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    Is Wikipedia Sexist Too?
    By Hank Campbell | August 5th 2011 11:20 AM | 267 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    In Proofiness - How Gender And Pay Statistics Are Used To Do Bad Things, I noted that some of the statistics regarding gender and pay in science were misconstrued to make it look like science academia is sexist as opposed to simply being unequal in places.  

    It boggles the mind that academia, commonly regarded as the most progressive occupation in America, much less science academia, which leads the world in quality science due to a focus on excellence regardless of gender or color or religion, can be regarded as sexist.  It takes careful manipulation and filtering of data to make it seem so.    And if the numbers really are what advocates claim, there have been zero improvements for women in three decades, none, despite the fact that women get more Ph.D.'s than men and women are hired for faculty jobs at greater rates than men now.

    To advocate something in defiance of obvious reality, like that STEM fields are stuck in the 1960s, it also takes an insistence that no one makes choices - if people earn less money or don't go into a field, it must be outside pressure keeping them down.    If that is true, then according to American Association of University Women (AAUW) data, environmentalists are the most sexist group in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields - the disparity between male and female earnings there is tremendous.  Women only earn 79% of what men do in environmental sciences.   Are environmentalists stuck in the 1950s?   Mechanical Engineering, on the other hand, is a poster child for NOW, leading occupations with 96%.

    Those are statistics they parsed out as evidence.  That is data, advocates insist.  Yet ask anyone in the real world if women in engineering are actually treated better than a female environmentalist.

    If the metrics advocates use are valid in science academia, they are valid everywhere.    That means Wikipedia, the progressive knowledge commune, is incredibly sexist.  Where are the groups protesting that?    Wikipedia contributors are only 13% women so using the same cultural standard as some groups want to apply to science, it must mean that Wikipedia is hostile to women, or because there aren't already a lot of women, women are suffering gender fatigue.

    I'm not kidding about the gender fatigue.  Jane Margolis is a senior researcher at UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access and co-author of a book on sexism in computer science called “Unlocking the Clubhouse” and she believes Wikipedia is evidence of it.   If there aren't enough women in a field, they have less confidence about participation.    Who knew women were so emotionally fragile?    Not me, the women I know are darn tough.   What about men in psychology or the teaching professions, which are overwhelmingly female?   Do men suffer gender fatigue there?

    The problem with trying to social engineer a creative community like Wikipedia, is that because its development was organic and intellectual freedom is essential, trying to force gender equality through overt efforts will backfire.  Indirect approaches and time work, Margolis agrees, even if they take a little longer.   It's the same in STEM fields and the creativity needed in science.   Because women do not face hiring obstacles nor are they discouraged from science fields, the gender gaps, small or large, will fix themselves as people retire and new ones take their place.

    In the meantime, some groups are taking a more positive approach to outreach than manipulating statistics to raise donations.  Five female chemists at Berkeley sought to improve the diversity of Wikipedia by actually writing articles on Wikipedia instead of writing articles about the "hostile environment and discrimination" on Wikipedia.    They called it WikiWomen and it was basically some alcohol and smart people, like all good parties are - and they made others out there a little smarter, as a result, always a good thing.  If you are in the Bay area and want to join a WikiWomen party too, here is the place to sign up.  Or start your own.  Maybe it will catch on.

    I assume men can join, anyway.  If not, that's sexism.

    Comments

    Once again, you're oversimplifying critiques of sexism-- no one has argued that we're stuck in the 60's. If anything, people have argued that sexism is largely institutionalized, and therefore much more insidious. If you're going to make accusations of data manipulation for self-gain, you should accurately represent the arguments that are made.

    Gender fatigue? Remember that the first privilege of those with privilege is the ability to forget (or ignore) that privilege. I'm sorry that being reminded of your privilege is such a terrible inconvenience.

    If men aren't allowed to join WikiWomen, that's not sexist. Sexism (ditto racism) is, by definition, the result of power + privilege (as in male privilege).

    Hank
    Falling back on the 'you are a man, you can't understand the data unless you are a woman' argument is not going to work on a science site.   If academia is sexist/biased/discriminatory yet the numbers show otherwise, then it is plain old advocacy and my genitals have nothing to do with the confirmation bias of the advocates claiming sexism is there.

    Is Wikipedia sexist or not?   If not, then how is academia?
    At what point did I say "you are a man, you can't understand the data unless you're a woman"? When you make statements like that, it just undermines any faith I have in your ability to make a rational argument that isn't plagued by privileged baggage.

    There is plenty of data that supports institutional sexism--ever heard of the leaky pipeline?-- which you either ignore, dismiss as biased, or twist as evidence to promote more sexism ("it's choice!"). How, exactly, is that kind of argument appropriate to a "scientific site?"

    Hank
    Gender fatigue? Remember that the first privilege of those with privilege is the ability to forget (or ignore) that privilege. I'm sorry that being reminded of your privilege is such a terrible inconvenience.
    That is saying I cannot show data that dissents from your cultural agenda, no matter how accurate and relevant, because I am a man.    Somehow, I am 'privileged' in this argument despite the fact that I am not an academic and have never been an academic and criticize academia 50% of the time I write on culture and policy.

    You have a huge hole in your ability to separate fact from fiction when it comes to your personal agenda so you accuse others of bias to mask it.     Women have no choice in their careers?  They take any lousy salary some evil, misogynist man in progressive academia offers and slink away, beaten, while men do negotiate?   You are far more contemptuous and disrespectful of women than I am, despite what you claim.  But that's because I look at results and you filter everything through the hate-filled prism you exist in.  In results, women in academia are doing great.

    So you agree that Wikipedia is sexist and Jimmy Wales has white male privilege because he disagrees, right?
    I never, ever stated that you can't show data that dissents from my "cultural agenda" (which is gender equality, however you attempt to twist it). What I stated was that you consistently misrepresent data, which is poor form and deserves to be called out on.

    Your comments belie a poor understanding of feminism and feminist arguments. Your statement about my being unable to "separate fact from fiction" is a convenient way for you to dismiss my arguments or any contrary data, and is patronizing to the point of insult. Yes, women make choices, and have agency, but the fact that you can't understand how men aren't forced to make the same kinds of choices, in the same ways and for the same reasons, is the very definition of privilege. References to "evil, misogynist" men do both of us a disservice-- certainly as intelligent people we can think beyond caricatures.

    You accuse me of fiction, when your comments are so extrapolated-- you respond to things I've never said. I am full of hate, and contemptuous of women, because I disagree with your interpretation of skewed facts and am asking you to think more deeply and listen with more of an open mind? I don't live in a hate-filled prism (you spend much more time blogging about sexism than I ever will-- maybe you should rethink who is motivated by hate here). I live in a flawed world, where we must strive to recognize the ways in which people aren't equal-- whether because of gender, class, race, sexual orientation, or any number of reasons. And I want to make it better, for everyone (not worse for YOU, in spite of the misconstrued goals of feminism).

    You should amend your statement to "In the results I decide are relevant to my arguments, women in academia are doing great." You ignore every other study that is contrary to YOUR cultural agenda. If Science 2.0 wasn't already such a hostile place to women, that alone would be reason for me never to return to this site.

    Hank
    you consistently misrepresent data
    No, I showed that AAUW was doing that, by using gross numbers and then not showing what the real numbers are once education and segment are controlled for.   Using their same system, strip clubs show more fairness for women than environmental sciences, yet do we really believe environmental science is hostile to women because of the glaring pay disparity?   Do you believe Wikipedia is 'unfair' to women, since 'sexist' is a word that can only be applied when you use it?

    If advocacy groups can only find data and manipulate statistics that bolsters their agenda, that is proofiness.  Yet if I note how they are doing it, Science 2.0 is "a hostile place to women" which means you don't care about truth, you only care about having your confirmation bias affirmed.

    Science 2.0, in the last few days, has also been a 'hostile' place to Republicans, Democrats, atheists, religious people, skeptics, men, dogs, squid, homeopathy proponents, everyone in the city of Seattle, and Whole Foods.    Anyone who uses pseudoscience and junk statistics gets called out because we are not corporate media so we have no business people telling us not to alienate the important homeopathy readership.  Sorry it had to be your cause this time but tell them to not engage in spin.

    It's sort of funny that I am the one noting that women do excellent research in a cutthroat meritocracy like science and you are the one insisting women are incapable of success without mandates, yet you think I am hostile to women.
    Hey fellow anonymous, quoting from you post: "people aren't equal-- whether because of gender, class, race, sexual orientation, or any number of reasons." Are those other reasons include ability, talent, motivation, values (for example, the relative importance of family vs career)? Or do you assume that all the differences that you have enumerated do not correlate with any of those I have? If males and females have different physiology, why can't it extend to differences in cognition? We are not compartmentalized. If races are different, to the extent of requiring different medication and suffering from different ailments (and it;'s clearly genetic), why not assume difference in other areas? What's wrong or sexist, or racist, in making an assumption - based on data - that, women and blacks have lower ability for math and hard sciences? Women have a much greater ability for bearing children :) Recognizing group differences does not make you sexist or racist. Whether those differences exist should be decided based on data and research, not ideology.

    Has been decided! You and Larry Summers are already wrong. Differences in cognition within any of these groups are much greater than differences between groups overall.

    Furthermore these groups are not as clearly defined, or easily recognized, as you might like. I quote:

    If males and females have different physiology,

    but I respond to this with: what if they don't? Or rather, to use the standard terminology, what if identifying as 'man' and 'woman' does not in fact correlate to being assigned male or female at birth? We already know that the assigned-at-birth sex does not necessarily correlate to being genetically XX or XY.

    ...Differences in cognition within any of these groups are much greater than differences between groups overall....

    That's a fallacious argument, it says nothing about whether the group differences are big enough per se, to affect group results. Intragroup differences have nothing to do with it.

    ... but I respond to this with: what if they don't?

    You are not being serious.

    "'you are a man, you can't understand the data unless you are a woman'

    You lost before you even began with this COMPLETELY intellectually dishonest statement. No one ever said that and you are a liar for saying they did.

    Are you even capable of debating in good faith? My guess would be no.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sexism (ditto racism) is, by definition, the result of power + privilege (as in male privilege).
    Perhaps the problem isn't with men, but with women themselves?  It seems that if a group that is represented by a majority is unable to achieve a desired objective, then the likelihood is that the problem isn't external opposition, but rather internal.

    Since you certainly can't claim that there are NO women in leadership positions or positions of authority, then perhaps you could demonstrate how different things are under their control?  How is the wage discrepancy handled?  promotion opportunities? 

    Surely from this list, you should be able to find easy examples to bolster the case that it is men that are holding women back and that under female leadership the statistics have shifted radically.
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/06/female-college-presidents-forbes-woman-power-women-harvard-princeton_slide.html
    Mundus vult decipi
    I just laughed a hollow, mirthless laugh at this: "Perhaps the problem isn't with men, but with women themselves?"

    Are you saying that with a straight face, dude? SERIOUSLY? Hundreds of years of Western science and women are just now making a little headway, and it's been OUR fault the whole time? Christ on a cracker. Do you know *anything* at ALL about the history of women in, say, American culture? I suppose the fact that women are under-represented in politics is our fault, too? Because, you know, we got the vote, what, about 125 years after you all, and we should be all caught up by now. Also, they started letting us major in science, get science scholarships, and go to grad school in the sciences almost, what forty years ago? (with rare exceptions, of course) OF COURSE NOT! NO! There is no institutional sexism or racism in academia. It's a total meritocracy! The white dudes run the place because y'all are just soooo superior and motivated and WANT to be successful. Unlike women, who just aren't as awesome as y'all, otherwise we would have shattered that glass ceiling and be equally represented in the STEM fields.

    Are you aware that there are studies and studies and STUDIES that show that girls, from kindergarten onward, are discouraged from excelling at or pursuing STEM excellence? I mean, some of those studies? I bet someone male conducted them, even. Because, I'm sure, no study a *woman* conducted could *possibly* be trusted. WE have an agenda. Dudes, of course, do NOT. You're all just rational scientists, la la la, with no agenda at all, ever.

    Humanity: you're doing it wrong.

    Gerhard Adam
    Of course ... you have all the answers.  Never mind the countless hours I've spent tutoring my nieces in math and science (or my daughters for that matter) precisely so that they would excel.  I'm just a man, so I've obviously engaged in nothing but female oppression my whole life.

    You're not interested in equality.  You just hate men, so any excuse will do.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, I don't hate men. Most of y'all aren't really worth the time and energy to hate. Except for the dudes I do like and respect, I would characterize it as, I don't know, a blend of contempt and disappointment.

    I do think YOU are kind of an asshole, though.

    Gerhard Adam
    That's good, because it compliments the bitch feeling I get from you :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Aaand I WIN! I learned long ago that the minute a dude has lost the argument with a woman, his go-to is calling her a bitch or another gendered slur. Whee!

    Also, that smiley face at the end? Does not change the fact that you just called me a bitch.

    Ta, boys. It's been fun.

    Gerhard Adam
    You really are funny ... and oh, so predictable.
    Mundus vult decipi
    So, calling a woman a "bitch," instead of refuting her argument, is not sexism?

    Also, a gentle reminder: "I help my nieces with math and science," while a hysterically funny defense of sexism in the fields of math and science, does not hold up against hundreds of years of oppression of women. But nice try.

    Arguing with privileged dudes. Like shooting misogynists in a barrel.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, you've made it clear that there's nothing I can say, so what's the point.  Apparently I'm privileged and you're not.  Sucks to be you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It doesn't suck to be me, but you sure as shit are sitting atop Mt. Privilege.

    Butbutbut, I thought data outweighed anecdotes?! So what does your charming little family story have to do with the price of chicory in New Orleans, except to suggest your relatives are getting a shit education (if your comments here are any measure of your grasp of science)?

    If anything, reverse gender discrimination is taking place as part of the hiring process everywhere, academia or not. This trend probably won't stop until idiots are convinced that two wrongs have made a right.

    Really? Have you any hard evidence of this "reverse gender discrimination," or are you just pissed because some chick got the job you wanted?

    Wikipedia editors don't have to gender. You can edit as a pure IP, or if you choose a username for better access, you can yourself DogDogDog (nobody knows you're not a dog) or Pat33 or (even if you are a woman) you can call yourself John or Bill. So the idea that there is overt discrimination against women at Wikipedia is pretty funny.

    Clearly, women are less interested in writing semi-anonymous collaborative encyclopedia articles than men are. It's not the subject material (which largely mirrors "young man's tastes" right now, but that's an effect, not a cause. A wikipedia article can be about any subject, so long as there are good verifiable sources for the information, published elsewhere.

    Ultimately, nobody knows why women are less likely to write on Wikipedia. Apparently they don't like to, and that's all. To find out WHY they don't, one must ask them. I've tried that, and the answer I usually get is: "I just don't like it."

    Maybe you're like to try your own poll? On cannot use a fact in support of an argument (this applies both to you and Margulis) until you know WHY the fact is true.

    Doofus

    Hank
    It's hard to say why, I agree, but that makes the point nicely.   If really smart women become doctors rather than physicists, who do women claim physics academia is hostile to women, yet if far fewer women contribute to Wikipedia than are in physics, it is dismissed as choice?
    Most women do not participate in internet forums and conversations dominated by dudes because they are hostile environments for women. Any criticism of male privilege, any mention of male violence, any disagreement with the male viewpoint results in a pile-on which turns into a smack-down, which ultimately puts women "in their place" in men's point of view. Women in cyberspace, like women in the real world, are supposed to be deferential to men and take a submissive attitude to the male perspective. Thats why any mainstream forum is dominated by dudes. Women who don't kiss men's asses are either ignored outright or bullied off the boards.

    if you choose a username for better access, you can yourself DogDogDog (nobody knows you're not a dog) or Pat33 or (even if you are a woman) you can call yourself John or Bill. So the idea that there is overt discrimination against women at Wikipedia is pretty funny.

    Brilliant! "There's no overt discrimination at Wikipedia, so change your screen name to imply that you're not a woman.. Because there's no discrimination against ...oh, wait ... uh, I ...

    The key to understand women's issues is to sit down and listen to the women that point out problems. What you do is ignore all the explanations on why people claim there are issues and pretend that looking at three statistical numbers is enough for you to come up with a simple narrative that explains a complex problem away. Also, you just look for arguments that solidify your world view. That is very poor form; and it is almost cute how you try to sell that as some kind of science-y approach.
    What especially cracks me up is this:

    The problem with trying to social engineer a creative community like Wikipedia, is that because its development was organic and intellectual freedom is essential, trying to force gender equality through overt efforts will backfire.

    What would a backfire for Wikipedia look like? Less women participating? Less than 13%? You didn't think that claim through for a second...

    Hank
    I think the concern would be fewer people overall participating if contributors felt it was about social justice rather than just information.
    And why would that be? People contributing less because someone pokes at their bubble of privilege? Then I'd rather have less people contributing with more equality. But fortunately, I strongly believe that a project can only gain from more diversity. Especially Wikipedia, which strives if it has contributors with as strongly varying backgrounds as possible.

    Hank
    It's a different issue.   You also can't force black people, hispanic people or Canadians to contribute to a freely available community effort.   It doesn't work that way.   If they aren't being discriminated against participating, anything more puts the progressive notion of equality squarely against the liberal notion of freedom.

    Wikipedia is the 5th largest site on the Internet, saying it is wrong because it can't convince everyone to participate in proportion to their gender or any representation seems a bit too much to ask.
    Seriously, that's what you think will happen? Women are FORCED to write Wikipedia articles? The evil secret feminist police forcing them at point blank to write articles about puppies and dresses?? How about creating an environment that women will feel welcome in to contribute, and not just white nerds? That's what a community should be about, about welcoming people by calling out any behavior that creates the subtle mechanisms that discourage contributions.

    If they aren't being discriminated against participating, anything more puts the progressive notion of equality squarely against the liberal notion of freedom.

    I don't even know what this is supposed to say. It's a shit pile of words without meaning or thought.

    Wikipedia is the 5th largest site on the Internet, saying it is wrong because it can't convince everyone to participate in proportion to their gender or any representation seems a bit too much to ask.

    First of all, attributes like "wrong" or "right" are completely out of place here. And if anything, being the 5th largest site gives it, as a community, the responsibility to reflect the whole of humanity. It it blatantly obvious that with 13% women representation, that is not the case. That is, actually, not much too ask but rather a question of the most basic decency one can expect from a community.

    Hank
    Okay, it is easy to criticize them but it boils down to either women want to participate or they don't, or they are being discriminated against.   If they aren't being discriminated against, why make Jimmy Wales on the hook to 'to reflect the whole of humanity' when much of humanity has no interest in being part of the effort?   I kind of feel like he did his part by making the thing - saddling him now with...what exactly?...to reflect people who don't want to be reflected is difficult.   I can't control who writes on Science 2.0, people sign up or they don't.  

    How do you criticize 'basic decency' in a social community that is already working for free to make people smarter?  It already sounds pretty decent to me.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Okay, it is easy to criticize them but it boils down to either women want to participate or they don't, or they are being discriminated against.   If they aren't being discriminated against, why make Jimmy Wales on the hook to 'to reflect the whole of humanity' when much of humanity has no interest in being part of the effort? 
    Well I'm a woman and I agree with Hank here. Maybe the situation will change over time and hopefully women will want to participate more in the areas that they are currently under-represented and more research to understand why is always good. However, in the meantime you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. It is important that society remains vigilant against sexism and discrimination, therefore I am opposed to a separate Wikipedia just for women, how could that possibly support the fight against sexism and discrimination by being sexist and discriminating?


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Who is talking about a SEPARATE Wikipedia for Women????

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Good point, I meant to say Wikiwomen party just for women or maybe men can join too and its just the name implies that its women only? Actually the concept of two separate, segregated Wikipedias edited by men and women only (which I realise is impossible) could be really interesting to watch as they evolved and then to compare. Would they end up looking the same or quite different I wonder? Maybe the women's wikipedia would even end up being bigger than the men's?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Your answers are mind-boggling, seriously. I'm speaking about creating an environment that is welcoming to encourage all people to contribute. You ask questions as if I never wrote that. That is the answer to your question, right there. They have no interest because they don't feel welcome.

    How do you criticize 'basic decency' in a social community that is already working for free to make people smarter? It already sounds pretty decent to me.

    Pretty decent, but far from good enough. It's supposed to be an inclusive community effort, so go and work to make it that. 13% women is obviously and blatantly not enough. There is obviously something wrong, and although from the deep valley of your arguments I'm willing to assume that you actually assume that women are somehow different (probably an anti-Wikipedia gene or some strange correlation to estrogene...) in nature, it is not only unreasonable but outrageous and deeply insulting to assume that there are natural factors that say that the amount of women contributing to Wikipedia should not be 50%.

    There has been some discussion of this question in Internet Feminist Land. My conclusion is that women are too busy doing the second shift (more housework and childcare and parent care) after they do their day jobs to faff about with Wikipedia. It has also been my observation that controversial topics (i.e., anything to do with women's real lives) are promptly edited by anti-feminists, and who has time to fight THAT battle? Not me. My researched writing time has to go towards the publication of peer-reviewed articles and books.

    Gerhard Adam
    Of course ... there's no single-parent men. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Dude, seriously, that's the best you can do?

    Anyone else notice a distinct change in tone amongst the misogynists when they think they're discussing something with another dude? Hilariously revealing.

    vongehr
    What you do is ignore all the explanations on why people claim there are issues
    Joerg, you have no idea who you are talking to it seems, no idea about the huge pile of different explanations he has dealt with over the time. He has his selective perception like all of us, but since I read your crap and his for a long while now (no, actually I stopped reading yours), Hank is certainly not the one who is ignorant. That would be you.
    I am a 44 year old woman with a PhD in physics, and your ignorance of the FACT of sexism in STEM fields is not just an insult - it is criminal oppression. Oh, wow, so you found a few women to deny the existence of sexism. Guess what, asshole: oppressed groups are REWARDED for pandering to the views of the privileged. You are failing at Feminism 101, which is kindergarten grade. Not a good look for a science blog.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...it is criminal oppression.
    No, what's criminal is women making such claims and yet elect to do nothing to draw attention to it (if it's true) so it can be corrected.  In today's climate, there are few positions of authority that could successfully weather such an accusation. 

    Surely with 15 of the 50 top colleges having female presidents, there must be something beyond anecdote to support such claims.  Perhaps they have stories about how they're righted all these genetic inequities.  I'm curious to know what they might say.
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/06/female-college-presidents-forbes-woman-power-women-harvard-princeton_slide.html
    Mundus vult decipi
    By the way, being college president is NOT the same as having a career in science, no?

    Gerhard Adam
    That's an individual with authority that would presumably be sympathetic to women in the sciences being treated unfairly.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hah, hah! Wrong! That is most likely an individual who has received the approval of the privileged. It is a myth that only men participate in sexism.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, then you are one miserable creature, if both genders are intent on discriminating against you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am merely stating the facts. Whether or not I am miserable is not your business.

    Gerhard Adam
    I merely made an observation.  I never claimed it was my business, nor did I attempt to gain information that wasn't my business.  In short, you're obviously someone that is perpetually looking for a confrontation and I daresay, more often than not, you probably find it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I do my best to bring attention to sexism in STEM fields. That is why I am malnourished and homeless.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Kea, do you have any links to articles or comments elsewhere that you or others have written bringing attention to sexism in STEM? I would be really interested in reading them. I am opposed to sexism and discrimination but without the evidence I think it is difficult to fight against them.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    You could start with Zuska's blog; she's an engineer and a feminist. Follow some links to evidence and anecdata:

    http://scientopia.org/blogs/thusspakezuska/

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Thanks for the scientopia Zuska link Jezebella, however I'm afraid that I'm finding her blog rather hard going. It just seems to be a stream of consciousness that revolves mainly around her visits to the farmer's market, preparing food, migraines with botox treatment (though that was interesting as I get migraines and lately I have got a few wrinkles too)  health insurance and the occasional mention of feminism in ways that I personally found more confusing than helpful and even slightly patronising or should I say maternising? For example this excerpt where she says she is moving her feminism blog elsewhere and taking on a new persona:-
    But I'm sick of moving this blog from one place to another, too. I'm taking this as an opportunity to try something new. I'm shutting TSZ down completely, and I'll be starting a new blog at OT called "Fun With Feminism!" Say goodbye to Zuska and hello to my new alter ego, Ariana, based on a tv heroine of mine (see if you can guess who!) FWF will be focused on outreach to 11th and 12th graders and 1st and 2nd year college students.
    These are the critical years for determining whether or not a young woman will form a feminist consciousness. It's no secret that feminism has a bad reputation as a grim, humorless enterprise. This turns a lot of young women off. So FWF will feature feminists in the workplace, women's studies professors, and the like - each profile will include a headshot of the feminist smiling, and will explore things like who are their favorite comedians, what's their favorite joke, have they ever gone to a comedy club and what was it like if they did, what things do they like to do to have fun on weekends with their friends. In this way, young women will see that feminists are fun! and will be encouraged to consider becoming feminists.
    It's been great blogging at TSZ as a hairy-legged feminazi, but I am really excited about this next stage in my blogging life as a clean-shaven fun-filled gal, bringing feminism to the young ones in a cheerful and hilarious guise! Wish me luck and follow me at OT! Also on Twitter! I will totally be on Twitter!
    Anyway, maybe I'm being a bit harsh and she does make some good points. What I'm looking for are links to evidence of the moving battle line and battleground that Kea says every feminist nowadays should understand and know, to quote her she said :-
    That attitude may have been good enough in 1991, when we were all so naive, but this is 2011. The battle lines have moved. To be a feminist today means at least understanding where the battleground is, and how radically society needs to change.
    There are still a few more links that people have posted here that I need to check out but if anyone has any direct links to the battlefield I would be grateful.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    It's not a one-subject blog, but if you look at the column on the right side, and click on "Categories," you'll find more about what we're talking about under "Gendering Technology" and "Recruit, Retain." That way you don't have to wade through the farmers' market and migraine and whatnot posts if you 're not into them.

    Hank
    The 'I am moving' one was written April 1st.  In America that is a day for pranks, like when we announced we were buying Scienceblogs and moving all of them to Kansas.
    Helen, I attempted to provide a link, but the site prevented me. Then again, this really is kindergarten stuff and a one millisecond google search should get you a reputable (eg. UN) report on the glass ceiling issue in STEM fields.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Kea, I know that the data implies a glass ceiling but where is the evidence of discrimination and sexism against women? I took your advice and Googled 'UN women STEM glass ceiling' and found plenty of evidence of this 'glass ceiling' but no evidence of how or why sexism and/or discrimination is occurring. For example this article by Professor Hagit Messer‐Yaron President, the Open University of Israel at -  _http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw55/panels/Panel1-Messer,Hagit-ppt.pdf says-
    WOMEN in STEM– WHERE DO WE STAND and WHERE ARE WE GOING?
    Observation 1:• Women are under represented in research, and in particular in science and technology employment:The share of women researchers in OECD countries in 2008 ranged from 13% (Japan) to 42% (Portugal), with an avarage share of ~ 30%. Proportion of women researchers in Europe, 2006 Source: “She Figures” (EC)
    Observation 2:• The share of women in research fields is unequally distributed, with fewer women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
    Observation 3:• The share of women in STEM has increased over time, but converges to a rate smaller than their share in the population. Doctorates earned by women in selected STEM fields, 1966–2006, USA Source: NSF
    Observation 4:• The glass ceiling for women researchers is indicated by the scissors diagram: Source: “She Figures” (EC)
    Observation 5:• A scissors diagram exists also in fields where women are under represented, e.g. in STEM: Source: “She Figures” (EC)Women in EE
    • There is a glass ceiling.
    • The main problem within STEM is in engineering, where women are still absent.
    • Where are we going? Why so few women in engineering and and what should we do about about it? 
    • No single bottleneck!
    • But, the observations suggest some good news:
    1. The retention of women scientists and engineers will increase
    • “Women tend to express a preference for professions that directly benefit society or individuals”
    • Since the green revolution forces technology to take responsibility to society (e.g., global warming) and to individuals (e.g., cellular radiation), technology is changed into an attractive field to women, and the retention of women in engineering will increase.
    A closer look at women in Engineering students in TAU (2011)It is happening!
    2. The recognition of women scientists and engineers will improve
    • More and more business leaders realize that gender diversity yields a competitive advantage
    • CEOs acknowledge: having more women in key industrial positions is beneficial to companies.
    3. The presence of more women in Engineering will lead to more innovation
    The bad news: Unfortunately, the glass ceiling for women in STEM is not different from the glass ceiling in other professions, and it will not disappear without a change in the status of women => TO DO!
    Where is the evidence that the status of women needs changing? Who is discriminating against them? Most women I know wouldn't want to do my job in IT working with so many nerdy IT guys, staring at computer code for 10 hours a day sometimes not talking to anyone for hours on end and then only usually to deal with irate 'users'. 

    Isn't it possible that this is the reason that there was only 1 woman to every 10 men in most IT jobs that I have ever done? I never experienced a glass ceiling, quite the opposite I was always being promoted to positions higher than I wanted and I usually earnt the most money because of that. There was nothing particularly special about me other than I was a weird woman who quite enjoyed this type of rather unglamorous work and work environment.  Oh and the money was very good, which helped of course! 

    Nowadays you can earn $2000 a day as a contract IT Project Manager in Brisbane and to get the contract all that matters is your track record, not what sex you are. However it would probably be the job from hell and practically mental prostitution, so most women I know would not want to do this kind of work and neither do I at present.

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Helen, innate difference is the usually the first excuse trotted out by people to justify institutional discrimination. There is zero evidence for it, and PLENTY of evidence to the contrary, and it is not my job to be your kindergarten teacher. And just because you work in IT doesn't mean you have any real experience about sexism in the true STEM fields. I have put up with this attitude (of yours) for 44 years. It is grossly insulting to have my entire life experience denyed, on the basis of what you and others would like to be true, but is not. And I grew up in Australia, so we probably have similar backgrounds. It is all too easy and convenient to dismiss feminists like me as whiners and crackpots. People do it every day. All the time. It takes COURAGE to see the light, and stand up for the truth.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Kea I want to help, its not fair to imply that I am like a kindergarten child as I've been involved directly and indirectly with the feminist movement for many years now but to fight sexism and discrimination surely there needs to be more than anecdotal evidence that it exists or doesn't exist. 

    For example, you sometimes have quite a scathing attitude, as is quite often demonstrated here at Science20, and maybe that is justified but just say for example that this scathing attitude has annoyed people that you have worked for in the past, is it hypothetically possible that this may have caused the glass ceiling and not you being a woman? You however might have not realised this and may have falsely believed that you were being discriminated against, it would be easy to do.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    If you are this ignorant, you are no feminist.

    The facts are not based on my personal experience. They are facts.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I know that women are not equally represented in all professions and that the professions that we tend to gravitate towards are often much lower salaried than the professions that attract more men and that is most unfair. When I was giving birth I decided at that time that one of the most important professions in the world was midwifery and that is also very poorly paid. I believe in equal opportunity and pay and freedom from discrimination and sexism for all, if that doesn't qualify me as a feminist then I don't want to be one.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    That attitude may have been good enough in 1991, when we were all so naive, but this is 2011. The battle lines have moved. To be a feminist today means at least understanding where the battleground is, and how radically society needs to change.

    Hank
    How will society change?  The minute anyone disputes proofiness statistics we are all labeled assholes and some of us further labeled with white male privilege who are too stupid to understand.   It's not proving there is sexism, it is proving employers don't like militant people who flip out all of the time. 
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, if men are simply privileged and can't see the problem, then perhaps you need to stop whining to them and seek like-minded women that can make their own way (oh, I forgot, even women are biased against feminism).  If you insist on trying to bully men into your mode of thinking, then you will lose.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Ah, the old "women should not be aggressive" tack. And if the suffragettes had not been willing to fight, where would we be today? I hear such criticism, from privileged dudes, every single day. Oh, so you don't want to give up your privilege? Gee, who would have guessed. Convenient for you. I don't need to be told that I will lose, because I have lost a thousand battles, by being put in my place. Could you keep on fighting after a lifetime of that? No, probably not, because you are probably mind-numbingly ordinary.

    When I was girl, people said girls could not do science. When I got my first degree, they thought I would meet a nice guy and get married. When I started showing a renewed interest in hard core theoretical physics, they said nobody would take me seriously until I had a PhD. When I got the PhD, they said I could never expect a job without serious publications. After Oxford University gave me a (short term) job, they said I was nasty and that was why I did not have a career, despite the fact that agression amongst males in my field is perfectly acceptable, even a desirable trait. Where does that all end? Where is the respect that society promised would come my way after decades of hard work? You're not doing a good job of listening or showing any respect for my experience.

    Yes, of course I will lose, again and again. But the younger women will listen to me, and be forewarned. And 2012 is next year ...

    Hank
     Where is the respect that society promised would come my way after decades of hard work? You're not doing a good job of listening or showing any respect for my experience.
    I've seen your comments on Tommaso's articles and you are always constructive so I am shocked at your tone here and that someone with your experience thinks the plural of anecdote is data.   It is not.    It is also not sexism or discrimination if society does not grant you what your sense of entitlement demands.

    In every article regarding this I have said two things; discrimination was once pervasive and some people will still be assholes today, including about other genders and races, but that does not mean there is endemic discrimination in academia.   And no data has yet shown there is, just a lot of angry people invoking 'male white privilege' as a refutation of what I showed in this article and in the last two - clearly manipulated statistics to create a perception of a much larger problem than exists.
    I am not talking about anecdotal data, moron. As I stated above, I did not provide a link because the site prevented me (although there is of course a link to my blog - many times over). A five year old could find the relevant data with a millisecond google search.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    That attitude may have been good enough in 1991, when we were all so naive, but this is 2011. The battle lines have moved. To be a feminist today means at least understanding where the battleground is, and how radically society needs to change.
    That's what I'm trying to understand, where is the battle ground and the battle line and who and what are we fighting? Real evidence of battle not just a lot of women soldiers missing in action or gone AWOL maybe to work part-time, do easier less demanding jobs, have kids, go shopping, go to the hairdressers or the gym or to the beach even.

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    See comments and links further down.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    The link above to an article titled 'The Number of Women Going Down on Wikipedia'  is interesting :-
    Sue Gardner made it one of her top priorities to get more women writing those Wikipedia articles, setting a goal to raise their share from 13 percent to 25 percent, by the year 2015.  And the Wikimedia Foundation funded Gardner in part to complete that objective with a personal compensation package of $240,159 (in fiscal 2010).  So, it has to be very disheartening for Ms. Gardner to learn that a new study finds that her efforts apparently are pushing Wikipedia's female community in the wrong direction -- now, only 9 percent of Wikipedia's editors happen to be women.
    One of "most influential women in tech" is Kaliya Hamlin, an expert consultant in the area of user-centric identity and data sharing. She notices that "[Gardner] doesn't say how Wikipedia is going to do any of the strategies she puts forward." Hamlin also has noted how her female peers have been treated as subjects in Wikipedia biographies:
    "Personally seeing leading women thinkers and researchers in related fields have articles about them [in Wikipedia] attacked by the mob of editors claiming they are 'not important enough' (danah boyd as a key example) and the continuous flagging of articles in my field of expertise (digital identity) dissuades me from trying to get involved in editing. I don't have time to get involved in the level of intense 'alpha male' discourse involved in 'fighting' for your edits."
    I'm afraid that to me this looks like evidence that many women don't want to be at the Wikipedia battleground or the battle line, which is understandable but it doesn't mean that men are directly responsible for this, they are just behaving like men. One way to fix the problem would be to castrate all men another would be to have a separate women's Wikipedia, obviously neither are feasible, so what is the solution and what would work? Its a difficult one.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Of course, we can't suggest that perhaps the problem is with women and their attitudes?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Gerhard, I think the problem is with both men and women's attitudes. The fighting elk analogy that someone mentioned was quite a good one I thought. In my experience many women avoid conflict and many men seem to quite enjoy a bit of conflict and maybe this is hormonal and/or part of their life-experiences and upbringing, I don't know, who does? Likewise, some women (like me) also quite enjoy a bit of conflict and some men positively dislike it and avoid it. 

    I was brought up in a family where there was a lot of conflict in the form of daily verbal arguments, discussions and debates about just about everything but usually politics and sometimes these got quite unpleasant, though they usually blew over pretty quickly, with no obvious long lasting ill-effects. 

    My visiting girlfriends were often horrified by these vociferous, emotional debates and would even become quite upset and cry if they had to witness them. These girls were perfectly intelligent but they avoided conflict which they didn't seem to understand or have any idea of how to handle because they came from 'normal' families. Those girls may have now grown into women who can't bear to watch the world news for similar reasons. I know quite a few women like this and sometimes I envy their ability to avoid even knowing about world conflict and suffering but I understand it is because they feel too emotional when they are confronted.

    If you look at this logically in a high conflict environment like a feminist battle ground or Wikipedia, many women may find also these quite aggressive environments too confronting and upsetting hence possibly the low women Wiki editing statistics and even maybe the apparent glass ceiling in STEM?

    I can't help wondering if men could be less aggressive in their dealings with women generally that this would surely help and if women could be slightly less hypersensitive about how men behave towards them in their dealings with men, maybe that too would also help a lot? 

    You and Hank can appear quite aggressive towards women in the comment threads here at Science20 at times and sometimes I wonder why you do this? Is it even a viable option for you to moderate your behaviour towards women when you know that you are talking to a woman or would that take all the fun out of it for you? 

    Its obvious that Kea has had a hard time in academia in a male dominated science area and that by her own admission in the past she has bravely done her best to bring attention to sexism in STEM fields and that is why she believes that she is now malnourished and homeless. Knowing this makes me feel that she for example would surely have related to you and Hank much better and probably me too, if she had been treated in a less aggressive more sympathetic manner here, but maybe I'm wrong? What do you think?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    You may have a point, but it presents a problem.  In effect, you're saying that women should be treated differently, which goes against all the rhetoric we hear about how they want to be treated equally.  Truth is, we (at least I) am much less aggressive towards women regardless of whether it seems that way to you or not.

    My problem in all of this is that women seem to have no problem in using abusive language and name-calling, and yet they want to accuse men of being aggressive.  I've never been called an asshole so many times on any post, and for what ... disagreeing?  If you examine the posts, you'll easily see that any time women feel strongly about something, they pull out all the stops and think nothing of leveling all manner of accusations at a man.  On the other hand, if a man were to do the same thing, they'd feel abused.

    We all know that there are many instances of where someone may experience discrimination without it necessarily having anything to do with gender or race.  Oftentimes people just don't like each other, and other times they may view some as competitive threats.  I get that ... but to simply assume that everyone is an oppressor is disingenuous and I don't see how it helps anyone to proceed in alienating anyone that might be sympathetic.

    I think you would agree that there are many times I've posted "advice" to you rather than simply writing you off, so where is the aggression?  Certainly we may all have topics we feel strongly about, and it may become more heated, but if women feel that they can only participate if men tone it down, then they're simply admitting that they want special treatment.  If that's how it is, then so be it, but then don't spout all that rhetoric about how men are scum and you can do everything a man can do.  I personally think women tend to short-change themselves and neither I nor anyone else can fix that for them. 

    If women don't require special treatment, then there should be no problem.  If they do, then perhaps they need to say so.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Also, regarding men being aggressive ... consider this.  Despite claims about wanting men to be more emotionally sensitive, the truth is that women hate that in anyone they're dating.  Women want men with confidence, etc.  Women also tend to like the "bad boys" and have no time for the "nerds", so its disingenuous when they claim to desire all these traits in men, but then actually date men with the opposite characteristics.

    Women's choices dictate male behavior.  It's that simple.  You can choose to believe it or not, but whenever a woman picks a man as a partner, she's determining which characteristics she finds attractive and which ones men will emulate.  That's why the bull elk butt heads.
    Mundus vult decipi
    And that is why we are in the business of enlightening women. Sheesh, no man I ever dated would be seen dead at a football match.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
     Despite claims about wanting men to be more emotionally sensitive, the truth is that women hate that in anyone they're dating.  Women want men with confidence, etc.  Women also tend to like the "bad boys" and have no time for the "nerds", so its disingenuous when they claim to desire all these traits in men, but then actually date men with the opposite characteristics.
    Sorry Gerhard but I completely disagree with you here. I have never been attracted to the 'bad boys' and have never dated them and most women I know that are single are looking for emotionally sensitive 'New Age' guys like my husband, so I'm not sure why you have got this impression, unless it is different in America? Unfortunately though for me and probably quite a few other women, occasionally I tend to attract these 'bad boys' and I have never understood why, as I don't have a masochistic hair on my body, in fact quite the opposite.


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    If someone they would date would not be 'caught dead' at a football match, they engage in gender stereoptyping.  If some football yob here said no woman he dates would be caught in a physics lab, it would be outrage but kea seems to have no issue at all being both insulting and sexist while simultaneously protesting perceived slights from, basically, the entire world.

    Helen, Gerhard was bordering evolutionary psychology just now.   You can totally make fun of him for that.
    Gerhard Adam
    Oh, come on.  I never implied an evolutionary link.
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's how you read this? That women having their articles attacked and erased means that women don't *want* to take part? Because I see this as a direct example of sexism, of women's contributions being seen as less valuable than men's.

    "behaving like men" is also debatable. Because for a long time the way to behave like a man involved a degree of sexism, but it was regarded as normal and acceptable because it was the natural order of things. I like to think we know better now.

    Hank
    That's how you read this? That women having their articles attacked and erased means that women don't *want* to take part? Because I see this as a direct example of sexism, of women's contributions being seen as less valuable than men's.
    If only it were true.  'Attacked' is subjective - if someone writes an article claiming the Moon is made of cheese and it gets ridiculed, they may not like that, or an article on astrology or the LHC changing the planet's magnetic field.  Far more men have been assaulted for lousy reasoning than women.   Erased? That claim is made up, at least regarding any focus on women.  If we have had 10 articles erased in 4 years I am surprised to learn of it.  

    Like Wikipedia, the gender difference in participation here can't be lumped at the feet of the site or as anyone saying someone's science is less valuable because they are a woman, people here write for basically nothing so they either want to do science outreach for free or they don't but the group is not big enough for anyone to draw a meaningful correlation from gender unless they are desperate to make a spurious conclusion for reasons that have nothing to do with accuracy. Kea does not write here, for example, she has her own site.  She still writes so what would have to be measured is if women do blogging overall and, if not, if the entire Internet is sexist.
    Gerhard Adam
    You are the one that is whining, by denying Helen's experience.  You ARE privileged, since few men or women ever attain a PhD, but you still insist that you are one of the oppressed.  Go tell that sad tell to women that truly have difficult lives and have to make a go of it.

    You insult, patronize, and then complain that the world doesn't fall at your feet.  Well, unless you have something specific that represents actual evidence, you simply sound like an individual that is bitter because everything hasn't gone her way. 

    As your dialogue with Helen readily demonstrates, you don't like anybody and don't accept anyone else's view as being legitimate unless it specifically fits your pattern of victimhood.  Well, if you choose to remain a victim, then it's your own problem. 

    All I have to do is read the tone of your posts to gain insight into your behavior, and assuredly it isn't about gender bias.  You simply exude being difficult and contrary.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Actually, there are many people I like, and I am quite a lovely person. But I fail to see why I should (abstractly, since this is just the internet) like someone who denies my very existence for the sake of wishful thinking. I am usually only aggressive in the face of a blatant denial of facts. It is not the duty of a good citizen to promote the status quo, even if that status quo has existed for millenia. It is the duty of a good citizen to care about the world they leave their children and grand children, or grand nieces and nephews (in my case), or friend's children. And if 3 billion moronic Gerhards want to insult my very existence in public on the internet, that's fine with me, because it is part of the historical record.

    Gerhard Adam
    Spoken like a truly self-centered privileged fool.  You're not aggressive, assertive, nor forceful.  You're just a jerk.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm a jerk for calling you out on your destructive delusions? Well, thank you. Glad to be of service.

    Gerhard Adam
    It's not my delusion.  I'm the "privileged" one remember?  So, you can feel free to revel in your self-inflicted misery and make whatever excuses suit you.  In the end, you've simply demonstrated why it is impossible to take you seriously, and why you're simply difficult to deal with.  That's not gender bias...  that's simply the result of being an obnoxious human being.
    Mundus vult decipi
    So all the data is wrong because of my personal behaviour? Wow.

    One fact regarding the leaky pipeline ... people used to say that childbirth was the primary reason for dedicated women leaving science, but the most cited reason now given by women themselves is in fact institutional bias, known as the 'chilly climate'. With so many PhDs and so few employed female researchers, that's quite a fact.

    One article of interest to physicists, which highlights the necessity of women to outperform men in order to be considered a success:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.2026

    So you don't think society is sexist? How can you argue that a deeply sexist society has no influence on academic culture? Women can now get science degrees in droves only because economic concerns dictated that universities follow the simple principle of catering to the full market; not because the privileged males had any intention of respecting their abilities to study nature.

    https://www.msu.edu/user/brownme1/

    The bulk of women in "higher" education are receiving their PhDs in dubious fields like education, administration, and business. Clear out the soft, Disney bullshit, and women are vastly underrepresented. You're twisting reality to fit your biases.

    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps you should be preaching to the women that you trivialize.  Why lecture their "oppressors"?

    I would love to see you tell all those women with PhD's that they are in "dubious fields" and then watch how you "educate" them into moving into "legitimate" fields.  Yeah ... I'd pay to see that. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    How is reconciling oneself to reality trivializing anyone's experiences? There's naught anything wrong with the aforementioned fields, per se. On the contrary, ignoring and apologizing for where women are heavily represented (and where, in the harder sciences, they are actively discriminated against) purposely obfuscates the issue. Citing the dubious statistic that women gain more doctoral degrees while failing to mention that the fields in which women are over-represented is a deliberately disingenuous argument. There is no equality in ghettoizing women into "traditionally" female fields that pay poorly, lack credibility, and, most importantly, lack prestige,

    Gerhard Adam
    I don't believe I've ever read a more patronizing and insulting attitude towards women than what you've expressed.  In a few shore sentences you've managed to insult their choices, achievements, and careers.  You should be proud.
    Mundus vult decipi
    So you've no answer to the plain fact that women are ghettoized? Women need to know that our choices are constrained by men who wish to stave off competition by preventing us from entering high prestige fields of hard sciences and maths. It doesn't matter whether you don't like it.

    It's patronizing and condescending for you to assume you've the authority to dictate to women whether or not we ought to satisfied with the meagre lot men have ungenerously and reluctantly yielded. The crappest jobs, with the lowest amount of authority, high risk, first to be downsized -- but I'm the one being insulting. Perhaps if you could reconcile your delicate sensibilities to the real world and to women's real-life experiences, you wouldn't be so quick to reject those experiences as unbecoming. If the world makes you uncomfortable then you ought to be willing to help change it, or move the fuck out of the way and stop undermining our efforts to reduce our own oppression.

    Gerhard Adam
    Undermining your efforts?  You're simply a joke.  It is obvious that you have little or no real world work experience.  You've obviously never deal with female-own/run businesses.  You have no concept of women professionals, and you have never dealt with successful women of any stripe.

    If you think that women have the "crappiest jobs, with the lowest amount of authority, high risk, first to be downsized" ... then you're simply not living on this planet.
    ... stop undermining our efforts to reduce our own oppression.
    The only one that can do that is you, and you're doing a pretty good job of it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    It's patronizing and condescending for you to assume you've the authority to dictate to women whether or not we ought to satisfied with the meagre lot men have ungenerously and reluctantly yielded.
    OK ... let's lay the cards on the table.  If I had the authority to affect such change, then you're an idiot for alienating a potential ally.  If I don't have the authority to affect such change, then you're a bigger idiot in whining to me about something I can't change.
    Mundus vult decipi
    As for all the arguments above that employers just don't like ugly, militant feminists, I might remind our readers that an internet persona does not a real person define. Most feminists my age, myself included, started out life as the sweetest angels, as we were conditioned to be. And after many years of working as a waitress, the idea that I don't know how to behave myself in the face of discrimination is ludicrous. I am not the one lacking work experience here.

    This Wank Campbell dude has some serious issues, including the ridiculous shirt. Most of us prep-school assholes stopped wearing those fucken things in our twenties. Grow up, man.

    Hank
    Sorry that we don't all wear Che Guevara shirts.   Shouldn't you anti-science hippies be complaining about the Standard&Poors rating change and blaming George Bush?
    And how, pray tell, is a PhysioProf likely to be anti-science?

    Hank
    We know you, so your insults have some credibility.  Some anonymous clown whose sole contribution is to make fun of a shirt isn't getting the same respect just because he puts 'prof' in his name.    If he isn't willing to use a real name here or on his kooky rant site, there is no reason to take him seriously.  He's probably a postmodernist.

    Oh, you're one of those rightwing ahistorical ignorant morons who thinks using "postmodernist" as an insult effectively wins an argument. You ought to crack open a book once in a while.

    Hank
    Thank you for yet another meaningful comment.   'You are a rightwing neo-con shill for christian big oil' is now leading 'you are a leftwing commie fag junkie' comments about me by 216-211 thanks to you.    Now, zealots may regard being -2.5 as meaning there should be some sort of legislation or outreach money spent on soliciting commenters who think I am a leftwing commie fag junkie but I think it's okay that basically just as many sub-literate kooks on the right dislike when their cultural voodoo is ridiculed as do the left.
    PhysioProf's "Wank" Campbell comment is the win for me, however you want it label it.

    The Stand-Up Physicist
    I am a privileged white male. The Ridiculous Right would claim that since I am a purple guy from a blue state, I must hate myself. Such airbags are getting impressive microphones for their entertaining ideas. For the record, I don't hate myself. My father went to Harvard University and Harvard Law School as his father did before (although I am not sure about the law school part). He was able to pay for my private school education and MIT, which was the second most expensive school at the time, behind Bennington, a game that school played to be first at something. I knew my father valued education above all else, and I must confess I played his assets like a fiddle.
    Life has also been hard. That man I so admired, who drives my desire to learn stuff that is too hard for me deep into middle age, died of mental illness. There, my guiding light, doing an overdose of gout pills. I have walked to Peoria, Illinois because the truck broke down, receiving a ride from a nice convict. I had no money. I thought I might have to sleep in a ditch, and was looking for one that would be comfortable. Someone pointed out the mission, and that was a good place to stay.

    The medical story is complicated, starting with diabetes. I have a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a gastrologist, and an eye ball doctor I see every year. I forgot the dentist. I keep forgetting them because they only inflict pain for serious money, what a screwed up business model.

    The basement academic routine is not easy. The sleep window is open all of six hours. I have a full time job, full time wife, and overtime two year old girl.

    A privileged while male position does not mean life is easy. The fact that five doctors have my chart indicates I know how to work the system even it my own hardware is not good.

    My concerns about this blog is the dash of Ridiculous Republicanisms added for flavor.
    And if the numbers really are what advocates claim, there have been zero improvements for women in three decades, none,...
    Love to see the source cite on that. 
    Women only earn 79% of what men do in environmental sciences.   Are environmentalists stuck in the 1950s?   Mechanical Engineering, on the other hand, is a poster child for NOW, leading occupations with 96%.
    At this point, I have not really focused on STEM. In the view of LOTS of career choices (380+), women had a 1% chance of making more money. The way I grade salaries, women lost on salary in the environmental sciences and in mechanical engineering. The game was closer in mechanical engineering. Reminds me of the Patriots versus the Jets last year (I am still bitter, life is hard). Women got beaten up salary wise as environmentalists, what is up with that? No similar disparity happens with women as lead money makers.

    The salary spread for women to lose is now 79-96% in STEM. Can we imagine it ever going to 95-105%? I would have to find some cluster of 12-15 career choices in some culture where women did make that much relativite to men. Then I would study that set, to understand how they got there. My guess is there is no such culture, but I am unread on this topic.

    I do focus on money, this is America. Wikipedia? No one makes money there, right? Young boys used to use the Internet more because they could play Doom on line. Sneak up on your buddy, give him a headshot. Then young ladies became fans of AIM and used the Internet for longer periods of time than the young lads. There are gender biases in how time gets used. Guys gravitate to wikipedia. I guess there is a reason for it, but it makes little or no economic impact.
    Geez Kea I can't believe you have the stamina to deal with these sorts of arguments for such an extended amount of time.

    Everyone here has started with the presumption of the liberalness of academia. The men here have decided that's since they find everything to be just peachy, then they're just going to keep on thinking that unless "sufficient evidence" is provided. Well guess what dudes: Kea is that evidence! She's been nice enough to spend some of her time explaining to you how your head has been up your ass until now about certain things that affect her and many other women, and you can't take a minute away from telling her what a terrible loser she is to go and inform yourselves. You wonderful academics are so fucking lazy that when someone who's voice you claim to have respected in the past speaks to you with urgency and conviction, you dismiss her with no investigation or glimmer of thought because what she says is not in line with your personal experience.

    Well here's the thing: your experience is exceptionally limited to a very privileged range. Its like your standing on a dock listening to the cries of someone drowning, and you ask your friends standing next to you if they're okay because you can't be fucking bothered to look down. If you cared about fairness and justice, you would lend credence to her claims because you know sexism has existed and still exists! And in the past and now it is perpetuated by privileged white men who don't feel it's effects, so they ignore the women who try to tell them what is going on.

    You claim to have read and respected what Kea has written before, and you know she is extremely educated and informed. You know that by virtue of her identity she has a vastly different perspective and position from which she experiences life because if the systems that you know to be in place all over the work. Yet when data is resented to you that shows evidence for this widespread disparity, you cling fiercely to your original belief, assured in the thought that until the evidence is INcontrovertible, you will keep your fingers firmly in your ears. A real scientist would investigate until they were completely satisfied with the foundation of their knowledge. You are a bunch of sexist intellectually lazy assholes.

    Separately, to Helen, it seems like you are genuinely interested and willing to learn. I would recommend you start by spending some time researching on your own. Someone as accomplished as you should be able to teach themselves when they are genuinely curious. I know you are aware if the vast potential of the Internet for providing information and I invite you to make use of it!

    Re stamina: it's the mountaineering training.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well guess what dudes: Kea is that evidence!
    So, we're supposed to take the sexist position that because she's a woman, then anecdote magically transforms into evidence.  Apparently it's good to oppose sexism until it becomes something you can use to your own advantage. 

    Here's a reality check for you.  Contrary to feminist mythology, men don't automatically succeed because they're men.  Men don't always get along with other men and they don't arbitrarily help each other at the expense of women.  In fact, you might be shocked to learn that many professional relationships are marred because of personality conflicts, regardless of gender.

    So, without knowing more specifics about the individuals involved, it would be ridiculous to take one person's experiences and draw sweeping conclusions about discrimination and bias without evidence.  So while you may adopt the sexist position that women should be exempt from this, the reality is that everyone on this site is challenged when they make unsubstantiated claims.  Insulting people is not evidence, nor is simply asserting your own anecdotes.

    All the posters here have had ample opportunity to provide evidence, links, papers, etc. that illustrate bias, and all have uniformly neglected to provide anything reasonable. 

    Some of the examples in the linked articles are simply absurd:
    Best exemplified by a math teacher, who when asked by the principals office to send students to pick up the newly arrived math textbooks, chose three male students to go and ignored the raised hands of the girls.
    https://www.msu.edu/user/brownme1/
    I would love to hear the rationale for how carrying boxes of math books translates into mathematics bias.

    Even more interesting is that, using their own numbers, sexism occurred about 50% of the time in the same sample used, but more significantly, if we eliminate the issue of the posters, then it occurred 16.5% of the time.   While this is obviously something that could be addressed, it would be an extremely jaundiced view of society to argue that such a statistic indicates that sexism is rampant.

    The problem with the posters scenario (28 out of 80 classrooms) is that we are faced with the problem of the teachers themselves.  Since only 18.2% of Middle school teachers are men, then we have to question who is driving this sexism?

    However, if you want to argue that women are also biased, and subject to having learned such bias from men, then my only point is that you probably don't want to pursue that argument very far.  After all, it clearly suggests a very sexist perspective in presuming that women are too weak-minded to be able to see sexism for themselves or to do anything to correct it. 

    As for the other link regarding Fermilabs, it would be more helpful to see what has come of it, than merely to presume that allegations are the same as conclusions.  I believe this link provides at least a preliminary response from the Dept. of Energy OCR.

    However, once again, the point here is to determine if a problem exists, and whether that problem was addressed.  If not, then it is certainly reasonable to see what alternatives are needed or what corrective measures should be taken.  Few people would defend inequities when they are shown to exist. 

    If your starting point is simply to assume that all men are privileged and biased against women ... well, then you're engaging in your own brand of sexism and it's apparent why you make little progress.  If you don't want or need men's help, then why bother to lecture and insult us?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Actually, white men DO automatically succeed just for being men. In my field, I know of NOT ONE single man who was denied a career after achieving so much. Not one, after a lifetime of observing them up close. Not ever. And yet my situation is very common amongst women and minorities. This feature of the male ladder system is known as the 'roller coaster' or 'conveyor belt'.

    Why do I bother to insult you? Well, as I already explained above, because the young people listening will see what a couple of fuckwit dudes you are, and some young people really are unaware of the extent of sexism in society until it is pointed out to them.

    Hank
    You despise academia.  Yet you want to be an academic.  Do you also despise irony?
    I do not despise academia. I despise sexism in academia, because it is harmful to academia. But then, you aren't the best at reading detailed arguments, are you? As for irony ...

    You think I don't know that my complaints about sexism will harm my chances of getting a job in an exclusively male field? That's privilege. I have been made extremely aware of the unpopularity of my behaviour, as you yourself have here demonstrated, by promoting false ideas without doing even a tiny bit of research.

    Hfarmer
    Yes, Hank it is sexist too.  Sexism is very pervasive, though it can go either way depending on the situation. 

    Unlike anyone else here, that we know of, I have lived as both a male and female in my lifetime.  So I have felt how I was treated differently depending on my gender presentation and expression of my gender identity. 

    As a woman when I go to a mechanic I am treated differently than a man.   The mechanics often try to get me to pay for un needed things.  When I go to an electronics store I either get helped after every other man, or I get helped by a salesman trying to hit on me.

    On Wikipedia I have seen how women are treated differently.

    There exist an assumption of incompetence in women which is associated with female gender roles.  Women are assumed to not know what we are talking about.    This effect Wikipedia in numerous ways.  i.e. Women will be challenged on everything they add to or take away from the encyclopedia.  Where a man's edits may stay based on one source a woman will need two or three.

    On the other hand.

    If you are seen as a male who is trying to invade womens spaces then you are also subjected to a form of sexism.   Consider the Michican Womyn's music festival.   Transgender women (M2F), transgender men (F2M) and of course sympathetic biological men are excluded from there. 

    A more common situation of which I have heard involves single fathers.  Many of them complain that when they go to pick up their children from a daycare some of the women act like they are a pedophile on the prowl.  Women don't have that problem.

    In criminal justice women are found guilty less often, get lighter sentences, etc.  No matter that men commit more crimes.  When a person commits a crime the punishment should be the same right?

    So yes sexism exist in all kinds of forms.  Sexism against women is most prevalent due to the patriarchy of our society.  Before you respond ask yourself this: "Am I behaving in a patriarchal manner?"

    For another transgender perspective please see.
    STANFORD / Transsexual tackles sexism in sciencesJuly 13, 2006|By Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer

    Here are some excerpts:

    Since he became male, "people who don't know I am transgendered treat me with much more respect. I can even complete a whole sentence without being interrupted by a man," Barres writes in his Nature article.

    "Like many women and minorities ... I am suspicious when those who are at an advantage proclaim that a disadvantaged group of people is innately less able," Barres wrote in his four-page essay for Nature.

    He said he's haunted by memories of sexist bigotry during his female youth: "As an undergrad at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," Barres wrote, "I was the only person in a large class of people of nearly all men to solve a hard math problem, only to be told by the professor that my boyfriend must have solved it for me. I was not given any credit."

    Any who have a subscription to Nature can find Dr. Barres's full article here.

    I must also add that the most perplexing form of sexism I have experienced has come to me in the transgender world.  Those who were members of the dominant social group tend to try to dominate the transgender world once they join it.  (i.e. transgender MTF formerly living as a white male, becomes a white transgender female self proclaimed leader or advocate and tries to destroy any who question their so called "authority".)

    Edited to quote Barres and add one more thing.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    Yes, Hank it is sexist too. 
    Finally, someone answered the question.  There is a disturbing trend among people, even highly educated people, to not want to answer awkward questions truthfully about other organizations that they perceive are on their side culturally - this is why many progressives complain about anti-global-warming Republicans but not anti-vaccine Democrats and Republicans will complain about gay people but not militant Christian conservatives.    

    And you didn't fall back on 'you never experienced this kind of discrimination so your argument is invalid' reasoning like others (this time) and I appreciate that.   Being in science media, I have experienced more discrimination events than I can count or recall from people who are on the political and cultural fringes and have zero problem ridiculing the opposition (including 5 characteristics about me) without any liberal guilt at all.

    The contrary point I would make is, if intent is not sexist, is sexist endemic to the organization?   And it would apply to academia also.   As an attractive, young, blonde woman in California, my rocket scientist wife was subjected to prejudice despite the fact that the mega-giant company she worked at had done everything they could to prevent it.   It seems unfair to me to label the company sexist because they do not micromanage the behavior of employees in what has to remain a place of intellectual freedom.
    Hfarmer
    First to your counterpoint:

    Yes, in the case of wikipedia and many organizations sexism is endemic.   The same goes for the situation your wife was in. In fact I would say that sexism is part of most any society.  Sexism is a byproduct of heteronormativity.  In a nutshell the very notion that the genders are so very very different in the first place makes sexism happen. 


    Heteronormativity is often thought of as the attitude that homosexuality is abnormal.  There is more to it than that.  Heteronormativity says their are two (and in some cultures three or four) genders, and each gender on top of it's biological sex has a number of differences.  ie. the yin s male and yang is female.   Boys like blue, girls like pink.  etc. Most cultures recognize two genders (some three and some four).  All of those cultures (even the ones that recognize third or fourth gender options) enforce heteronormative standards.   


    One of those standards in our culture for a long time was that women and black people should not be educated for various reasons. 


    Consider this quote from John Adams.


    This will do you no hurt, my dear, though you must not tell many people of it, for it is scarcely reputable for young ladies to understand Latin and Greek—French, my dear, French is the language, next to English—this I hope your mamma will teach you

    I have seen and heard these ideas expressed by women too in the present day.  On a dating advice forum, I sometimes read, one young woman said "I want a man to do all the thinking and make all the decisions for me.  That's what men are for".   With women harboring such opinions what must such women think of other women who are scientist, or engineer's?  That too is sexism against women inflicted by a woman. 

    One more thing on your wife's situation.  Being a blonde already comes with many stereotypes.  Like being a incompetent airhead or a ice queen (Illustrated very well in this clip).  I would be willing to bet that the more attractive a woman looks the less seriously they are taken.  I think it is the reason that women in science, to the best of my knowledge don't take too much care of their hair. 




     curie

    Second I don't think I ever said that your say, not being black, would make an argument "invalid".  


    You see discrimination is a subjective thing.  It is as much felt by the person it is directed towards as it is practiced by the person doing it.   It can't always be reduced to publishable numbers on paper.  

    i.e.   Suppose a historically black college (HBCU) wants a science writing teacher.  They have two candidates you, and someone far less qualified (who is black).  In order to dodge being called racist they hire you.  They also, to avoid being called racist, never use racial slurs or take any official action against you that would show up in a peer reviewed study, or get the sued.  


    Suppose while working for the HBCU they decided to give you unfavorable performance reviews, pay you less, question why you don't apply heat and chemicals to style your hair into an afro* or get African style braids, because straight hair is unprofessional and messy in their opinion.   How about if they deride the way people of your race talk etc (by playing a routine of a typical black comic)? 


    Would you feel comfortable and not racially intimidated or discriminated against working for the HBCU?  

    That would be about what it would feel like being a black male, or a female in science.  No one will call you names or something so blatant.  Well a real ignorant fool might but such people are rare.  They will just deride your work weather it's correct or not.  (Which IMO is why so few minorities are well known or successful theoretical scientist and do better in experimental or observational subfields.  In such subfields one has hard undeniable data as the result.  In terms of physics I can't think of even one black theoretical (not including computational) physicist.)  They will do everything to discourage you but be subtle about it.  In my example the HBCU would never take an action against you that would be a cause for lawsuit. They would just make you miserable if they wanted to get rid of you. 


    *Yes according to some white corporate folks natural black hair is "unprofessional"... I'm sure they don't think their saying anything racist about the way the hair just happens to grow out of peoples heads.  Edited trying to remove a bunch of annoying empty spaces.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sure they don't think their saying anything racist about the way the hair just happens to grow out of peoples heads.
    Why is that racist?  As a white man, I can't simply claim that "That's just how the hair grows out of my head".  Similarly dreadlocks are a clear style choice and having nothing to do with racism.

    No doubt, similar issues occur with piercings, tattoos, and clothing, so it doesn't come as much of a shock that most people's sense of "professional" is to obtain a look that is fundamentally neutral so that it doesn't overtly offend anyone.
    They would just make you miserable if they wanted to get rid of you.
    ... and how is this different from the dozens of white on white business encounters I've dealt with?  However, the flip side of that are the number of people that truly are incompetent or fail to perform and still think they can legitimately sue for discrimination.

    The problem here, is that whether your points are absolutely true or not, they can't be differentiated from the simple case of someone that simply doesn't like you (regardless of race or gender).  By attempting to put everything into those categories, it negates the fundamental basis of all human relationships which we invariably try to pretend don't exist.

    Basic reality is that people invariably like or dislike each other for non-specific reasons and when we are placed in the artificial social structures like jobs and organizations, we will invariably experience conflicts for equally non-specific reasons.  It is good that the law attempts to address obvious problems of institutional discrimination and bias, and places those on a more firm legal footing, but individual behavior cannot be engineered.

    One premise that I will not accept, is that idea that such inequalities are uniformly accepted by others.  I know few white people that would tolerate or accept racial discrimination and similarly I know few men or women that think gender inequality is a good thing.

    People may still harbor prejudices and bias, but that doesn't mean they will act on it.  If someone doesn't like someone else, it is easy to criticize based on obvious differences, so a automobile driver that does something stupid, becomes a "woman driver", or an aggressive man becomes "macho". 

    However, it is also important to note that racism and sexism aren't simply one way interactions.  For every black person that assumes white people are biased, they are exhibiting their own brand of racism and stereotypical views.  For every woman that believes she should be treated differently because she's a woman also demonstrates sexism.   Many will argue that this can't happen because they insist that it is only a one-way interaction, but in reality we all know that if you go "looking for a fight", in all likelihood you'll find one.  It becomes our prism in how we interpret every event, even the most innocent.  A paper gets rejected, and instead of considering that it might need improvement, we presume it's because we're (female/male/black/oriental, etc. - pick one). 

    As a simple example from my own childhood, I was "discriminated" against by some of my elementary school teachers.  Why?  For the absurd reason that I was German (living in the U.S.).  In this case, because of these teacher's own views, in an ironic twist, my turned-in assignments were never considered to be "good enough", because there were higher expectations from me because of my nationality.  While it might seem that this was positive because it pushed me harder, in reality, it was detrimental because it resulted in simply discouraging me from putting forth my best efforts.  So while this is certainly a trivial and simple example (and I'm NOT proposing that it is the same as blatant racism or sexism), it simply serves to illustrate that I am aware that such influences can have negative impacts regardless of the basis for their origin.

    However, we cannot legislate what is in people's heads.  It would be nice if everyone truly had equal opportunities, but that can never happen (economics alone precludes that).  In the end, it comes down to our own choices and trying to garner whatever support from whatever quarter we can.  Perhaps it will be our parents, perhaps not.  Perhaps it will be peers, perhaps not.  There are no guarantees.  

    People will always separate themselves by their differences and some will act (inappropriately) on those beliefs based on how much support they get from others for their actions.  When race isn't a factor, then often nationality is (or pick some other arbitrary division). 

    So while we can look to the law and government to try and remedy problems, I'm sure no one is so naive as to believe that these solutions are perfect and necessarily produce the desired results.  Therefore the only effective way to facilitate change is to increase public awareness and to garner popular support so that such actions are frowned upon and incentives exist to prevent people behaving in such a biased fashion.

    On a final note .... that also means that you don't make progress by insulting and denigrating those that you hope will provide help or that you're trying to convince (Note:  that is NOT directed at you, Hontas).




    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    1.) I'm sorry that you feel you were being discriminated against.  However, note that almost no one black has gotten higher grades due to lower expectations.  In the few places where one could argue that has occured, it hasn't been a boon to the people treated that way. (i.e. A top athlete given passing grades but who gets a worthless education. They graduate highschool unable to read, and even college with a worthless degree).   The same thing has happened to white athletic students too.  Less is expected of them academically so they don't perform, to their long term detriment.

    2.)Unlike on a white person dreadlocks and afro style hair are just how the hair grows out of our heads.  We don't have to do anything more than shampoo, condition and air dry our hair to make it look that way?  Not unlike what you see in this video.


    Why should anyone black, biracial, multiracial.... anyone with type three or four curls need to do anymore than the above to look professional.  It's really nothing more than what someone with bone straight hair does.

    The alternative is to straighten the hair to conform to the dominant cultures definitions of beauty and professional looks.  That involves using compounds like relaxer on your head. 


     


    This has been your African American cultural education moment. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sorry that you feel you were being discriminated against.
    Sorry, but you miss my point.  It is exactly the behavior that one gets any time people interact.  Whether it's the parent that thinks you can do better, or the aunt/uncle that think you're a prodigy to the parent that thinks you're a loser.  They exert the same, if not more, influence and we don't think to label them prejudice, discriminatory, or biased.  It's simply expected as a part of the human condition.
    Unlike on a white person dreadlocks and afro style hair are just how the hair grows out of our heads.  We don't have to do anything more than shampoo, condition and air dry our hair to make it look that way?
    Once again ... not relevant.  My hair is naturally curly and tends to get a tad unruly if it gets too long.  As a result, if I want to look "professional" then I have to keep it cut shorter.  If I don't care, then I can let it get as long as I like.  Similarly, others may do so with facial hair, or to let their straight hair grow down to their backs.  None of those would be considered professional, regardless of "how it grows out of their heads".
    It's really nothing more than what someone with bone straight hair does.
    As someone that doesn't have straight hair (me), your complaint strikes me as being fashion-oriented and has nothing to do with race or sex.  It would be no different than someone arguing that piercings or tattoos should be accepted.  What people forget, is that I also have a choice in whom I place my trust in and who I do business with.   While I don't care what people do in their own lives, it does affect the way I judge them as professionals.  Why?  Because if they can't be bothered to try and make a good impression, then why would I believe that they are professional when it comes to thoroughness for the job I'm asking them to do?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    A tad unruly? 

    Did you watch the video about what black people have to do to straighten our hair?  LYE caustic LYE is applied to peoples heads and  it burns their scalps to straighten their hair.  The alternative is a red hot metal comb  that can burn them. 

    Watch those then talk to me.

    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    No, the alternative is short hair.
    Mundus vult decipi
    OMG, so you are seriously advocating that all black people cut their hair short?

    Gerhard Adam
    You really are a nitwit.  You apparently don't have a problem that the standard is that most white men have to cut their hair short to appear "professional".
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    Were talking about Women, black women.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    We're talking about looking professional.   Don't know what you want me to say.  Women wear make-up despite the fact that that isn't actually how they look in the morning.  Women wear and do all kinds of things that emphasize traits that they don't actually possess.  I'm not sure why hair is suddenly the one element that is supposed to be different simply because that's "how it comes out of their heads".

    So, I'll freely admit, I'm no expert on women's hair (of any race), so if you can demonstrate some bias based on hair, I'll certainly listen.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    I already did when I cited the article that I cited in the first place.

    The bias is simple.  A white woman can wear her hair as it comes out of her head, down to shoulder length.  Answer me this.

    Which one of these pictures do you think are of this womans hair without her applying any chemicals or heat to it.  What does her hair do after being washed, conditioned, and allowed to air dry natrually?  Is it straight or curly?  Which do you think is more professional and why?



    I ask because from reading your responses I get the impression you think that African Americans have naturally straight hair like white folks and we go through pains to make it different.  Alternatively you grossly underestimate what women (and some men) go through to make it straight.

    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    I think that both styles look professional and don't see anything wrong with either one of them.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    This does present an interesting opportunity to examine your stereotypes and biases though. 
    ...naturally straight hair like white folks...
    Well, this is one "white folk" to whom that statement doesn't apply.  If my hair is allowed to air dry after being washed and conditioned, it will resemble the photo on the right and would NEVER (not in a million years) come close to the photo on the left.  The only difference, is that my hair would be looser curls.  I did entertain the idea of having my hair straightened, but never thought it was worth the effort and simply came to terms with it.  As I've gotten older, I tend to wear it shorter, so it's a non-issue.

    Once again, the point is that if you only view issues from the perspective of an "ism" you'll invariably end up being wrong too
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    It's a relative term.  Most anyone with significant Sub Saharan African admixture will have type 3 or four curls in our hair. 

    It's like your comparing ripples on a pond to 50 foot white caps on the ocean.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    I already did when I cited the article that I cited in the first place.
    But the article you cited didn't actually provide anything specific.  An unknown individual from a some fashion place, made a comment to a bunch of attorneys regarding their view of what constituted a "professional" appearance.   It certainly didn't come from the corporation, and no one seems able to identify who the individual in question even was.  I'm not sure how that qualifies as bias by any definition.  In addition, how does this translate into corporate attitudes?

    Note from the article:
    The style maven said it was 'shocking' that some people still think it 'appropriate' to wear those hairstyles at the office. 'No offense,' she sniffed, but those 'political' hairstyles really have to go.
    The comment was made by a WOMAN.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    A WHITE WOMAN TALKING ABOUT BLACK PEOPLES HAIR. 
    What was your point supposed to be?  Gearhard, you are making yourself look laughalbly ignorant with your comments on this issue.  From saying that black women should cut all their hair off to this.  
    :/
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    To answer the question of why fewer women participate in Wikipedia, one should first question the gender distribution of those who start editing Wikipedia and then drop out. There's a difference between 13% in the start group and 13% in the stay group (proportional dropouts), and, say, 50% in the start group which quickly drops to 13% in the stay group. The latter would imply something about the actual Wikipedia experience and environment which is "not as advertised".

    One might begin with the definitions of "collaborative", "helpful", "supportive" and "respectful". Not everyone has the same definitions of these words. I'm sure elks butting heads for leader of the herd think that's perfectly reasonable behavior. The male elks likely consider female elks lesser beings because they don't follow suit. The female elks likely consider this a ridiculous method of choosing who should be in charge, roll their eyes and just stay out of their way.

    Connect the dots, draw your own conclusions.

    Hank
    Well, yes, but we're here (okay, most of us - a few put blinders on if you deviate from their cultural agenda) to learn too; you connected the dots so what was your conclusion?    And if there is cultural head-butting in US science academia and some smart women choose to go into medicine instead, is that bad?

    It leads to another problem; we get no end to people lamenting that any drop in funding would mean loss of 'leadership' in science so should we get heavy-handed in changing the science culture of the number one science country in the world, when that would perhaps lead to loss of leadership in science?
    Hfarmer
    Perhaps having a more diverse group of scientist with more different brains working on the problems we could regain leadership.  In science it is dangerous for everyone to think about unsolved problems the same way.  So long as well known laws are not violated (unless they are proven wrong in some way).
    i.e. Men seem to think that the best way to improve a device is always to make it bigger. It's sort of a phallic thing I reckon.  Women may think of a different way to solve a problem.   
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    We haven't lost leadership but why risk it to take mathematicians from 48% of college classes to 51%, for example, and to do so through a heavy-handed approach that makes intellectual freedom and choice secondary to forced equality?

    If women "may think of a different way to solve a problem" then men and women are the same, so why let people blast men and academia if women want to be doctors rather than physicists?   Criticizing men and the establishment is exactly what is done when advocacy kooks insist academia is a 'hostile environment' if pay is only 95 cents to a dollar...except in those parts that are 70% women, those areas seem to be just fine.
    Hfarmer
    I see what you are saying in the second paragraph.  The liberal arts and social sciences types generally don't criticize each other.  The hard sciences, medicine, finance etc are who they go after.  
    It's kind of the reason I cited PETA's dressing up like the KKK.  PETA is a animal rights group and a veganism group.  Because they are left wing and agree with things that many liberal whites find attractive they are not treated as what they are.  Racist people who don't see that it's racist to compare human beings to animals for any reason at all. 

    I don't get the first paragraph?  Why would having more women risk leadership?  

    Our society disincentivizes women who are interested in science and math.  In terms of money a little, in terms of social capital, much more.  This relates to the whole "draw a scientist"/"meet a scientist" issue.  If by age 4 most people think that scientist are bearded white men... what will they think when they see your blonde wife... scientist?   What do they think when they see me (and either think I am a natural born woman or not..especially if not)... scientist?  I already know the answer in both cases the answer is NO!  A price is paid in many ways, one of those is a questioning of either our ability or our gender identity which can really mess with one's head.  

    Here is a link to the article by Ben Barres, scientist and female to male transsexual who has seen both how women are treated and men are treated first hand. 

    http://www.nature.com/scitable/content/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/ne0000/10602856/B_Barres13-July-1996.pdf
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    I don't get the first paragraph? Why would having more women risk leadership?  
    If you take a successful group and throw out a percentage of them in order to replace them with a demographic, the focus is now on representation rather than excellence.  I am not saying the women would risk the leadership, in science or wikipedia, but the groups might lose people overall because the focus is not on being the best, but on social good works.

    So if a bunch of people leave Wikipedia because they resent the inference they are sexist because they contribute their time more than some demographic does, that is a loss unless we are certain they would be replaced by the new demographic.    And there is no knowledge they would be replaced because the idea that Wikipedia is sexist at all is just speculation and trying to find social science causes for what is known, the same way social scientists blamed a culture of 'right wing media' for a shooter in Arizona despite the fact that the shooter was not political at all.

    Any scientist writing here who was presented in their field with the correlation/causation and overt statistical manipulation in these gender claims would cry foul, yet because it is an opinion issue people feel free to use goofy stuff, like a survey of classrooms in one school, as proof.
    Wow, you're really a certified 1A top-of-his-class nutcase.

    Gerhard Adam
    After reading some of your sexist stuff, I'm pretty sure it's you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    Who are you to judge him?
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hfarmer
    Why would anyone need to be "thrown out"?

    In the case of Wikipedia there is no physical space or payroll/financial limitation to simply adding more people. 

    In the case of academia  we have a more complex situation.  We can graduate more women PhD's but where can they get work?   We can create more professorships but how do we fund them?  Can we get more money, by raising tuitions?  Who will they teach?

    The answers are not that hard.  We already graduate more women PhD's than before.  We can create more professorships.  If colleges can stop relying on a pool of indentured servants a.k.a graduate assistants/adjuncts to do what professors could do.  The result is people who are more motivated and better qualified will teach smaller classes.  Students, undergraduates in particular, would get to interact more with tenured or tenure tracked faculty than with TA's.  The result would be better instruction, and probably higher tuition...but the price of a diploma is increasing no matter what and for what?  I don't see a TON of new professorships being created around Chicago.     

    This is not a zero sum game.  Their do not have to be loosers all can win.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    People, Hank doesn't understand the word "fail", so we will have to write the correct answer in large type: BY IGNORING OVER HALF THE TALENT POOL ONE IS REDUCING THE QUALITY OF SCIENCE, AND LEADERSHIP IN SCIENCE. Diversity can only improve science. And 2012 physics will prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt ...

    There is no limit to the number of Wikipedians who can participate. Adding more of one group does not imply subtracting from another group. So, there's a major difference.

    The point is that behaviors considered appropriate within one group trying to accomplish a gender-specific goal are not necessarily appropriate or helpful when trying to accomplish a non gender-specific goal. If one gender is far in the majority of a project, one is not surprised if they engage in gender-specific behaviors. That doesn't mean it's helpful or necessary, just that it happens and can be recognized.

    When gender numbers are roughly equal, in any professional field, one sees some adaptation and accommodation take place on both sides. When not, one hears excuses that the profession is going to fail if anything at all is changed. Science is not the first, nor will it be the last.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sure elks butting heads for leader of the herd think that's perfectly reasonable behavior. The male elks likely consider female elks lesser beings because they don't follow suit. The female elks likely consider this a ridiculous method of choosing who should be in charge, roll their eyes and just stay out of their way.
    What a quaintly sexist viewpoint.  While we are obviously not discussing the biology of elks, it is interesting to note that you felt it was perfectly fine to inject a "value judgment" on the male's behavior and seamlessly implied that the females were somehow "above all that".

    Of course, you completely overlooked the fact that such behavior occurs precisely because females value it, since that determines who they mate with, so perhaps you'd like another go at "female choices in males"? 


    Mundus vult decipi
    I thought it was perfectly fine to inject humor. In your case, I was mistaken. Elks do not do science well, if one reviews their contributions to peer-reviewed journals, but that was not the point.

    We are discussing how to attract the best people and facilitate their work so they can be the most productive. This is not about one gender trying to impress the other, but about both genders working together.

    Problems can arise when a majority group (gender or anything else) insist on the conforming of the rest to their own attitudes and traditions, even when those have no connection with the project. A majority group can easily slip into behaviors which may be perfectly appropriate, or at least workable, in a different situation. They may honestly believe these behaviors are helpful, blame others who do not agree, and discourage those others from participation even when those others have much to contribute.

    Example. Many American men play, and enjoy, American football. Few women do. That's a choice. Women don't need to be discouraged, they just prefer other sports. (As do most men in other countries, which is why soccer is the international sport.) On the other hand, many women would like to work in scientific fields but are discouraged early on. One reason is that their male counterparts in school insist science is "for boys" and drag in their behaviors and attitudes from all-male activities, such as American football, into science. This may include roughhousing, ridicule, and extreme competition as opposed to collaboration and helping. Of course some women can be "tough" enough to withstand this, but many prefer to be tough in their thinking but not in their behavior. So, they find something else to do.

    Who loses? Science, and those who would benefit from it.

    The point is not to teach women to act like football players, but to teach both men and women to act like scientists. Consider Rosalind Franklin.

    Hank
    We are discussing how to attract the best people and facilitate their work so they can be the most productive. This is not about one gender trying to impress the other, but about both genders working together.
    Well, yes and no.  I see no benefit to convincing smart women who would otherwise be doctors they should be biologists, as I said.  What we want to do is make sure no one is unfairly prevented from doing what they want, thus the comparison to Wikipedia.  There can't be anything inherent in Wikipedia itself that blocks women so instead we would be forced to start telling the men doing all that work for free that they have to change to be more agreeable to other demographics.   Which seems a little much to ask.

    There are parallels in science.  I know a lot of scientists by now, I love scientists, and they all know I mean this in the nicest way - but they are contrarian, combative pricks.   That is the culture that makes science great, not being nice to each other.   It is a culture of excellence and I have quite literally never had a scientist imply a female could not do science, even though I have the White Guy Decoder Ring and therefore people would be honest if they felt so - especially after a dozen beers.

    The statistics do not show bias - differentiation, yes, but that is not sexism.   Science has flaws, I have written on them too many times to count, but I think it is unfair to saddle people with charges of sexism, especially if the evidence does not show it.
    BUT THE EVIDENCE OVERWHELMINGLY DEMONSTRATES SEXISM.

    "...contrarian, combative pricks. That is the culture that makes science great..."
    What a ridiculous claim to make. I assume you have "evidence" of this? No? I didn't think so.

    Gerhard Adam
    One reason is that their male counterparts in school insist science is "for boys" and drag in their behaviors and attitudes from all-male activities, such as American football, into science. This may include roughhousing, ridicule, and extreme competition as opposed to collaboration and helping. Of course some women can be "tough" enough to withstand this, but many prefer to be tough in their thinking but not in their behavior. So, they find something else to do.
    So the problem isn't sexism, but rather that you feel women should be treated differently?  It appears that the point you're trying to make is that men shouldn't behave like men (even to each other) because it might make women uncomfortable? 

    I assume then, the it is equally unacceptable for men to engage in this behavior if they engage in female-dominated professions. 

    This leads to the question ... when, is it that men should be permitted to behave as men? 

    As a side note ... if you think women are "collaborative and helpful" ... well ... I have yet to see that phenomenon.

    In addition, while you were being smug about the elk, you completely missed the point of the discussion.  The behavior you find so "offensive" in men is precisely what attracts women.  This is why those stereotypes prevail, because women denigrate the "science nerds" just as readily as anyone else.   If women want that behavior to stop, then they need to stop selecting it when it comes to boyfriends and partners.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "You seem to be patronizing women and claiming they are not tough enough to do anything on Wikipedia - I don't do that, I instead contend women don't need some big brother fixing emotional boo-boos for them. It's odd that I am defending the ability and strength of women more than most of the women in these comments."

    This is the sort of gender-specific behavior I was referring to. Women are indeed tough, but few are interested in wasting their time being "tough" when it's clearly not necessary, important or relevant. (Neither are most men, after a certain age.) You apparently believe in it as an end in itself, when you aren't claiming being "contrarian, combative pricks" is a role to aspire to. You reduce the demand for actual respect as sobbing over "emotional boo-boos". Clue: this isn't about being PC, this is about basic attitude and awareness. You denigrate most women, and then excuse that by claiming respect for "some" women. Very odd, and I have doubts you're aware of what you're doing.

    iow, you've achieved a spectacular own goal. If I had provided such an example myself, I would have been criticized as being over the top. I have no idea what your point is here, other than to justify poor attitude and behavior. But as I said - own goal.

    As for Jimmy Wales himself, his behavior and statements have never shown any attitudes of sexism that I have seen. If Wikipedians behaved as he does, I have no doubt the percentage of women contributors would greatly increase. His goal is to improve Wikipedia, as opposed to trying to win arguments by fair means or foul. That's an important diffference.

    Hfarmer
    His goal is to improve Wikipedia, as opposed to trying to win arguments by fair means or foul.

    I agree with this. Too many times the outcome of disputes there is determined by who can be the biggest bully, and who can play the system.

    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    You denigrate most women, and then excuse that by claiming respect for "some" women. Very odd, and I have doubts you're aware of what you're doing.
    Completely untrue on all counts.  I am instead defending a science academia that works well and is a successful meritocracy.   Now, if you want to talk about treating people unfairly, you should be focused on handicapped people and Republicans.  140,000 freshmen students list a disability but fewer than 300 people with disabilities receive Ph.D.s in science or engineering each year.  And Republicans are even fewer.

    So if the issue is fairness, women have it a lot better than a lot of other people - and in the social sciences, as I have noted, they are the privileged majority.

    Like some commenters, you seek to use emotional language ("denigrate") because you lack facts and logic.  The facts are what they are but logic you could at least learn.
    Here we have a privileged white male stating that anyone who is not a privileged white male cannot complain about the behaviour of privileged white males because there are people other than the complainant who are also not privileged white males.

    "contrarian, combative pricks"

    That is the culture of privilege which HOLDS SCIENCE BACK.

    Co-operation > Competition, no?

    Hank
    No, science works.  More cooperation would not improve it, it is people striving to do better than their peers which makes it great.
    Science works efficiently and effectively? So thousands upon thousands of (mostly white male) physicists are forced to work on string theory, to the exclusion of all other ideas, and then string theory turns out to be WRONG. That is efficient, how exactly?

    You really don't get what an idiot you are, do you?

    Hank
    I assume we will get an answer who wins in strings or the Standard model fight (or both are wrong) soon enough.  I didn't say science was efficient - if we cared about efficiency there would be no government funding of science at all - I said it works.  Your next comment about, again, how stupid everyone who disagrees with your paranoid rantings of a vast, male conspiracy is, doesn't deserve a real response.   
    Gerhard Adam
    So now males are "forced" to work on theories against their will too?  Well, your rants are certainly all over the place.

    It seems to me that your quarrel is with people, in general.  It also seems that you're not actually interested in equality.  You just want the bias to shift in favor of women. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    OK, we already get that you don't believe that diversity would greatly improve science.

    I did not say the men were forced. They are brainwashed by the alpha male culture, into believing that the groupthink ideas are the best ones. They will argue forever that they are working on their own ideas, but to outsiders this just looks plain ridiculous.

    As for Hank's mention of string theory: is it really wise for him to mention something that I clearly know vastly more about than him? This is a good example of careless privilege at work. Other commenters may choose their words carefully, but the dudes won't even notice. And yes, this privilege does diminish their ability to do science well.

    Gerhard Adam
    So, mentioning string theory is off-limits?  Well, I guess arrogance doesn't get any stronger than that.  I suppose you don't discuss anything except physics then, since you are clearly no qualified to enter such conversations.

    I'm shocked that you tolerate any of us lesser humans speaking at all.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Not at all! By all means, discuss string theory as much as you like. But don't say you weren't warned, next year, when people look back at this thread and read your words. You will have to live with them.

    Who can get to The Answer first?

    Yeah it works just fine the way it is. Doesn't require any diversity of thought, background or experience.
    Plus, striving to "Do Better" than anyone other than the known commodity of similarly privileged peers might not be such a reliable way to gauge your personal achievements.

    Gerhard Adam
    You're changing the subject.  This isn't about diversity, background, experience, or anything else.  It's simply about whether women are being actively discriminated against.  Don't tell me how men should act differently to be more inviting or inclusive.  That also isn't relevant.  Demonstrate how they actively prevent women from participating.  Show men evidence that even with women in authority, they are denied access.  For that matter show me the effect of changes made by having women in positions of authority.

    Stop with the assumptions and the anecdotal bullshit.  That's not to say that there isn't bias in many places, but the easiest way to show it, is to show how those places have changed when women are given the opportunity to correct matters (i.e. when they are placed in charge).  Show me the differences between female run businesses and male run businesses regarding discrimination and bias.  How does the pay inequity show up?  How about pay inequities with female management in large corporations?

    You provide that data legitimately and you'll have no end of supporters to correct the problem.  You simply want to complain with anecdotes and ask people to take your word for it ... sorry .. you won't find many takers.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much. ;-)

    No doubt, similar issues occur with piercings, tattoos, and clothing, so it doesn't come as much of a shock that most people's sense of "professional" is to obtain a look that is fundamentally neutral so that it doesn't overtly offend anyone.

    there
    is
    no
    such
    thing
    as
    "neutral"
    in a racist, misogynist culture.

    terms like "neutral", "professional", etc. get defined by the dominant culture.

    some of you can't see your privilege because you're soaking in it.

    Hank
    The problem is I don't know anyone in science who matches this description you just laid out.  Not a single person.  So where is this 'privilege'?   On Science 2.0, the only large site not owned by corporate media, where I got nothing but dirty tricks and jeering from big companies and their me-too bloggers when this started?   I got so much privilege I am soaking in it?   You are basically talking out your ass when you level that charge, you know nothing and label everyone - well, everyone else, I am sure you are not racist or misogynist, nor do you ever make fun of men or Republicans or religious people or anyone.

    'Privilege' is a bullshit excuse used by people who didn't get what they wanted and can't rationalize it any other way, at least in US academia.  It is as good as it gets in fairness for all.
    Gerhard Adam
    ...terms like "neutral", "professional", etc. get defined by the dominant culture.
    Yes, and your point is?  Since females represent the dominant gender (i.e. majority) .... let's follow that through to its logical conclusion.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Dominant culture does not mean dominant gender. Gee, why I am even talking to these fuckwits?

    Gerhard Adam
    OK, so even if women are the majority that is insufficient to establish fairness for them, so that must mean that you're still depending on men to establish what you consider fair.

    However, men are privileged and idiots, so you can't possibly convince them, therefore that avenue is closed to you.

    In addition, women are also subject to discriminating against other women, so there's no help from that quarter.

    In short, it looks like the only solution is to make you emperor or something ... so until then ... I guess it just sucks to be you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    So nobody ever got anywhere by protesting? Slavery was never abolished? Black people are still segregated? Women are still denied entry to universities?

    Oh, Kea, these boys are too dense to understand that patriarchy doesn't equal men, or that privilege is something granted whether you want it or not. I was born into a white-dominated culture, I have white privilege, and I own that. I can't change it, but I can try to recognize when it's happening, and make sure I don't act in ways that privilege white people. These so-called scientists just aren't willing to acknowledge their privilege because it hurts their fee-fees to think they might've had a leg up in life. Boys: they're so emotional and irrational so often. It's such a disappointment to me.

    Hm, Gerhard and Hank sure do have a lot of time on their hands. Shouldn't you be doing some science, or doing your share of the housework or childcare? Is denying the experiences of real live women in STEM more important to you? Perhaps you should ask yourselves why you're all in a panic about the possibility that women, in fact, DO experience discrimination on an institutional level. What do you have to lose by admitting that?

    Gerhard Adam
    Wow, it must be so great to be all-knowing and all-seeing.  As for panic?  You've got to be joking. 

    You're the one tilting at windmills.  For someone who's so pressed for time preparing your "peer-reviewed articles", you seem to have plenty of time to argue with two people that can't affect your career one iota. 

    However, at the end of the day, you still don't provide evidence, you still don't appear to be rational, and you seem to just want to alienate.  Hope that works out for you.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Delusional? Irrational? Alienating dudes? Airy wish of luck at that whole fighting misogyny thingummy you ladies got going on? I've got bingo.

    (Where was the anecdote..?)

    That you dismiss diversity, background and experience as irrelevant is exactly the point.
    As for making assumptions - big fail that 'women in charge' will automatically spot / correct matters (whichever matters you were referring to). Getting to the top might require emulating asshole behaviour if there are a lot of assholes at the top.

    Gerhard Adam
    Getting to the top might require emulating asshole behaviour if there are a lot of assholes at the top.
    Then take it up with them and stop blaming men.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    To be totally honest sometimes I feel like this is very true

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2010/09/08/134-the-ted-conference/

    Due to the broad audience watching the talks, TED speakers generally take very complex ideas and boil them down into a simple engaging presentation. So when a white person finds out that you have a PhD and visits and attempts to engage you in a conversation about String Theory, you should know that all of their understanding comes from a twenty-minute talk they listened to while running on a treadmill. You should also be aware that the average white person considers their knowledge on the subject to be on par or superior to yours.
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Indeed, Hontas; the whitesplaining is strong in this thread.

    'Privilege' is a bullshit excuse used by people who didn't get what they wanted and can't rationalize it any other way, at least in US academia.

    Do you understand the concept of privilege at all in this context? If you think the people disagreeing with you are using the word in a nonsensical manner, try substituting the word "luck" or "fortune". Just because you have been lucky enough not to come up against these problems, or someone from a less fortunate group has overcome them anyway, doesn't mean that they don't exist.

    Hank
    I'm hoping you read my article.  I didn't say instances don't exist, nor have I said it never existed and there are no residual gaps left over from a period when discrimination was common.  I said discrimination is not endemic to academia today and the numbers show that.

    All the other complaints, about 'privilege' etc., are ridiculous as a refutation of this simple concept.   If I said to a woman her insights in science don't matter because she was given a free pass by peers due to her gender, it would be just as patronizing as claiming data stated by a man matters less because of his genitals.  It is an unconvincing case when the only argument is that I am a man and therefore must be wrong.

    American academia is darn good about fair treatment for everyone; apparently the best in the world, since all of the instances where women are the overwhelming majority are ignored while male academics accept being criticized for the instances where women are not. 
    Hfarmer
    It does not all boil down to a set of numbers hank.  Your inability to see the forces that even people like DeGrasse Tyson see,  someone who is successful/not excusing failure, shows that the privilege arguement is true.
    It's a simple equation.

    Male privilege is a sociological term that refers quite generally to the special rights or status granted to men in a society, on the basis of their sex or gender, but usually denied to women and/or transsexuals. 

    +

    white privilege is a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages thatpeople of color experience. 


    =
    White male privilege. 

    At least DeGrasse Tyson was willing to admit he could not know what a woman deals with in science and academia.  Why can't you have the humility to admit as much? 

    You are like a neutron in a electromagnetic field, privileged by not feeling it's field lines and eddy's. 


    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    At least DeGrasse Tyson was willing to admit he could not know what a woman deals with in science and academia. Why can't you have the humility to admit as much?
    Because it is too selective compared to actual results. As I showed, the numbers of handicapped people and Republicans is the real crime if we are alleging bias in academia.  When Tyson stands up for those two shockingly under-represented minorities, then he will really be taking a stand for equality.  Otherwise, he is playing to the crowd and women are part of the crowd blocking out those other two.  

    Ignoring the data and letting fine academics be insulted despite the data because I am not a woman would be cowardice.   Appealing to a media personality as an authority in anything is ridiculous.  Data is data, it is not vetoed because a guy is on TV.  If he said women and black people were doing great, would he be authoritative to you?  If not, then his opinion is pointless.
    Hfarmer
    Ignoring the data and letting fine academics be insulted despite the data because I am not a woman would be cowardice.

    You don’t see that the data you cite does not tell the whole story. That is what we are saying. You understand the numbers but not the emotions. The sense of being made unwelcome in the boys club or the country club because you are not a white male.


    Furthermore

    Wherever anyone cites data that goes against what you say you find a rationalization to ignore it. Like, so what if women get PhD’s more often, and get hired more often, are the given tenure and retained more than in the past? Not according to this. 

    According to the faculty group, which calls itself the Ad Hoc Task Force on Gender Equity in Promotions at UB, 23 percent of the 53 women who came up for tenure between the 2003-4 and the 2007-8 academic years were denied, compared with only 10 percent of 91 men who made tenure bids during the same period.

    At my own DePaul university even

    Namita Goswami, a philosophy professor, and Quinetta Shelby, a chemistry professor, were two minority candidates denied tenure this year. Four other minority professors were also denied, although one’s denial was reversed.
    Every white professor up for tenure at the same time received the lifetime job guarantee, said Matthew Abraham, a professor in the Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse Department. This follows tenure controversies in 2007 over Norman Finkelstein, an outspoken critic of Israel, and in 2009, when five of seven professors denied tenure were women and another was a minority man.

    As for my mention of Degrasse Tyson; He’s not some washed up unsuccessful person complaining. The thing I keep hearing again and again here is that people who complain about white male privilege are only trying to make up for their shortcomings. Well what failure is Tyson trying to excuse?  

    Perhaps just perhaps you can be brave enough to admit that in the United States of America a white male has certain advantages just by being a white male. 

    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Hank
    Tyson is successful is a fine point.   He is a black man born during segregation and yet academia did not prevent him him from succeeding 30 years ago nor since - but the contention is academia is oppressing women today.

    The numbers say otherwise so now you are changing the argument to be "the emotions" of the issue.   Really, making discrimination in the brain of each individual is a great strategy because it means everyone is oppressed if they want to say they are - including white men, unless you intend to discriminate against their emotions.
    Why is it that every website I visit with the word "science" in it is populated by 1/4th people who belong on a site like that and 3/4ths by dudes who have zero critical thinking skills and a whole backpack of bigot issues to bring to the table?

    Hank
    My guess would be that you are a kook who calls everyone who disagrees with your kookiness a bigot.   It means you don't know what the word means.   I mean, you think 75% of the science world are bigots.  You are a nutcase.
    "you think 75% of the science world are bigots"

    I knew you couldn't be honest. I never said that, now, did I?

    What a LIAR you are. You should be ASHAMED.

    Hank
    Why is it that every website I visit with the word "science" in it is populated by 1/4th people who belong on a site like that and 3/4ths by dudes who have zero critical thinking skills and a whole backpack of bigot issues to bring to the table?
    That is your whole comment.  3/4ths is 75% unless your math is as bad as your reasoning skills.   By all means, claims 75% of science sites are bigots.   You're a kook, plain and simple.
    Science blogs and websites do not equal the whole of the science world.

    But then you already knew that. That's why you are intellectually dishonest instead of JUST an idiot.

    OK viewers, so the final exhibit in the Monkey Parade is the MenMustWinAll arguments phenomenon. Let us now congratulate the dudes on winning this argument, with their wit and vast knowledge of the questions under discussion. Clap, clap! ManlyHeaven forbid they should realise the error of their ways, before they die, lest they delete this blog post in panic (not that that would remove it from the internet). Keep up the good work, dudes!

    Kea, you forgot to mention how pretty they are, and how they smell nice, too. Also! Their enormous... feet. And then, we should of course admit that we're a bunch of stupid girls who couldn't POSSIBLY understand our own experiences in the world or in academia, because dudes? They know what we go through. How could they not? They know everything about everything, through the mighty power of testosterone. They have succeeded by being superior to all others, especially women, minorities, the queer and the disabled. It's just TALENT and HARD WORK, by god, that explains why the vast majority of people running schools, corporations, and governments are white men.

    And if you believe that, I've got some swampland in New Orleans to sell you.

    To anyone who's actually curious about the question of women in hard sciences, I strongly recommend two posts from this blog: http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/2011_02_20_archive.html.

    I had trouble linking to the posts themselves, but they're not too hard to find on the page linked here. Search for the term "hard sciences" to find some very well-written ideas on this topic.

    Hank
    It gets difficult to sort, remember, etc. all of the various links people have used as supporting information so to make it manageable I also made this a topic on Storify - obviously this has been a topic for decades so it won't go away any time soon but people can just add stuff, in support of the academic culture or against it, as they find them, so at least there will be a repository.    

    I logged in using twitter to create it but they seem to have lots of ways to log in and add stuff.
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, one thing that is becoming obvious from many of the comments here.  Regardless of ambitions, or qualifications, there are two clear reasons why most of the women that are arguing so vociferously would never be chosen for leadership positions in any team endeavor.

    By the way; neither of the reasons have to do with male privilege.

    Mundus vult decipi
    These results are based on THIS study, which has been linked at the top, but which discussants seem to have overlooked:

    http://www.wikipediasurvey.org/docs/Wikipe...h2010-FINAL.pdf

    It's a return survey of WP users that has about 170,000 returns. We have no idea if women are more likely to return the survey or not.

    The responders are dominated by Russian users in Russia, but nearly half the English users (the second most ppular language) were in 3rd world countries. India is my guess for most of them.

    The mean age of the male responders was 26, that of the females 24. Only 1/3 of the responders has a "partner" and just 15% had one or more children. Responding to Wikipedia surveys is highly correlated with not having anything else to do on a Friday night, because this age demographic should not look like this.

    The gender data is on page 6. Only 25% of the responders are women, which means that even if they are fairly represented in responders, only 1 in 4 users of WP (even just to read it) is female. Most of the users don't edit, and the rate of "reading without editing" is higher in women than men (84% vs. 63% read but don't write), yet still, at least half the "female lack" on WP is due to the fact that men are 3 times as likely to look at WP at all. Even if we used the relative tendency of females to be passive and read but not edit, if women made up half of WP users, and these only edited at the low female rate of 16% for a female user, the fraction of wikipedia contributors who are female would be at least 30%, not 13%.

    So there's half the problem right there: lack of female use of WP, not some toxic environment that keeps women from editing it. We don't even know if these "missing women", many in the third world (as judged by the male responders) even use the internet at all. They certainly don't use Wikipedia. If there's a sexist problem here, it's at the internet/computer access level.

    The rest of the survey doesn't answer basics. Somebody looked to see if the 15% of people with children were less likely to be editors, and it had no effect, but nobody bothered to break this down by gender. Since 87% of the total contributors were men, we have no way of knowing if the lack of effect of being a parent was entirely due to the fact that nearly all these young contributors were male. It would have been nice to know.

    Did being in a relationship similarly have any effect on whether the user used WP only to read, but not edit? Nobody bothered to look!

    Hey, Mr. Science 2.0, start by reading your own data sources. And that goes for your blog readers, too.

    Hank
    You seem to be missing the point, since you basically say what I say but imply you are saying something else; a whole bunch of people use flawed knowledge of the data, or in some cases intentionally spinning it, to make Wikipedia seem sexist, just like they do with academia.   And when the data flaws are shown, they rationalize results they want to believe anyway, using emotions and inference about hostility to explain a problem that hasn't been shown to exist.
    True enough. But even you didn't bother to get all the juice out of the lemon study were were handed. There's a hell of a lot we don't know, and it's the important part. Why don't women even READ Wikipedia? Is this just some problem in Russia or the third world, or is this all the same in the US and Germany? (methods for addressing it will vary). Do we have ANY reason to believe that low numbers of females is partly also to be found in questionare return bias?

    And finally, nobody has address my prevous comment that Wikipedia itself may provide one of the best single controlled experiments regarding sexual descrimination-- far better than looking at academic post or job stats. The reason is that Wikipedia, even more than publication in the STEM fields, is anonymous. Nobody can possibly find out if you're a woman on WP unless you tell them. So all the complaints from women about how they are treated differently and badly, also go out the window. Take "Twelveth Night" lesson and pretend to be a man, if you feel you're getting the short end of the stick. Or sign in as an animal. What keeps women from doing this? Does anybody ask? Is anybody wondering? All I hear is moaning about how Wikipedia mirrors the rest of the cruel world. But there are any number of reasons why this should not have to be so.

    Doofus

    Wikipedia is a bunch of crap. Anyone can edit it, so that means people of either gender who have no clue what they are talking about...or people of either gender with an agenda. Anything I read on Wikipedia, I take with a grain of salt...and with all the disclaims put onto so many articles these days, it appear Wikipedia itself is doing the same. If I really want to know something I go to a variety of sources, not just wikipedia. As for alleged sexism/racism and anti-religion at wikipedia, I wouldn't be surprised. With a bunch of rich white atheist college men running the show, what can you expect?

    Good article Hank.

    Hank
    Talk about taking some proofiness and running with it - these Univ of Minnesota guys basically just read the NY Times spin and are giving a talk on it without analyzing the data at all.   Unfortunately when it comes to hot-button cultural issues, this is the norm rather than the exception, as comments here have shown.   Researchers reveal Wikipedia gender biases.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I've just read the Science Codex article you linked to and found this part rather confusing :-
    Third, the researchers analyzed the role of gender in conflict among Wikipedia’s editors. The research indicates that the articles females tend to edit are twice as likely to be about controversial or contentious topics. In addition, female editors are significantly more likely to have their early contributions undone by their fellow editors, and are more likely to be indefinitely blocked by fellow editors. Taken together, these findings hint at a culture that may be resistant to female participation.
    “We expected to find that females would avoid conflict, but to our surprise we found just the opposite,” Riedl said. “We’re not sure exactly what this means, but it may give us more insights into the Wikipedia culture that could be one of the contributing factors to the gender gap.

    I suppose I will now have to read the research paper at www.grouplens.org/node/466

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    They are eliminating social differences of women to make the case that Wikipedia is sexist.  It's classic nonsense.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat

    OK, well here is a summary of what I found about conflict and gender differences in editing at Wikipedia from reading the actual research paper :-

    Research Question 3 (RQ3):Gender-Conflict

    What gender differences exist in conflicts in Wikipedia, and how do those differences relate to the gender gap?

    Prior research finds that :-

    Studies on gender and personality have shown that females tend to have more agreeable and less aggressive personalities, which suggests that they may tend to avoid conflict if possible. Therefore, a possible explanation for the gender gap is that females may find conflict among Wikipedia editors to be distasteful and unappealing, and may simply choose to not edit Wikipedia as a result. As a partial test of this explanation, we hypothesize that Wikipedia’s existing female editors tend to do their work in less controversial areas.

    Research in multiple domains indicates that males are more likely to violate rules and that they are more aggressive, especially when provoked. Thus,we hypothesize that females are less likely to be blocked than males, and that conflicts that escalate to the point where a block is required are not a contributor to the gender gap.

    The researchers came up with the following 4 hypotheses and rather mixed results :-

    Hypothesis 1 -H3aF-Uncontentious: Females tend to avoid controversial or contentious articles.

    Hypothesis 1 results

    Unexpectedly, we find that female editors are more concentrated in areas with high controversy (H3aF-Uncontentious).

    Hypothesis 2 -H3bF-Reverted-More: Female editors are more likely to have their early edits reverted.

    Hypothesis 2 results

    We find that female newcomers have a harder time getting good-faith contributions to be accepted bythe community.

    Hypothesis 3 -H3cF-Reverted-Leave: Female editors are more likely to stop editing and leave Wikipedia when being reverted as newcomers.

    Hypothesis 3 results

    Findings for H3cF-Reverted-Leave indicate that the effect of having an edit reverted is no worse for females than it is for males.

    Hypothesis 4H3dF-Blocked-Less: Female editors are less likely to be blocked.

    Hypothesis 4 results

    Females and are more likely than males to draw corrective actions from fellow editors.

    In summary, the available data indicate that female editors experience more adversity than male editors in all the areas that we studied. 

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    In summary, the available data indicate that female editors experience more adversity than male editors in all the areas that we studied. 
    Only if the fact that there are fewer women is thrown out.  I don't mean respondents to the survey, that was shoddy enough, I mean users on actual Wikipedia.   Studies show women don't use it, so why would they edit it?   Women may not like the interface, they may be more discerning than men and trust it less - whatever the reason, women don't use it.  That doesn't make it sexist.  Again, if any difference in gender means sexism then the humanities, education and social sciences are overwhelmingly sexist against men so anyone who really cares about diversity would be talking about that. 

    Heck, the survey had so little controls there is no way to even know if the women who responded were women - it isn't like IP addresses or usernames tell anything.   The confidence interval of that thing is maybe 65%.

    What if there were more women, or maybe an overwhelming majority, like there are with men in online shooter games?  Women sure as heck would not be oppressed.   This must be what classes in the humanities are like.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Actually, from my recent experience doing a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, I would say its not at all like that for the minority of men in the Social Sciences lectures, they usually get a lot of positive encouragement from the women and even seem to have a slightly elevated status whenever we did practicals or so I thought. But yeah, yeah, yeah its only anecdotal!

    I think that the results from the research paper's hypothesis testing are really very interesting, did you read them or did you only read the summary? They imply to me that a lot of women are put off quite easily by conflict at the start of their editing experience and leave or stop editing Wikipedia but that the hardier ones who remain are pretty equal in most areas to men except that they are 'MORE LIKELY than males to draw corrective actions from fellow editors'. Now ideally they need to do some more research to find out if this corrective action is egalitarian between men and women. It shouldn't be that difficult to examine whether women are unfairly drawing more corrective action than men at Wikipedia should it? Anyway, even if they are not and maybe just the tougher more aggressive women remain, which would make sense, the most important result I think is that the majority of women avoid conflict and leave early on. I think this is the same factor that probably causes the 'glass ceiling' in the STEM jobs and the low ratio of women to men generally in some of these STEM work areas.


     


    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    They imply to me that a lot of women are put off quite easily by conflict ...
    If that assertion is true, then it suggests a problem with women's attitudes and ability to handle conflict .... not sexism.  If they are not being treated differently from anyone else in that community, then whatever else it is, it isn't sexist.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    If it turns out not to be sexist and that women are not unfairly drawing more corrective action then maybe the methodology by which people's edits are criticised could possibly be improved to be less confrontational and upsetting? Maybe there need to be better rules of etiquette and guidelines so that Wikipedia topics and content one day better represent the world's population distribution and are then referenced by more people from the many different walks of life that make up our society and not just a high majority of men? 
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    That is simply arguing that sexism is necessary by advocating special treatment for women.

    I want to be clear that arguments about conflict, aggressiveness, etc. are all irrelevant.  The only question is whether or not individuals are specifically being treated differently because of their gender.  If not, then whatever else you want to say, it isn't sexist.  It isn't sexist, simply because someone is uncomfortable with other people's behaviors, except within that context of gender targeted behaviors.  If men are equally aggressive with each other, then there's no sexism. 

    Similarly, we have to be careful about simply looking at the statistics.  Using just a simple example, if I were to criticize you regarding physics and not criticize Tommaso, that isn't being sexist.  It's simply that he has more credibility regarding physics than you do.  Gender has nothing to do with it. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    No I think we should all be treating each other better, men and women alike. Aggression is so very uncivilised and good manners and respect for each others sensitivities is much more conducive to better outcomes for everyone. We are human beings not Elks.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Fine, but it shouldn't be wrapped in the political mantle of sexism.  If you want to crusade for more civil behavior, then by all means, do so.   Women do not get to claim special exemption from normal behavior, regardless of how unpalatable they may find it.

    It is always interesting to hear people comment about how "aggression is uncivilized", until they need it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    But why is it OK for aggression to be 'normal' behaviour, unless you are a male Elk stag with antlers?

    Hank
    That means get rid of sports and science and almost every occupation - virtually every job that is based on performance will be eliminated if actions have to be homogenized down to the lowest common denominator for 'hurt feelings'.
    Sorry but what place does aggression have in science other than to brow beat people who disagree with you?

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, that's an interestingly aggressive response.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It would probably only appear aggressive to an aggressive male.

    Gerhard Adam
    How convenient.  So apparently using a rhetorical question to frame a question as sarcasm is fine, so long as it's a woman doing it.  The problem here isn't aggression.  The problem is the female denial that they're just as aggressive.

    BTW, nice use of passive-aggressive to continue making my point.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    The problem here isn't aggression.  The problem is the female denial that they're just as aggressive. BTW, nice use of passive-aggressive to continue making my point.
    BTW Gerhard, that anonymous was me, hopefully you are not disappointed, I just couldn't be bothered to log in as I was busy doing something else and hey its quite good fun being 'anonymous'. 

    Look, without a doubt some females can be very aggressive and so can some men, but the data and results show statistics in this research that MOST women avoid conflict and leave pretty well as soon as they encounter it. The paper also references previous studies which even show that 'females tend to have more agreeable and less aggressive personalities' and that 'males are more likely to violate rules and that they are more aggressive, especially when provoked'. 

    Why can't you just accept this data from all these studies? Its true that its not really sexist if both sexes are being treated the same but its also true that male elks have antlers and a lot of testosterone, thicker skulls and bigger stronger muscles than female elks and that men have more testosterone, thicker skulls and stronger muscles than women. A male elk fighting a female elk would be violating natures principles and likewise most women are also not psychologically and  physically as well equipped to fight aggression as men are, but why should we have to? 

    Aggression that causes serious physical harm outside of sport is usually punished with a prison sentence, so why should serious psychological aggression be considered OK in a civilised society or even at Wikipedia? Also no one has explained to me yet how aggression in science is a good thing and until they do I remain unconvinced.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Be as unconvinced as you like, but if you're arguing that male behavior needs to change to accommodate females, then that's sexist.  It doesn't matter how you think people ought to act, it's how they do act that matters.  There's actually nothing wrong with claiming that women should be treated differently, but it does put a bit of a damper on the whole equality thing within this type of social context (i.e. we're not talking about equal pay, etc.).  That's the part that tends to get confused.  I can't think of any male that would agree that women should be paid less, or that women should be denied opportunities, although I expect that there are men that feel that way.  I don't believe it's the majority.  However, when women also equate that equality into trying to change male behavior, then they've crossed a line that will never be acceptable.  I cannot consider you a peer, if I have to adjust my behavior to your sensibilities, because it essentially means that there are things that can never be said or subjects broached.  That's not how peers behave.

    The point being that male elks do have antlers and they will never behave as female elks do, no matter how much you try to cajole them into it. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I cannot consider you a peer, if I have to adjust my behavior to your sensibilities, because it essentially means that there are things that can never be said or subjects broached. That's not how peers behave. 
    Hang on a minute, what are you saying? I'm just asking for less aggression, you can talk about any subject under the sun to me without upsetting my sensibilities. I'm the only crisis telephone counsellor that I know who has never hung up on anyone!
    The point being that male elks do have antlers and they will never behave as female elks do, no matter how much you try to cajole them into it. 
    I like to think that men are not beasts, that they can control their behaviour and be less aggressive if this behaviour is not positively reinforced. After all, according to another blog here at Science20 many men have rape fantasies but it is not acceptable for them to run around raping women is it, even though some animals and many men do this during wars and probably often have done over the centuries? 

    There was a time when men opened doors for women and gave their seats to pregnant women on buses and trains for example and some men still do and I don't see what is so wrong with this and why it is sexist. It is not acceptable for you men to be aggressive towards sick and dying people, little children, old people, mentally vulnerable people but somehow its OK for you to be aggressive towards often physically weaker women otherwise it would be sexist behaviour that somehow affects our rights to equal opportunity and pay in the workplace?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Of course ... women would never be aggressive.  So, should I consider aggressive females as abnormal?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    The Science 2.0 entry on there has been a complete boondoggle but I don't allege it is sexism.   Maybe competitors are involved, I suppose.  I mostly just think Wikipedia is crap - and I am right.  So, again, maybe women see that more than men do.
    Gerhard Adam
    It would've been helpful if they would've included correlations between their sense of "quality" for the articles in evaluating this.
    We found that the average male article is 33,301 bytes long, the average female article is 28,434 bytes long, and the average neutral article is 36,511 bytes long. All differences are statistically significant (t-Test, p < 0.001). So, on average, male articles are significantly longer than female articles, which indicates that coverage quality of topics with particular interest to females is indeed lacking.
    http://grouplens.org/system/files/wp-gender-wikisym2011.pdf
    So, as I said ... if this correlation could be shown between contributors as well as editors, we might be able to assess whether there is a material difference, or not.  I noticed that no one proposed that the female articles being of shorter length (implying poorer quality) that it somehow reflected that female contributors were also correspondingly of poorer quality.

    After all, isn't ironic that subjects that are of female interest reflect the poorest quality and yet the implicit presumption is that it is males that have written them.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Helen

    If I have to be concerned about your sensibilities, then I have to be concerned about my own emotions and feelings and how their expression might be interpretable as aggression (or any number of other things that someone might be sensitive to).  Perhaps I'm angry about something, but you're suggesting that I can't display that because someone might become intimidated by it.  Perhaps I'm frustrated and I have no patience ... then I'm not supposed to express those feelings because someone might find it aggressive.

    Overall, my point remains ... special treatment based on gender is sexist.  If you think that it should occur, then that's fine, but it's still sexist.

    I also think I was quite clear in separating out this general point versus equality in work (pay&opportunity).
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Look Gerhard, everyone knows what aggression is and it is not the same as expressing your emotions and feelings, unless of course you are feeling aggressive. Its fine for people to show that they are angry but its not OK to threaten and hurt other people because you feel angry, surely you can see that? 
    Anyway, I imagine that its impossible for men and women to never show any aggression but they can still have peaceful, respectful codes of conduct in the workplace or at Wikipedia, that are recommended and that is often the case in many work environments. Maybe the STEM work area is just somehow lagging behind? 

    IT guys are usually great from my experience, wonderful, intelligent and logical guys, maybe physicists and mathematicians for some bizarre reason are more aggressive and have also never had to adopt these codes of conduct in the workplace? Funny because they have plenty of rules about non-disclosure of information to the general public and plenty of PR companies to present the right image, even though they might be, from the sounds of it,  a pack of wild, rutting elks behind this public veneer.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Of course people can behave well, but they may also be passionate about a topic and appear aggressive.  To me, it's simply too vague a concept which is why I'm not keen on it being used as a criteria for women's comfort levels.  Let's be honest.  The most aggressive behavior in this thread has come from women.

    Why would you jump to the concept of threatening or hurting people?  That's certainly not within the realm of possibility regarding Wikipedia or any of these online sites.  Physical contact is clearly a different phase of aggression.  However, conflict will occur and it won't always be pleasant.  So, once again, it's too bad if women are conflict-averse, but you aren't going to change people's behaviors, especially in topics they may feel passionately about.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    To me, it's simply too vague a concept which is why I'm not keen on it being used as a criteria for women's comfort 
    You've obviously never had to work in a place with strict codes of conduct in place like I have and most people in the Social Science work areas usually have. BTW you can threaten and hurt people non-physically, surely you realise that?
    Let's be honest.  The most aggressive behavior in this thread has come from women. 
    Yes, maybe you are right. These were the few hardy feminist women who weren't put off by aggression and conflict and who stayed to fight it out, though it looks like they have gone now and they are very much the minority of women, the majority of women wouldn't stay. Women who say that they have tried often unsuccessfully to deal with male aggression in the STEM workplaces by also being aggressive, but probably in a different and unacceptable manner to men. There is quite a difference between how male and female verbal aggression is expressed as you would expect. Maybe some of these women are sometimes even more verbally aggressive than the men to try to compensate for their lack of thick skulls, testosterone and antlers? :~)
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    These were the few hardy feminist women who weren't put off by aggression and conflict and who stayed to fight it out
    It's telling that the women who started the aggression and used nothing but aggression and insults are 'hardy' and weren't put off' but men who calmly made points in the face of all that hostility are...what?  
    Still here?

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, Helen but I don't buy it.  Aggression is invariably in the eye of the beholder (beyond obvious physical confrontations).  That was the whole problem with "elevator-gate".  The female perceived something that wasn't there (at least from the guy's perspective).  Whether she felt "creeped out" or whatever, the reality is that there was nothing untoward that occurred and her drawing attention to it simply emphasized how differently people can view the same event.

    If someone feels I'm being too aggressive, or are intimidated, then it's THEIR problem, not mine.   If women crumble at the first sign of aggression, then perhaps they're simply not suited for environments in which it will occur.  Asking others to "make nice" is ridiculous, because it isn't something that can be counted on.  Also, the notion that men are arbitrarily aggressive or don't have to deal with it (i.e. have their own concerns, including physical safety), is simply naive on the part of women.

    The underlying issue here is that women are making this argument solely from their own perspective, instead of recognizing that there is a male side to this as well.  Do you really believe that every male is a "brother" that looks out for their own gender?  Do you really believe that men don't have to deal with aggression in a variety of forms, or that they may also be intimidated?  However, by using this female perspective, there is no effort made to understand anything from a male point of view, so it turns into an "us vs them" argument.   Most men recognize that such a perspective is naive, but there's not much point in arguing it, because you'll never understand it.  Women seem to think that the world can be made non-aggressive, rational, civil, non-violent, merely by wishing for it.  Men have to deal with the reality, for when that perspective proves to be wrong.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hfarmer
    Ah ha!  If aggression is in the "eye of the beholder" then it stands to reason so is being made unwelcome.  
    Maybe to the men they think that a bunch of macho head games is including the woman as an equal.  What they don't see is that it just puts women off dealing with the situation.   

    When there is an atmosphere of intimidation, macho head games, sexual comments, and "boys being boys" in the worst way that is a sexist environment.  

    What this beholder sees you doing to Helen, who has been all kinds of reasonable is  being stubborn and hard headed. Aggressive would be offering reasonable counter arguements not simply crossing your arms and denying the validity of any study that does not support your point of view (or perhaps saying that any study that isn't from 2011 is outdated or invalid somehow). 

    So you know what Gearhard fine,  you win, you get to say that there is not sexism all you want.  You also get to feel like you have won.  It's just not worth discussing with you anymore. 
    Science advances as much by mistakes as by plans.
    Gerhard Adam
    No, that's where you're wrong.  I don't need a study to indicate how I feel, but being male I'm being denied the right to express it.  Instead I'm being lectured by those that think that male ideas are invalid and need to be changed to conform to the comfort level of others.

    That's the reality that everyone wants to deny.  Men don't count.  The only thing that counts are the feelings of those that think men's behavior should change.

    You can go ahead an pout, but you've simply demonstrated that you can't deal with an honest expression of masculine feelings.  Instead you automatically interpret it through the prism of aggression and male privilege.  You're the one that can't be reasoned with, because you already "know" the answer and anything else is simply male stupidity.

    Bear in mind, that you think it's acceptable to cherry pick my quotes and add your own commentary (implying that I made those comments).  That's disingenuous and a cheap trick.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Aggression is invariably in the eye of the beholder (beyond obvious physical confrontations).  That was the whole problem with "elevator-gate".  The female perceived something that wasn't there (at least from the guy's perspective).  Whether she felt "creeped out" or whatever, the reality is that there was nothing untoward that occurred and her drawing attention to it simply emphasized how differently people can view the same event.
    Look, I've managed to keep quiet about elevator-gate until now, and I'll probably regret saying this but the threat that the woman perceived is not so far-fetched and represents real threats that regularly happen to women in the world and that even recently happened to me. 

    About 5 months ago I was a photographer at a friend's fashion show at Surfer's Paradise, here in Australia. My camera was running out of battery charge, so during the break I went up to our penthouse suite to recharge it for 10 minutes. I then jumped back in the lift with the camera round my neck, without its lens cap on because we had lost it and with the camera switched off to conserve the battery. 

    It was about 9 pm and in the quite small lift was a tall, young, quite good-looking guy who smiled at me as I got in, so I smiled back being the friendly person that I am. To my amazement he then stepped forward and started to put his arms around me. My reaction was to laugh and say 'Are you coming on to me? You've got to be joking, I'm a fifty year old woman and what are you, 23?' He said 'I'm 20'. I said 'Well forget it, you're making a big mistake' and he stepped back. 

    As we got out of the lift on the ground floor, unfortunately no one was around and to my amazement he again grabbed my shoulders and slowly pushed me backwards through a fire exit door opposite the lift. I lost my balance and fell backwards onto some stairs and realised that I was now in a really bad situation with him standing over me. I remember thinking thank God I'm wearing jeans, anyway I suddenly remembered the camera and pointed it up at him. He covered his face with an arm and I immediately dashed past him and out of the fire door.

    I'm not going to describe what happened next as its pretty irrelevant here but the reality is that all I did was smile at a guy in an elevator and next thing I was in a very threatening and obviously pre-meditated (by him) situation, I think that any woman who had got into the lift would have been targeted, even someone as old as me, and it wasn't a figment of my imagination it was a very real threat and attack even if it was still quite ludicrous.

    Historically men have raped women and some men probably always will but most men don't, because it is socially unacceptable and to some extent punishable by law, even though not many people realise that you can't actually be found guilty of raping your wife in many countries because she's your wife and therefore its not rape. However, some men and probably even some women will continue to have rape fantasies and by recounting what happened to me here I could easily be accused of the same. 

    I hope that one day, overly aggressive behaviour towards other people, like rape, will also become a completely socially unacceptable behaviour of the past that will mainly only exist as a fantasy in some people's minds. They will always remain a real and genuine threat though, because these aggression and rape fantasies will probably still be hovering just below the surface in many people, ready to resurface the moment the opportunity presents itself in a less civilised, more anarchistic environment, like war (and lifts) for example.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you can't turn a non-event into an event no matter how similar they may be.  The elevator-gate situation never escalated so there was nothing further to say. 

    However you've made my point for me quite well.  Aggression happens whether you wish it to or not.

    The scientific term for people that can't handle aggression is victims.  You can bemoan how the world is, as well as how some individuals in it are.  You can argue that things should be different.  It doesn't make a bit of difference.

    In the end, you can't bias your argument against an entire gender based on the behavior of a few. 

    Aggression exists in the world.  Violence exists.  You either learn to deal with it, or you become victimized by it.  Those are your choices.  I didn't design the game.
    I hope that one day, overly aggressive behaviour towards other people, like rape, will also become a completely socially unacceptable behaviour...
    You're joking right?  It's already socially unacceptable behavior, but that doesn't stop it.  What you're hoping for is a level of security which can never exist.  The world is not an intrinsically secure place, and feeling secure is not a right. 
    My reaction was to laugh and say 'Are you coming on to me? You've got to be joking, I'm a fifty year old woman and what are you, 23?' He said 'I'm 20'. I said 'Well forget it, you're making a big mistake' and he stepped back.
    While I can understand your rationale, that's precisely the problem.  When someone invades your space in that manner, the only proper response is violent aggression, so that there's absolutely no doubt about the message being sent.  You may not like it, but that's how it works.  If a man did something like that to another man (i.e. putting hands on like that), you can bet that someone would end up with broken bones.  You don't cajole violence away, nor do you try to reason with it.  The only way to stop such behavior, is to ensure that the message gets sent that the cost to the perpetrator is going to be significantly higher than any benefit they thought to gain.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Thank you Gerhard, you are exemplifying exactly what I've been saying. 
    When someone invades your space in that manner, the only proper response is violent aggression, so that there's absolutely no doubt about the message being sent.  You may not like it, but that's how it works.  If a man did something like that to another man (i.e. putting hands on like that), you can bet that someone would end up with broken bones.  You don't cajole violence away, nor do you try to reason with it.  The only way to stop such behavior, is to ensure that the message gets sent that the cost to the perpetrator is going to be significantly higher than any benefit they thought to gain.
    I'm a woman Gerhard, I'm not equipped to respond with violent aggression against a very fit, tall strong young man. I gave him a clear verbal message that his behaviour was unacceptable. I ended up stopping the behaviour in the end by using my intelligence and pretending to take a photo that could have been used against him later. Still, I was very lucky to get away I think.
    The scientific term for people that can't handle aggression is victims
    So that is what you call women working in the STEM fields and editing Wikipedia who can't handle the aggression and leave? I agree, and its wrong, and the situation will continue until better codes of conduct are introduced and enforced.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    ...I'm not equipped to respond with violent aggression against a very fit, tall strong young man. I gave him a clear verbal message that his behaviour was unacceptable.
    That's the mistake that women always make.  Men recognize that there is always someone stronger, bigger, more aggressive, or even with an advantage (like weapons).  That's why men tend to be more aggressive right from the beginning.  That isn't to say that they can't be victimized, or that they're always prepared, but they recognize that's part of the way things work.

    You can continue to wish for a world that is different, or you can elect to deal with the world you're in.  It's your choice.  Luck or not, the reality is that if you hadn't taken any action you'd simply be another victim.  Action is the only thing that can change things, and that means being prepared to be aggressive. 

    The issue of women in STEM, isn't that they can't handle the aggression, they don't want to.  That's the difference.  Once again, they can complain all they like about how men behave, but unless they're being specifically targeted with different behavior because they're women, then there's no sexism involved. 

    The flip side of that is that I don't believe that women are that weak.  So they can elect to allow themselves to be victimized, or they can engage in events and deny that victimization status.  It's their choice.  Waiting for behaviors to change, simply won't work.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    The issue of women in STEM, isn't that they can't handle the aggression, they don't want to. 
    I would contend that even the term aggression is unnecessarily emotional in this case.  We are talking about progressives - not commonly regarded as hostile people or even mildly confrontational.   And academics.  Ditto.   Yet we are supposed to believe there is not only some seething undercurrent of bigotry toward women, except the evidence doesn't show it so we have to go by 'numbers don't tell the story' emotional anecdotes instead, and on top of that there is also overt aggression and hostility.   By progressives.  In academia.

    People in science academia, men and women, tell others when they are wrong.  That is not aggression, that is saving everyone a lot of time.   No subset of people should be able to tell one of the few meritocracies remaining in the world that it now has to be 'nice' toward people who don't know what they are talking about.  Especially when 'nice' is a moving target.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Hank, no one is saying that telling someone they are wrong is aggression, that's fine. Examples of really unnecessary, counter-productive aggression are here in this blog, for example :-
    Spoken like a truly self-centered privileged fool.  You're not aggressive, assertive, nor forceful.  You're just a jerk.
    Gerhard Adam | 08/05/11 | 22:12 PM
    I'm a jerk for calling you out on your destructive delusions? Well, thank you. Glad to be of service.
    Though I'd like to add that I think that Gerhard is not usually aggressive like this and I always think of him as being quite gentlemanly, unlike you Hank :~) Maybe it is aggressive of me to say that to you? If it is then I'm sorry. 


    We are all probably guilty of the occasional aggressive behaviour but that doesn't mean that it should be considered socially and workplace acceptable does it? Gerhard keeps saying that's the way it is, just accept it but as long as this situation remains I think that our societies will remain archaic and unevolved enough to ever get rid of war, dictatorships, anthropogenic climate change, political and social injustice and famine  of course.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, you did manage to overlook the posts that lead up to my comment, sooo ...
    ...I think that our societies will remain archaic and unevolved enough to ever get rid of war, dictatorships, anthropogenic climate change, political and social injustice and famine  of course.
    If you cut off the beginning of that sentence, then I would agree.  Once again, you're striving for something that doesn't exist and likely never will.  If you want to devote your energy to that pursuit, then go for it.  However, railing against men isn't going to help.

    The point is simply that women are expected to show data too.  It isn't something that they can simply declare as self-evidence, nor can they resort to name-calling or alleging that men are incapable of understanding as a means to advance their agenda.  The fact remains, that if I respond in kind, then I'm being aggressive.  If they resort to aggressiveness, they're only defending themselves. 

    The problem is that women feel entitled to say anything they like without repercussions, while men are supposed to watch themselves.  They have no qualms about insulting anyone and everyone that gets in their way (... after all, you were even targeted).  That's bullshit, and it certainly isn't anything I'll put up with from anyone (male or female).
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Oddly, you fail to notice the times I was called fuckwit, asshole, idiot and liar - and those by supposedly oppressed and non aggressive women.   Gerhard calling someone who called me, along with one of the previously mentioned insults 'moronic', a 'jerk' is over the line to you, though.


    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I have to go out now but I have started compiling a chronological series of insults and it is not looking like that so far.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Then you're already displaying bias, since the very first post already alleged male privilege and all that means.  Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, it is an insult to trivialize males simply by alleging privilege, since the net effect is to suggest that we have nothing useful to say.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    OK here is the list of what could be interpreted as counter-productive aggressive insults in this blog alone in chronological order and obviously often out of context as they are from different threads. I am including 'privileged white male' as an insult at your request Gerhard, although I'm not sure that many would agree with you that this is an insult more a matter of fact. I will start a new thread to display it so that it isn't all squashed up.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    If men aren't allowed to join WikiWomen,that's not sexist. Sexism (ditto racism) is, by definition, the result of power+ privilege (as in male privilege).
    Jacquelyn (not verified) |08/05/11 | 11:38 AM
    Guess what, asshole: oppressed groups are REWARDED for pandering to the viewsof the privileged. You are failing at Feminism 101, which is kindergartengrade. Not a good look for a science blog.
    Kea (not verified) |08/05/11 | 16:51 PM
    Well, then you are one miserable creature, if both genders are intent on discriminating againstyou.
    GerhardAdam | 08/05/11 | 18:20 PM
     As your dialogue with Helen readily demonstrates, you don't like anybody and don't accept anyone else's view as being legitimate unless it specificallyfits your pattern of victimhood.  Well, if you choose to remain a victim, then it's your own problem. Yousimply exude being difficult andcontrary.
    GerhardAdam | 08/05/11 | 20:27 PM
    And if 3 billion moronic Gerhards want to insult my very existence inpublic on the internet, that's fine with me, because it is part of thehistorical record.
    Kea (not verified) |08/05/11 | 21:43 PM
     Spoken like a truly self-centered privileged fool.  You're not aggressive, assertive, nor forceful.  You're just a jerk.
    Gerhard Adam | 08/05/11 | 22:12 PM
     This Wank Campbelldude has some serious issues, including the ridiculous shirt. Most of usprep-school assholes stopped wearing those fucken things in our twenties. Growup, man.
    ComradePhysioProf (not verified) |08/05/11 | 22:55 PM
    It's not my delusion.  I'm the "privileged"one remember?  So, you can feel free to revel in your self-inflictedmisery and make whatever excuses suit you.  In the end, you've simplydemonstrated why it is impossible totake you seriously, and why you'resimply difficult to deal with.  That's not gender bias...  that'ssimply the result of being an obnoxioushuman being.
    GerhardAdam | 08/05/11 | 22:59 PM
     A real scientist would investigate until they were completely satisfied with the foundation of their knowledge. You are a bunch of sexist intellectually lazy assholes.
    TotallyDorkin (not verified) | 08/06/11 | 00:41 AM
    Oh, you're one of those right wing a historical ignorant moronswho thinks using "postmodernist" as an insult effectively wins an argument. You ought to crack open a book once in a while.
    Anonymous (not verified) |08/06/11 | 04:38 AM
     Wow, you're really a certified 1A top-of-his-class nutcase.
    JoergR (not verified) |08/06/11 | 15:25 PM
     Why do I bother to insult you? Well, asI already explained above, because the young people listening will see what acouple of fuckwit dudes you are, andsome young people really are unaware of the extent of sexism in society untilit is pointed out to them.
    Kea (not verified) |08/06/11 | 17:12 PM
     You really are a nitwit.  
    Gerhard Adam | 08/06/11 | 17:36 PM
     "contrarian, combative pricks"
    That is the culture of privilege which HOLDS SCIENCE BACK.
    TungstenV (not verified) |08/06/11 | 18:33 PM
     in a racist, misogynist culture. terms like "neutral","professional", etc. get defined by the dominant culture some of you can't see your privilege because you're soaking in it.
    pq62 (not verified) |08/06/11 | 19:27 PM
     You really don't get what an idiot you are, do you?
    Kea (not verified) |08/06/11 | 19:53 PM
     Your next comment about, again, how stupid everyone who disagrees with your paranoid rantingsof a vast, male conspiracy is, doesn't deserve a real response.   
    HankCampbell | 08/06/11 | 19:59 PM
     In short, it looks like the only solution is to make youemperor or something ... so until then ... I guess it just sucks to be you.
    GerhardAdam | 08/06/11 | 20:10 PM
     It's patronizing and condescending for you to assume you've the authority to dictate to women whether or not we ought to satisfied with themeagre lot men have ungenerously and reluctantly yielded…If the world makes youuncomfortable then you ought to be willing to help change it, or move the fuck out of the way and stop undermining our efforts to reduce our own oppression. Anonymous (not verified) 08/06/11 20:30 PM
    Undermining your efforts?  You're simply a joke.  It is obvious that you have little or no real world work experience. Gerhard Adam 08/06/11 20:48

    OK ... let's lay the cards on the table.  If I had the authority to affect such change, then you're an idiot for alienating a potential ally.  If I don't have theauthority to affect such change, then you're a bigger idiot in whining to me about something I can't change. Gerhard Adam 08/06/11 20:52 PM

    I do think YOU are kind of an asshole, though. Jezebella (not verified) 08/06/11 21:31 PM

    That's good, because it compliments the bitch. Gerhard Adam 08/06/11 21:41 PM
    So, mentioning string theory is off-limits?  Well, I guess arrogance doesn't get any stronger than that.
    GerhardAdam | 08/06/11 | 21:41 PM

    PhysioProf's "Wank" Campbell comment is the win for me, however you want it label it. shopsteward (not verified) 08/06/11 22:04 PM

    Here we have a privileged white male stating that anyone who is not a privileged white male cannot complainabout the behaviour of privileged whitemales because there are people other than the complainant who are also not privileged white males
    shopsteward (not verified) |08/06/11 | 22:19 PM

    Fingers in your ears is fine on the playground, but it makes you look infantile when you're a grown up. Perhaps you're blind to the experiencesof other, lesser creatures because one of the benefits of being a privileged white man in your neck ofthe woods is that you can easily afford to limit your perception to only whatyou want to see and hear? Anonymous (not verified) 08/07/11 23:36 PM
     

    So what does your charming little family story have to do with the price of chicory in New Orleans, except to suggest your relatives are getting a shit education (if your comments here are any measure of your grasp of science)?

    Anonymous (not verified) |08/07/11 | 23:41 PM

    I'm afraid I had some pretty horrendous formatting problems but that's the best I could do. If I had realised there were so many insults in this blog I don't think I would have bothered to do this excercise. Anyway, personally I think the insults are counter productive on both sides of the argument/debate and that without them we may have all made more progress in understanding the problem of why there is a glass ceiling in STEM professions and under representation of women in Wikipedia, and how this could possibly be solved or rectified in the future.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    " but the data and results show statistics in this research that MOST women avoid conflict and leave pretty well as soon as they encounter it"

    Isn't this the problem? What great things have not involved conflict? The American Revolution was a conflict and had intense internal conflict about what sort of republic to design. If women are taught to avoid risk and conflict rather than to engage in debate and press their ideas they will miss out on the chance to shape outcomes. There is always conflict about how to use power (that is the definition of politics) - to pretend there isn't and say we should look for collaboration and compromise is not a solution.

    If the statistics you cite are a result of our cultural attitudes towards male and female roles (as I believe) then we can and should change them. If, on the other hand, they are rooted in biology then we have to accept that there will be more males among the very rich and very poor (as some aggression and risk will payoff bigtime and some will not - and if males tend to take more risks their outcomes will tend to be more unequal).

    Hank
    That's as good a closing note as we're going to get so I have closed the comments.