Jump to content

Battle of the sexes in the academic world


Recommended Posts

I am a female student in a engineering school. In my school there are 212 graduate students both master's and Phd programs. Of those 212 students 29 are women, that's 13.7%, far below what it should be, 50%. Over all the college of engineering, the numbers are a little better of the 2125 students 396 are female (18.6%). What's the point of this? There are scholarships that are only offered to women that are entering the graduate program or are working on a thesis in the hard science, mathematics, and engineering, several are full tuition and monthly stipend funding. There are 5 women in my research group, 2 Phd, 3 MS, we have in the past discussed funding with each other on a regular basis, telling each other what's offered, who has a tougher process and so on. We discuss not just the women only funds but scholarships in general.

 

The 2 PhD students and I were all talking about funding specifically for women in PhD programs; I'm starting my PhD next year. At the time we were in their office with the door cracked. Our professor's office is down the hall so you need to pass our office to get to hers. One of the guy's in the group was passing by and stopped to say how outrageous and unfair it was that we could get funding that was based on us being female. He thought it was sexist and wrong, he was nearly irate that we were even talking about it. He thought it was rude for us to even be bragging that he couldn't get the funding.

 

He was never mentioned, it was a private conversation, and considering how few women are in academia where we are it is more that justified that there are incentives to break through. This guy has in the past made it clear that he has issues with any woman showing interest in feminism or activities for women. He resents that the women in our research group have dinner together with other women from the school, but make it so that it's a women only event.

 

Is it wrong that a minority sticks together and takes care of each other? Is wrong that we have time were we can be women together and talk about women centric topics, conversations that would be squelched or laughed at by men? We are a minority and certain organizations offer us funding, that does not mean we do any less work or we have privileges in the program. None of the funding is given without going through approval processes, which are not trivial.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 120
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

He's just yet another example of why the numbers for women in the engineering dept.s are as low as they are.

 

 

Uhmm I don't get it...why is that Caterina? Do women get turned down when applying to engineering schools or is it that most aren't interested?

 

As for the funding...I think private organization can give scollarships to whomever they want to...but the same rule should apply to organisations wanting to give scollarships to say only men, only whites only blacks whatever.

 

And why *should* there be 50% of women in engineering? Perhaps most aren't into it? Are you saying they get harder exams than the men? If they have equal opportunities then there should be no % required. There aren't 50% of males in nursing schools either I would imagine, does anyone find that wrong ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He's just yet another example of why the numbers for women in the engineering dept.s are as low as they are.

 

I agree.

 

Just keep doing what you're doing. Stick together, continue to have nice dinners, and let the cheese stand alone.

 

Clearly if he's socially inept enough to barge in on people's private conversations, he'll have a lot more problems to contend with in his life. It will catch up with him one day, particularly when he goes to find a job after graduation, and if he parades around acting like that.

 

In the univeristy I work in, we have special scholarships for males who are entering the field of nursing and teaching. I have always thought it was a great idea to help encourage diverse people to go into the field.

 

If diversity makes him feel threatened, then he's going to have a very hard time surviving in this world.

 

Most of the time, funding for scholarships is set up in memory of faculty or almuni that have made a difference in the community. For instance, one of the scholarships I mentioned that we give to male teachers was set up in memory of a male professor emeritus that recently passed away. He started off as a teacher and did many great things in his life. If his friends, colleagues, & family want to dedicate money in his honor for a scholarship fund for men, that should be perceived as a GOOD thing. With funding you have the right to specify groups and reach out to minority populations.

 

Clearly the guy in question here has no idea how higher education funding and grants work. In order to receive money (federal or private), you must demonstrate a NEED. People don't just give their money away for no good reason. Clearly there is a need for more females in the field of engineering, and that's why people are dedicating money to this cause. Duh.

 

Try not to let his blatant ignorance get to you,

 

BellaDonna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uhmm I don't get it...why is that Caterina? Do women get turned down when applying to engineering schools or is it that most aren't interested?

 

As for the funding...I think private organization can give scollarships to whomever they want to...but the same rule should apply to organisations wanting to give scollarships to say only men, only whites only blacks whatever.

 

And why *should* there be 50% of women in engineering? Perhaps most aren't into it? Are you saying they get harder exams than the men? If they have equal opportunities then there should be no % required. There aren't 50% of males in nursing schools either I would imagine, does anyone find that wrong ?

I do think there should be more male nurses, I've know several and they were wonderful nurses. But there is still a societal view that nursing is not a “male” profession as engineering is not a “female” profession. My University actively recruits men to the nursing school, but society makes it hard for men to feel comfortable as nurses because of the feminine or gay connotation.

 

Its these views that are what the incentives and encouragement scholarships and funding for minorities are for. Women are given equal opportunity, but socially it is still not encouraged. Outreach programs that steer women to these programs found that by the time girls reach high school they are already being discouraged to be intelligent, math savvy, science and logic minded. Look at the stereotypes of women, they paint females as illogical, emotional and passive, which are traits not consistent with science or mathematics. Society wants male students to be aggressive and participate in sports, but look at how many derogatory terms there are for intelligent people, geek, dweeb, nerd, book worm, and so on. So even men are discouraged from being smart or bookish, now address how it is for a women to be smart. At that age value is placed heavily on looks and social status, popularity makes being smart not as important as being pretty. So the girls strive to be popular, every one wants attention and friends, so they shift their energies from school and being the best to being fashionable and attractive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a perfect world there would be no such thing as gendered subjects and everyone would have the same stresses and help.

 

I'd hazard a guess that as women you have to work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously by some people. This guy will not be subject to that experience and just not get it. With that attitude it sounds like he never will.

 

Stick together, share your experiences and don't let him get you down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not fair. Take two people who are identical except for their gender. The female will have more academic opportunities than the male, and that's not fair. Males do have a right to feel gipped.

 

I am in economics, and it's becoming more equal. But it is very male dominated. At my undergrad school, in the 4 years I was there, there was never a female economics prof. Because of that trend, they really try to encourage females. My profs always told me that I just had to push and get awesome marks, and then I would have it made - just because I was a chick. I never really believed it. But then when I applied to my m.a. I realised it was true. I was offered funding to basically all the schools I applied to, and my marks weren't even that great. Again, after finishing my m.a. I was offered funding for phd. And my marks werenN't even close to those of guys who got turned down. I'm not complaining! I don't think it's fair but it has a purpose in the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The scholarships we were looking at all have very rigorous approval processes and require that you have excellent grades. It's not just because you're a woman you get it, its that only women are considered and the best will get it. I know the women who have received some of the funding, they are hands down exceptional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure you totally deserved to be where you are and will go much further, with full merit! Engineering is way harder than what I studied. My old roommate was also in engineering, and felt out of place. There are even more drawbacks to being female once you enter the workforce. When you get ahead of the guys, they say stupid stuff about you getting that promotion only because you're a hottie, or because you gave the boss 'favors'. You will definitly pay the price for being a woman. And there's nothing wrong with minorities sticking together. Go smart chicks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole subject boils down to our anthropological nature as humans. It's awesome to see modern women progress and succeed, yet they are not required to; men are. Remember the big argument I started with my thread about this core issue;

 

 

 

Women do not 100% need to provide or are perceived as loosers for not being capable of providing; men are. It still surprises me how defensive and hypersensative women are when confronted with a reality check. Are we accusing you of being freeloader? Heck no. We dumb men worship the ground you walk on and even go as far as picking you over our deity. We just want there to be an honest assessment of our concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

This topic reminded me of Justice Scalias interview the other day. He reaffirmed his stance on affirmitive action, among other things, and I can see both sides of the issue - I myself am not sure which side I am on. I guess I just refuse to select.

 

I truly believe that any reverse discrimination be tossed, I don't care what gender, race, creed, religion, etc. you are. It's fallicious logic. Only accept the best. And if the best is male, or female, or white, or black, then so be it.

 

In the same light, however, I also have a heart and with that I truly believe that many blacks and women should be helped out, even if they are not the best (I am not implying this is your situation). Society has done enough against women and blacks to set many of them so far back it's disgusting. The very least we can do is offer some form of pseudo-reperassions. I am not a feminist (just an average guy), but I do believe that the system has been set up for the white Christian male over so many centuries. Tearing down those walls will take a long time, and I don't think it will be an easy task. It's too charged of an issue.

 

That being said, congrats on your acceptance to the PhD program. I have a couple of friends who are engineers - never quite understood how their mind works - 4 dimensional planes, circuitry, mechanics - way beyond me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole subject boils down to our anthropological nature as humans. It's awesome to see modern women progress and succeed, yet they are not required to; men are.

If I'm not required to succeed then who is going to pay my bills?

I'm not going to get married and have kids just so some man can fill an antiquated roll. I have to take care of myself. We all have to take care of ourselves no matter our sex. Men can stay home and care for the children they however don't because they give into the societal pressures that because they aren't VPs or millionaires they failed. Not everyone thinks like that (THANK GOODNESS), there are people in this world that place value on ideas and talents and not things and money.

 

gersanos:

You make a great point about how its a system set up by white Christian males, it really is a system that isn't necessarily conducive to women or people not fitting that standard. I read an article recently that was examining the path professor must take, the system is really set up such that a man can succeed more easily because he has someone doing every thing outside his office work, that someone generally being a wife. Single men and women, have a much more difficult time because they have all of the load of home and office on them. Nor is the system accepting of pregnancy, especially sciences, I've heard from many women that when they started showing were treated like they became stupid instead of becoming pregnant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole post reminds me of a concept I was first introduced to when reading work from the author bell hooks. She talks a lot about "hierarchies of oppression" and uses the term "White Male Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy" when describing society.

 

She contends that when racial or ethnic minorities, women, and religious minorities separate themselves it is an act of empowerment used to escape racism, misogyny, and religious bigotry.

 

When minorities of any kind separate themselves (i.e. group of female engineering students going to dinner together) , it essentially threatens the status quo. Take it a step further: if special funding is provided to help empower or emphasize talented minorities, it is even more threatening to the status quo.

 

I have seen oppostion to such funding when I worked in a college admissions office. Parents would always bitterly complain that "their kid" could not get financial aid because "they are not black or spanish" or "they are not handicapped" (referring to financial aid for students with disabilities). They would come right out and say this while meeting with me (a representative of the insitution of higher education that their child wants to attend!). I always thought, if they act that rude way in front of me (someone they are actually trying to impress), just imagine how they act at home! Scary.

 

The truth is that racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression are still alive and well in the world. It is also common to see people use the argument that funding is given to mediocre or questionable minority students. (i.e. "they're wasting money on people of color or women who won't do well in college or as well as other students") This could not be further from the truth. In order to get funding, you can't simply just have a vagina or a different color skin- you have to have great TALENT, POTENTIAL, and the GOOD GRADES to back it. Most funding is dependent on maintaining a certain GPA. Thus, if the student cannot work up to high standards, they will lose their money. It works just like any other merit-based financial aid.

 

I've never understood the opposition to giving talented individuals from minority or underepresented populations the tools they need to succeed, whether it's males in nursing or women in engineering.

 

Look around, there is plenty of traditional financial aid available which does not threaten the status quo. Sources of traditional financial aid far outweigh the sources of "special" funding for minorities. Despite that you'll still find people trying to strip special funding away from minority populations and finding all kinds of reasons why "they should not be able to get it". Truly sad in my opinion...

 

BellaDonna

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He was never mentioned, it was a private conversation, and considering how few women are in academia where we are it is more that justified that there are incentives to break through.

 

 

Being 'fewer' doesn't qualify for privileges, IMO. One could argue the same for racial minorities. I'm a racial minority myself but I would be unreasonable to demand anything special for myself. There are fewer women in engineering colleges because women don't *like* engineering.

 

In my college, there are way more women than men. My field of study is no more and no less intelligence-oriented than math or engineering. My point? More women LIKE this field, that's all.

 

Oh and I would LOVE to be a self employed stay-at-home-husband but I can't do it. It's not other men that bother me. Women don't like men who challenge the status quo. Women don't like men who don't stand up to their male stereotype. And yet it's women who wonder why men are so career and power oriented.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being 'fewer' doesn't qualify for privileges, IMO. One could argue the same for racial minorities. I'm a racial minority myself but I would be unreasonable to demand anything special for myself. There are fewer women in engineering colleges because women don't *like* engineering.

Hmm, I'm a woman, I love engineering, I know may others that do. But I also know many others that had to deal with the idea that they aren't supposed to like science or math. There have been several studies observing the way women and men chose their paths. The individual were all around the same abilities and intelligence, the women however showed a much broader field of interests, they could be deeply interested in both music and math, but when they reach college levels are not encouraged to continue with the math because it is a "man's field", they go with other interests instead where they are more welcomed. The men, however, showed narrower interests, such that when they got to college, they were going to be one thing only.

 

I myself made the choice between art school and engineering. I picked engineering because of the challenge it would offer my mind.

 

Whether or not a women like or dislike engineering, they have every right to chose that path and there are those that wish to see them succeed by funding them. Men have had privileges for many generations, they restricted access to education for women, but now women are trying to catch up for the years we missed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I guess our disagreement lies in the reasons why there are fewer women in engineering and math. You say it's because they were pressured by society, friends or family into choosing a less masculine field. I say it's just that most women just don't want to go for engineering because they're not interested.

Anyway, lots of men are pressured to go into a 'masculine' field. I didn't. (Mine would be considered neutral. Wanna guess what it is? . Should men in the arts have scholarships that are geared to them?

 

I don't see the point of funding women because they like engineering. It propagates the notion that women are underprivileged. They are most certainly not. Isn't it the feminist slogan that woman can do everything just as good or better than men? Why do women need extra support? It's contradictory. I don't think past injustice has any bearing on today. Maybe a scholarship for our moms and grandmas would make sense, but not contemporary young women.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is such a touchy subject. I personally, would love for both men and women to succeed. Infact, I wont marry a woman unless she has a good career. Because I HAVE A GOOD CAREER. But is it wrong there are more female nurses then male nurses? Is it a travesty more women aren't engineers. I dont think it is. I'm all for women going out and pursuing their dreams. But let's face it, men and women have different tastes. INNATE qualities that separate them. If a woman wants to become an engineer, that's great. Like wise a man become a nurse. But no point in forcing it.

 

I personally think niether sex TRULY wants to be as equal as the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Like wise a man become a nurse. But no point in forcing it.

Its not forcing women into engineering, its encouraging them to continue to get higher degrees or to even consider it as a profession.

 

I don't know, it just strikes me as really funny. I don't think women are underprivileged in Western society. But if it's a private group ya I guess whatever floats your boat...

Have you ever been a woman? You have no concept of what affronts women every day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh and I would LOVE to be a self employed stay-at-home-husband but I can't do it. It's not other men that bother me. Women don't like men who challenge the status quo. Women don't like men who don't stand up to their male stereotype. And yet it's women who wonder why men are so career and power oriented.

 

If I was a lesbian, I still wouldn't want my partner to stay at home. That kind of dynamic is not condusive to current society, no matter the sex of the person. I don't want a lazy partner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I was a lesbian, I still wouldn't want my partner to stay at home. That kind of dynamic is not condusive to current society, no matter the sex of the person. I don't want a lazy partner.

But staying at home doesn't mean they are lazy, it means they don't get paid for the work they do. Maitaining a household, raising children, cooking, cleaning, lawn care, bills, repairs, shopping, and the many other things that stay at home partners do are not trivial tasks. I know many poeple that are the home based partner that actually work much harder than the employed person. Their hours are all day and they're only payment is that they are the support structure for the partner at work. It depends on what dynamic works best for each family unit, but just because money is not involved in the work done does not make that work any less important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its not forcing women into engineering, its encouraging them to continue to get higher degrees or to even consider it as a profession.

 

By all means, encouraging women to seek more lucrative careers is fine. But, in hindsight, I just think men and women have differnet tastes. i think generally speaking, women would be more interested in a nursing career than an engineering career. Not because they CANT be engineers. Nor because they are held back by society. But because I believe it is interests them more. Not to mention, nurses make GREAT salaries here in the state of California, at least. 70K - 90K to start is impressive. Man or Woman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...