I’m gonna depress the hell out of all of you. ready? ok go
so, that “stop devaluing feminized work post”
nice idea and all
but the thing is, as soon as a decent number of women enter any field, it becomes “feminized,” and it becomes devalued.
as women enter a field in greater number, people become less willing to pay for it, the respect for it drops, and it’s seen as less of a big deal. it’s not about the job- it’s about the number of women in the job.
observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field. so has happened with scores of other areas; nursing comes to mind
so the thing is, it’s not the work or the job that has to be uplifted and seen as more respectable. it will never work out, until people start seeing women as respectable
but there’s a doozy and who the fuck knows if it’s ever happening in my life time
"observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field."
Personal anecdote time! I’m in a biology graduate program. An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major. When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”
I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”
The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.” She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.
This is also famous for happening to teaching. Keep an eye on medicine over the next fifteen years and watch as it becomes less prestigious and less well-paid.
It also happened to secretarial/administrative work - in the 19th century, clerical work was utterly respectable and seen as requiring quite a lot of talent and skill (which it still does!) but then along came the typewriter and women entering the field and HEY PRESTO “she’s just some secretary”
at my university, chemical engineering, or chem eng, was often referred to as “fem eng” why? because it’s an exact 50/50 ratio of women to men, which clearly makes it too feminine. in the 70s/80s chemical engineering was one of the most important and hardest engineering fields (plastics! pulp and paper! OIL) but now that there are more women in the field it’s considered an easier field, in comparison to other fields.
for example, i once heard a girl in mech eng list some of the engineering fields in the order she thought was hardest to easiest. you know what it was? electrical, mechanical, chemical. it’s absolutely no surprise that this list is also a handy ordering of fewest women in the field to most women in the field.
AND, another point! this happens the other way around too. computer science related fields used to be dominated by women, which made it not very important (switchboard operators? yup). once men started taking over the field, well that’s when the big money and prestige came in.
The field of anthropology, which is becoming female dominated from what I can see, has been determined to be useless by some. (I’ve even had girls in STEM fields tell me I don’t study a “real science” so how’s about that internalized misogyny for ya) When I was majoring in anthropology, Gov. Rick Scott determined that Florida didn’t need any more anthropologists and wanted to reduce funding to programs and increase funding to STEM programs. While not considered a STEM field, anthropologists have contributed to the research behind STEM programs and provide a wide variety of services to Florida alone. A team of anthropologists created a powerpoint “This is Anthropology" to talk about dozens of programs and services they contribute to in Florida which include healthcare programs, education programs, disaster relief, forensic investigation, environmental programs and conservation efforts, research for fortune 500 businesses, agricultural programs, immigration programs, programs and services for the elderly, etc. I’m also in the field of education, and we’re constantly made out to be overpaid (we’re not) and made out to be incapable of doing our jobs without very strict guidance.
It’s all very insulting, really. No matter what we study. No matter what we do to earn a living. It will never be good enough.
As a female geneticist, I can verify that this happened to biology hardcore.
I made this zine for my sis on inspirational Japanese people.
**To my dearest sister Rhiannon,
There is nothing more liberating than
acceptance and pride of one’s own diversity.**
Beware of the Octobot
Greek scientist have developed the Octobot, a small swimming robot driven by eight webbed arms.
Adding a soft silicone web to a small robotic octopus helps the machine hit the gas. The first robot shown propels itself by snapping shut rigid plastic legs. The second bot uses flexible silicone legs and moves at about the same speed. The third robot zips along faster, using silicone arms and a web that helps it push through water.
Interesting to note that while a history of animal cruelty is widely accepted to be a link with becoming a serial killer, the link between cruelty towards women and killing women is still up for debate. If a guy abuses a cat and then shoots women we say "we should have seen it coming that guy was nuts", but if abuses women and then shoots women we say "we had no way of seeing it coming that guy was a perfectly polite, kind and wonderful human”.
Falkirk Wheel - Falkirk Scotland
The Falkirk Wheel takes about as much energy as it would to boil about 8 kettles of water
What? WHAT? What? WHAAAT?
Wait isn’t that the thing from that movie with Jodie Foster and the aliens?
Apparently this is a real rotating boat lift from Scotland and according to the UK tourist website it is indeed so well balanced it actually takes only 1.5kWh of electricity per rotation and that makes me so happy.
Engineers are magicians.
i live in this town. why does a gif of a place that i live in have 14,500 notes wtf
I have been on this! it is awesome. I believe in kW (more sensible unit, imo, than kWh/rotation) it runs at about 6 kW.
Paloma Noyola: The Face of Mexico’s Unleashed Potential
When a report emerged in September 2012 that a girl from one of Matamoros’ poorest neighborhoods had attained the highest math score in Mexico, some doubted its veracity. It must be fake, they said.
But it wasn’t fake. Her name is Paloma Noyola, and what most reports failed to mention is that almost all of her classmates also scored very high on the national math test. 10 scored in the 99.99% percentile.
Paloma and her classmates also scored in the top percentile in language. Something special was happening at José Urbina López primary school in Matamoros, and Wired went to take a look.
The high test scores turned out to be the work of a young teacher who also came from humble beginnings. Sergio Juárez Correa was tired of the monotony of teaching out of a book and wanted to try something new to help engage his students when he came across the work of Sugata Mitra, a UK university professor who had innovated a new pedagogy he called SOLE, or self organized learning environments. The new approach paid off.
Although SOLE usually relies on unfettered Internet access for research, Juárez and his students had very limited access. Somehow, he still found a way to apply Mitra’s teachings and unleash their potential.
From the beginning, Paloma’s exceptional abilities were evident:
One day Juárez Correa went to his whiteboard and wrote “1 = 1.00.” Normally, at this point, he would start explaining the concept of fractions and decimals. Instead he just wrote “½ = ?” and “¼ = ?”
“Think about that for a second,” he said, and walked out of the room.
While the kids murmured, Juárez went to the school cafeteria, where children could buy breakfast and lunch for small change. He borrowed about 10 pesos in coins, worth about 75 cents, and walked back to his classroom, where he distributed a peso’s worth of coins to each table. He noticed that Paloma had already written .50 and .25 on a piece of paper.
As Mr. Juárez implemented more of Mitra’s teachings in his classroom, Paloma continued to stand out as an exceptionally gifted student:
Juárez Correa was impressed. But he was even more intrigued by Paloma. During these experiments, he noticed that she almost always came up with the answer immediately. Sometimes she explained things to her tablemates, other times she kept the answer to herself. Nobody had told him that she had an unusual gift. Yet even when he gave the class difficult questions, she quickly jotted down the answers. To test her limits, he challenged the class with a problem he was sure would stump her. He told the story of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the famous German mathematician, who was born in 1777.
When Gauss was a schoolboy, one of his teachers asked the class to add up every number between 1 and 100. It was supposed to take an hour, but Gauss had the answer almost instantly.
“Does anyone know how he did this?” Juárez Correa asked.
A few students started trying to add up the numbers and soon realized it would take a long time. Paloma, working with her group, carefully wrote out a few sequences and looked at them for a moment. Then she raised her hand.
“The answer is 5,050,” she said. “There are 50 pairs of 101.”
Juárez Correa felt a chill. He’d never encountered a student with so much innate ability. He squatted next to her and asked why she hadn’t expressed much interest in math in the past, since she was clearly good at it.
“Because no one made it this interesting,” she said.
Although this Wired piece focuses mostly on Sugata Mitra, it does once again highlight the story of Paloma Noyola. Unfortunately, after a brief spurt of media attention, little on Paloma was ever mentioned and, as was pointed out by Wired, nothing was ever said of Mr. Juárez.
As with most stories in the Mexican press — and those popular with the middle-class — things suddenly become very important once it’s featured in a gringo publication. Which is a very sad commentary. We hope, however, that this story pushes those in the press, state and federal government to look not to the United States for validation but to Mexicans like Sergio Juárez doing good work in places like Matamoros.
The clear message in this story is that there are thousands of Paloma Noyolas going to school in Mexico who, just like her at one time, are not being challenged and therefore aren’t very interested in school. This story can, if we want it to, raise enough awareness to shift the discussion from poverty to opportunity.
Paloma truly personifies both Mexico’s challenges and unleashed potential.
Read the entire Wired story here: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses
Editor’s note: As an addendum, Wired provided information on helping support Sugata Mitra and his School in the Clouds project, and although they donated school supplies and equipment to José Urbina López School, we’re interested in seeing if we can help set up a similar fund for Sergio Juárez, the teacher featured in this story.
Also, $9,300 was raised to help fund Paloma’s education last year. We’re going to follow up with the economist who led the fundraising campaign to see how she’s doing. Stay tuned for the updates.
I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.
Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.