months off to support a child after birth, it's harder to argue "We can't hire women because they'll just get pregnant and not work".


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I support the above idea whole-heartedly!


thejeff wrote:
Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.
The problem is that ace women who have no interest in procreating are treated exactly the same by prospective employers. Whether you have any interest in actually having children and thus removing yourself temporarily from the workplace doesn't matter, just the fact that you theoretically could.

Or lesbian women.

Or heterosexual women with no interest in procreating.
And as far as I know, there's nothing inherent to asexuality that implies "doesn't want kids". Any more than there is about homosexuality. Or that heterosexuality means "Wants kids".

And people change their minds about "Wants kids", unlike (usually) sexual orientation.

The more obvious and generally better solution to this problem is paternal leave. Don't put the whole burden of childcare and it's effect on the rest of life and career on women. Obviously, they'll still be doing the actual pregnancy and birth part, but if men also routinely take months off to support a child...

Sorry, I was speaking for myself in my post and should have made that more clear. *is ace and not interested in ever getting pregnant*


Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame men or women who are unwilling to get pregnant that they do anything wrong by taking the job of a woman who does wish to get pregnant - you see an opening, you take it. A woman with high chances of getting pregnant in the foreseeable future has to struggle to stay competitive with people who aren't. Clearly a sane society will have to take some series measures to fix this problem, yet not much is done. Pregnancy and it's repercussions is definitely one of the very real problems that our culture needs to solve before truer equality could happen.
The problem is that ace women who have no interest in procreating are treated exactly the same by prospective employers. Whether you have any interest in actually having children and thus removing yourself temporarily from the workplace doesn't matter, just the fact that you theoretically could.

Or lesbian women.

Or heterosexual women with no interest in procreating.
And as far as I know, there's nothing inherent to asexuality that implies "doesn't want kids". Any more than there is about homosexuality. Or that heterosexuality means "Wants kids".

And people change their minds about "Wants kids", unlike (usually) sexual orientation.

Sorry, I was speaking for myself in my post and should have made that more clear. *is ace and not interested in ever getting pregnant*

Yeah, I kind of figured. :)

But that's not really any different from an employer's perspective than anyone saying they don't plan to have kids, which they can't ask and any employer openly making their decisions based on that isn't going to trust women who say they aren't anyway.

The Exchange

Quote:
The more obvious and generally better solution to this problem is paternal leave. Don't put the whole burden of childcare and it's effect on the rest of life and career on women. Obviously, they'll still be doing the actual pregnancy and birth part, but if men also routinely take months off to support a child after birth, it's harder to argue "We can't hire women because they'll just get pregnant and not work".

This is still only a partial solution, but it's a good start.


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If you want a good book, don't read 50 Shades of Grey (read any Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett instead)

If you want to see a good film, don't go to watch the film based on 50SoG ("In the Heat of the Night", with Sydney Poitier, would be good)

If you wan't a good and healthy relationship with a (wo)man, don't base you love life and sex life on 50SoG.

Be yourself.*

That's it.

*Hey, maybe you will find yourself to be kinkier than anything found in 50SoG, but at least it will be on your own will, with the right person, in the right moment. Don't let anyone judge you on who you love and what you love.This is YOUR life, YOUR choices.


Lord Snow wrote:
Quote:
But even ignoring the overt stuff, there are a lot of aspects of academia that turn women away. For instance, one common complaint is that the tenure system basically means a faculty member has to devote most of his life towards that goal. He always has the option of waiting until his 40's to start a family, or foisting a lot of the childcare onto his wife. A women however really doesn't have that freedom, and many faculty members don't really consider pregnancy or child-rearing "acceptable" reasons why a given person's productivity is not on par with her male colleagues. It's also a lot harder to get tenure when women often get consistently worse teaching evaluations than men, or are judged as less successful than male candidates with similar publication records

While I find the rest of your post to be focused on anecdotal evidence and so not very convincing (I can say for myself that despite spending several years in two of the supposedly most hostile faculties - electrical engineering and exact sciences - that I have literally never seen any male student or professor treating any woman differently because of her sex. Furthermore many of my professors, younger and older alike, expressed strong feminist sentiments during class. I have had the pleasure and the honor to study under some really big names in the field, and they were all modern and open minded, and most of them were actively working with women. The thing with anecdotal evidence is that it's really easy to counter by other anecdotal evidence), this last part is a very real thing.

Pregnancy is tough. You can't blame a woman for wanting to get pregnant young because bearing a child later in life is more risky and less likely to succeed and most people want children. You can't blame an employer for preferring to hire the worker who will not deactivate for months every two or three years (or in this context, for giving tenure to the researcher with the higher output, likely to be the one who didn't have children). You can't blame...

I got to ask, are you a undergrad still or are you a Masters/Graduate Student.

Because, as a former undergrad, I don't think I detected much of this stuff, as honestly it tends to be subtle and even great teachers just don't give as much attention to undergrads. No Professor is standing up in front of classes telling women they would be better off baking pies than going into evolutionary biology.

If our anecdotes are at odds, it's because mine are coming from inside of Academia while yours are a (no offense) superficial view of professors via taking their classes. Going to conferences in areas of research that are still dominated by men, or having female colleagues with advanced degrees, or getting the inside scoop on department politics provides a much different view of the atmosphere inside of academia.

As far as the family problem with tenure, one solution is to offer equivalent maternity leave for both men and women. This is actually increasingly being implemented in US universities, and I think most people would agree that its rather unhealthy for scientists to have to potentially throw their families under the bus to keep a job in their field, regardless if they are male or female. And some subconscious elements can be removed from the field via blind peer review and review of job applications, another aspect that is growing in use.


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Paternity leave is a beautiful thing.

The Exchange

Quote:

I got to ask, are you a undergrad still or are you a Masters/Graduate Student.

Because, as a former undergrad, I don't think I detected much of this stuff, as honestly it tends to be subtle and even great teachers just don't give as much attention to undergrads. No Professor is standing up in front of classes telling women they would be better off baking pies than going into evolutionary biology.

If our anecdotes are at odds, it's because mine are coming from inside of Academia while yours are a (no offense) superficial view of professors via taking their classes. Going to conferences in areas of research that are still dominated by men, or having female colleagues with advanced degrees, or getting the inside scoop on department politics provides a much different view of the atmosphere inside of academia.

Technically undergraduate, but I've been sneaking into many master's degree courses so I actually got to know a number of high ranking faculty members fairly well - sitting in them with a class of 5-10 students actually gives quite a good impression of the person. Especially since often there's actual first-name basis relationships between teacher and students. Additionally as part of my studies in the engineering faculty I am currently working on a project with one of the professors, and just by sitting in his office for a few hours and watching the interactions around me I feel like I was getting a pretty good snapshot of the working environment dynamics. Plus, several members of my extended family (as well as a couple friends of my parents that I got to know pretty well over the years) have academic occupations. For someone who's not actually there, I feel like I have a solid grasp of how things are.

I would say that your anecdotal evidence is better than mine, of course, but it still remains exactly that, and so does not have any real weight in the kind of almost abstract, principle driven debate we have going here.


DM Lil" Eschie wrote:

If you want a good book, don't read 50 Shades of Grey (read any Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett instead)

If you want to see a good film, don't go to watch the film based on 50SoG ("In the Heat of the Night", with Sydney Poitier, would be good)

If you wan't a good and healthy relationship with a (wo)man, don't base you love life and sex life on 50SoG.

Be yourself.*

That's it.

*Hey, maybe you will find yourself to be kinkier than anything found in 50SoG, but at least it will be on your own will, with the right person, in the right moment. Don't let anyone judge you on who you love and what you love.This is YOUR life, YOUR choices.

If you're interested in BDSM, go read the (extremely NSFW) Sunstone graphic novel on Deviantart, by the extraordinarily talented Stjepan Šejić.

Also, there's been some rather awesome comics on the topic of 50 Shades, BDSM, and other related topics at the (again, extremely NSFW) webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy, by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan.

Grand Lodge

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NobodysHome wrote:

I've always been the "nice guy" that every girl/woman wants to be friends with, but none want to date. So throughout high school and college, I watched friend after friend suffer as she asked, "I think he's really hot! Do you think I should date him?", and I'd respond honestly, "No. He's a scumbag. He'll treat you like dirt."

And of course they'd ignore me, get treated like dirt, and come back to me sobbing and asking, "Why didn't you TELL me he was a jerk?"

I've seen several people in such situations, looking on sadly as one of their friends makes a bad decision. They end up coming to me for counsel on what to do. It's generally to the form of making sure you're there when things go south in the bad relationship. Don't try forcing the relationship apart, better to preserve the healthy friendship so you can help them later.

It's hard and wearying on the soul, but it's the best route. I respect you for being able to fill that role for someone's life.

DM Lil" Eschie wrote:

If you want a good book, don't read 50 Shades of Grey (read any Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett instead)

If you want to see a good film, don't go to watch the film based on 50SoG ("In the Heat of the Night", with Sydney Poitier, would be good)

If you wan't a good and healthy relationship with a (wo)man, don't base you love life and sex life on 50SoG.

Be yourself.*

That's it.

*Hey, maybe you will find yourself to be kinkier than anything found in 50SoG, but at least it will be on your own will, with the right person, in the right moment. Don't let anyone judge you on who you love and what you love.This is YOUR life, YOUR choices.

That is very much my position with regards to any pornography, that it gets in the way of letting people's kinks develop with a coinciding partner they care about as a person.

thejeff wrote:


The more obvious and generally better solution to this problem is paternal leave. Don't put the whole burden of childcare and it's effect on the rest of life and career on women. Obviously, they'll still be doing the actual pregnancy and birth part, but if men also routinely take months off to support a child...

I, like Tacticslion, support this idea for a multitude of reasons.


Lord Snow wrote:
Stop me when I'm saying something unreasonable, but we have an enormous sample size here that suggests that discrimination in the campus itself is likely not the problem - it did little to hinder women in any other occupation in the past few decades, even in areas that were initially at least as male dominated as the hard sciences.

I am actually rather quite inclined to agree with you. I don't believe that it is a problem at colleges, and that any problem must exist well before the college level. I say this because I earned my degree over a relatively long period of time, taking time off to work at a full-time job so that I could graduate without any debt... and female student enrollment in math, science, and tech courses more than tripled during the ~7 years it took me to earn my BS. For every one student starting a degree in science or technology when I started, there were three doing so when I graduated.

That implies that something was taking place long before students made it to college that was discouraging them from even attempting to pursue a career in those fields, and that the effect had drastically lessened in less than half a generation, such that classes that might have had 1-2 girls at most previously now actually had half a dozen.

It is also important to consider role models though. My mother went to college to be a civil engineer, making her an excellent role model for me. One of my best friends growing up had a mother who was a partner in a prestigious law firm, also a great role model. However, not everyone has that, and it's especially difficult for young students to find female role models in STEM fields, especially when the accomplishments of great female scientists are regularly glossed over or ignored to focus on men instead. Ask an average American student to name a famous female in STEM and they'll probably name Marie Curie and maybe Sally Ride... at best. Ask them about famous men in STEM and they'll still be listing people tomorrow. That's a problem in need of correction, and it crops up LONG before college, and influences the aspirations of the college-bound.

Mikaze wrote:
To be honest, I think 50SoG mockery peaked with the celebrity readings.

Did anything ever actually surpass Gilbert Gottfried's reading of selections from 50SoG for awesome mockery though?


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Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Stop me when I'm saying something unreasonable, but we have an enormous sample size here that suggests that discrimination in the campus itself is likely not the problem - it did little to hinder women in any other occupation in the past few decades, even in areas that were initially at least as male dominated as the hard sciences.

I am actually rather quite inclined to agree with you. I don't believe that it is a problem at colleges, and that any problem must exist well before the college level. I say this because I earned my degree over a relatively long period of time, taking time off to work at a full-time job so that I could graduate without any debt... and female student enrollment in math, science, and tech courses more than tripled during the ~7 years it took me to earn my BS. For every one student starting a degree in science or technology when I started, there were three doing so when I graduated.

That implies that something was taking place long before students made it to college that was discouraging them from even attempting to pursue a career in those fields, and that the effect had drastically lessened in less than half a generation, such that classes that might have had 1-2 girls at most previously now actually had half a dozen.

It is also important to consider role models though. My mother went to college to be a civil engineer, making her an excellent role model for me. One of my best friends growing up had a mother who was a partner in a prestigious law firm, also a great role model. However, not everyone has that, and it's especially difficult for young students to find female role models in STEM fields, especially when the accomplishments of great female scientists are regularly glossed over or ignored to focus on men instead. Ask an average American student to name a famous female in STEM and they'll probably name Marie Curie and maybe Sally Ride... at best. Ask them about famous men in STEM and they'll still be listing people tomorrow. That's a...

Or the effect happens at all levels, from early role models all the way through subtle discrimination in college, grad school and career.
Quote:
In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—who was randomly assigned either a male or female name—for a laboratory manager position. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant. The gender of the faculty participants did not affect responses, such that female and male faculty were equally likely to exhibit bias against the female student. Mediation analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent.

I would be shocked if that perception of competence didn't skew things all the way down the line. It certainly doesn't just appear at the end.


Hey, I can 100% guarantee there was no discrimination against women in the GIS program I was in.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Hey, I can 100% guarantee there was no discrimination against women in the GIS program I was in.

I'm going to guess you were the only person in your GIS program then. ;)

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