12 Jul '14 23:47>
Originally posted by Grampy Bobby"China has a 100 rating in education" (for women).
[b]Best and worst countries for women June 14, 2012 Acharya S/D.M. Murdock
(According to Newsweek magazine, out of 165 countries.)
"No. 165 is Chad, in Central Africa. Iceland (#1) gets a 100 rating overall, and the U.S. (#8) receives an 89.89, while Chad gets a 0. Israel is #51 on the list, with a 78 rating, not far above Mexico (53) with a 77. ...[text shortened]... December 9, 2013 — 6:03 am"
In China (as was the case in the USSR) there seems to be significantly
less prejudice than in the USA against women pursuing careers (such as
in science or engineering) requiring significant mathematical study.
I have noticed that almost all Americans seem to assume that it's natural
for female students to have 'math anxiety', to be afraid of mathematics,
and most Americans seem to assume it should be normal for females to do
worse than males at mathematics. But female 'math anxiety' is not nearly
as universal as these ethnocentric Americans assume. As I recall, Chinese
girls have scored at least as well as American boys of the same ages in some
mathematical tests. When a culture expects more intellectual achievement
from its female students, will they not respond to the challenge?
In the USA, a mathematics professor said that, when she was growing up
in the USSR, she had been universally respected, if not admired, for taking
a serious interest in mathematics and being very good at it. When Americans
asked her, however, 'What do you do for a living?', and she said 'Mathematics',
they would shrink away from her, perceiving her as a freak (or unladylike
or whatever). She said she could not understand this American attitude.
When she sent her daughter to an American public school, she was shocked
to discover that not only did it have abysmally low standards in mathematical
education but also the local teacher was teaching the subject incorrectly.
I can understand exactly how she feels. I suspect that the generally poor
performances of American girls in mathematics largely originates in a
dominant culture that regards such 'feminine weakness' as acceptable.
I would add that the USSR was far from a utopia for women, and women
encountered other problems relating to sexism. Even to this day, Russian
business culture tends to treat its female employees in ways that could
remind American women of a past generation in which sexual harassment
was the norm rather than the grounds for a complaint to human resources.
But, in the Great Patriotic War, Soviet women knew they had to be strong
in order for their country to survive. They did not have the luxury of being
members of the 'weaker sex' to be protected by men. Some Soviet women
volunteered to fight as pilots or snipers; many other women worked in the
physically demanding jobs that previously had been done only by men.
I would submit that *if* Soviet women had acted as the 'helpless creatures'
that the original post seems to expect 'ladies' to act, then the USSR might
have lost the Great Patriotic War. Hitler, who preferred that German women
adhere to traditional domestic roles, might have won his war in the East.