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my own sexism

May 8, 2008

*laughs* I just love this ’cause it’s something well all joke about:
“There is a fascinating parallel in research on injury rates in U.S. Army basic training, a two-month regimen that pushes recruits to their physical limits. In numerous studies going back more than two decades, women are shown to suffer injuries at substantially higher rates than men, with stress fractures to the lower legs a particular problem. But one large study also suggests that the women are both more frequently injured and tougher. It takes a bigger injury to knock them out of the service. The men, by comparison, are wimps; they leave with more minor ailments.”
Let’s face it.  Girls get ‘sick’ once a month, so we ignore most illnesses.  Among athletes, we’re told we can’t, so we ignore most injuries.  Guys on the other hand, seem to whine a lot.  (Taken from <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/magazine/11Girls-t.html?pagewanted=1&hp”>this NYTimes article</a>)
Not that I think it’s a good thing that girls always ignore problems.  Those of us in competitive fields know that to be seen as equal we need to be better.  In high school we need to do everything: sports, music, clubs, civic service, and student government, in addition to good grades.  In undergrad we start to read about studies which talk about unconscious bias resulting in lower pay and fewer jobs.  By the time we graduate we’re living that reality.  Even among my female friends here in pchem I find gender bias in how we do homework and who is seen as more intelligent.
Actually, I’m curious.  There are guys who read my lj: tell me what you think.  How do you feel hearing all the encouragement that goes to girls to succeed?  Do you feel discriminated against?  Or guilty because somehow you’re part of the problem?  What do you think about the studies that suggest gender bias affects salaries and amount of lab space?  Do you just wish people would shut up already and get on with their lives?

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