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Singer article

sandra burridge burridge at pacbell.net
Sun Mar 5 06:08:07 EST 2000

This article is awful and I can't believe what she says. I agree with Kathy
in that we don't want women's science vs men's science. It makes me sad to
think that in this day and age women are treated differently. A good
scientist is a good scientist no matter what sex they are in the same way it
applies to sexual orientation or race. In my own personal experiences to
date I cannot say I have been rejected over a male equal because I was
female. I have however worked with a male Indian scientist who treated me
with no respect and would never discuss science with me because I was a
woman, I feel sorry for this man, as colleagues, my scientific knowledge and
ideas may have helped his science, his loss I guess. During my
undergrad/postgrad days myself and fellow female colleagues would remove
engagement/wedding bands for job interviews because we were convinced a male
boss would prejudice our scientific ability over the fact we may have have
children one day. It's something I don't do these days but to look back and
think we thought it was a real issue to do that makes me mad. I am still in
the early days of my career but I can already see the day when I am not
promoted in a department of male colleagues or I am denied responsibility as
a male colleague feels my family will interfere with my working ability, it
is bad to think I am so jaded when I think of my prospects in science
I will be honest and say that I can't think of a planned agenda that will
give women an equal place in science, M. Singer's comments certainly do not
In article <v04020a03b4e59bf7dcc4@[]>,
kbuckley at hms.harvard.edu (Kathleen Buckley) wrote:

> Has anyone else read the article by Maxine Singer (Shaping the Future for
> Women in Science) in the February issue of the American Society for Cell
> Biology news letter?  I guess I had a pretty strong negative reaction to
> her proposal to solve the problem of gender balance in science.  I can't
> quote the whole 3 page article, but I will quote the description of a 'new
> strategy' to make 'sure that the future gets shaped to foster women's
> contributions to science' since 'We have to stop expecting that our male
> colleagues will change. The fact is, many of them are, understandably and
> appropriately, much more concerned about their own research than about the
> status of women." Substitute 'blacks' for 'women' in that sentence and see
> how it reads!! Our present experience is their wives present... and their
> daughters future. Why is it not appropriate for them to be concerned about
> the status of women in science??? and in society in general?
> "First, we must depend on ourselves to do the best science that we can: the
> most
> original, the most rigorous, the most interesting." I think that most of us
> would say we are already doing that, and resent the implication that we may
> not be.
> "Second, we must depend on ourselves and not others to enable us to
> contribute to science, and thus, to human welfare."  Isn't that what we
> have been doing all along? Isn't that what everyone tells us is our
> 'problem' - that we are not hooked into the power network (male of course).
> "Third, we must make certain that we have a substantial say in the shape of
> the future."  I feel like the underlying message here is that women
> scientists have been passively waiting for men to help us along, and if we
> just had enough gumption, we could do anything we wanted and achieve the
> same recognition as men. As long as society, and the power structure, is
> white male, then the rest of us cannot simply decide to share that power.
> The last straw for me was the concluding part of the article, which
> suggests that women scientists should be doing research in areas that
> concern 'our own agenda' - birth control, menopause, etc. 'A sound
> scientific agenda, based on vital issues of concern to women, is one way to
> promote the role and status of female scientists.'  I think these are
> certainly great areas of research, but I don't think we want to see the
> development of 'women's science' vs men's science, nor would I necessarily
> want to do science if it was restricted to these areas. In fact, throughout
> history, any profession which becomes dominated by women is considered less
> prestigous (as an aside, a great article on this phenomenon as it relates
> to women in academia on salon.com: Crashing the Top, by Ann Douglas,
> http://www.salon.com/books/it/1999/10/11/douglas/index.html).
> While I am pulling my hair out over this article, I would be interested to
> hear anyone else's reaction to it, positive or negative.
> Kathy Buckley
> **********************************************************
> Kathleen M. Buckley, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Neurobiology
> Dept. of Neurobiology
> Goldenson 502
> Harvard Medical School
> 220 Longwood Avenue
> Boston MA 02115
> Tel: 617-432-2288
> Fax: 617-734-7557
> email: kathleen_buckley at hms.harvard.edu
> ---

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