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Try new things

January 29, 2011

I did some welding for the first time this week. Though that might be an exaggeration of what I actually accomplished, but I did something new and learned something.

I found a new blogger I like, Dr. Kathryn Clancy, and she blogged about a panel they had at Science Online 2011 and specifically about how when women want something they have to hide it. She talks about the moment I have been through many times where you are going along with your life and a colleague suddenly objectifies you and you realize you’ll never be just another coworker to them, that your primary function is to be a woman. You can be smart for a woman or skilled for a woman but like Billy Joel sang, you’re always a woman.

She also talked about women’s tendencies not to promote themselves and a commenter had an insightful comment that despite attending the same conferences as men on “always negotiate” or “always promote yourself” that the message she took home to be aggressive was not nearly the same as what the men took home. She also talked about something I feel strongly about: we need to build an old girls club. I take this seriously here as well as in the workforce (which I’ll probably talk about soon on EngineerBlogs). That we need to promote others as well as not be afraid to promote ourselves. So I did it. I joined twitter.

Two new things in one week, the hardware and the software, the yin and the yang.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2011 11:26 pm

    I like Kathryn's writing too. When she talked about fearing men, I instantly thought of Melissa McEwan's Terrible Bargain, in that I also fear and don't trust men, for eleventy reasons and experiences. I was leered at during the very first days of my new job, and not to my surprise, the asshat treated me like shit when I didn't bat my eyelashes back at him. Except that he treated me like shit BY PREVENTING ME FROM DOING MY JOB. And even less shockingly, my moron boss gave me a speech about how generous and helpful the asshat is. He's generous with his leering, since four other women told me they had the same shit from him. I never fail to be disappointed not only in the asshats, but in the morons who rush in to prop up the penis-bearers and their shit.Sadly, an Old Girls Club is very unlikely. We are all on the defensive, all the damn time. I recently had lunch with a Very Head Honcha, and she totally threw me for a loop. I also talked with a funding agency director recently, and was also given the Sexism Is Not A Problem Anymore speech. Toughen Up Cupcake, It's Easy For You Now! Women gain respect (very little of it) as they age because they gain longevity – well, if she's lasted THIS long, she must take her career seriously type reasoning. Women who are younger are clueless about sexism. I think Kathryn's or Sci's thread also mentioned that women around the age of 35 are the ones who Get It, both in terms of Get Shit thrown at them, and Get It in understanding why it's happening. I suggest an Early Career Women Club. That has the best chance. Also, a member of AWIS, I see ALOT of students and a decent number of elders, but not so much early and mid career women members. Entire chapters in some cases are students, with maybe one or two senior women as advisors. There's such a huge disconnect between generations of women. That's how the P likes it.jc

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