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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jun '16 17:51
    http://www.zmescience.com/science/psychology-science/women-feminine-traits-science/

    sexism raises its ugly head. Again.
  2. 23 Jun '16 20:15
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.zmescience.com/science/psychology-science/women-feminine-traits-science/

    sexism raises its ugly head. Again.
    I don't see how this is real evidence for sexism since it merely shows women scientists with feminine traits in their appearance are less likely to be judged as scientists but that judgment may not be due to sexism but rather merely a subconscious psychological effect that even many none sexist and generally fair minded people may have.
  3. Standard member vivify
    rain
    23 Jun '16 23:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by humy
    I don't see how this is real evidence for sexism since it merely shows women scientists with feminine traits in their appearance are less likely to be judged as scientists but that judgment may not be due to sexism but rather merely a subconscious psychological effect that even many none sexist and generally fair minded people may have.
    I agree. People assume the same thing of bodybuilders; that they're probably not intelligent enough to be scientists. I doubt most people would consider that sexism.

    Scientists have a stereotype of being comprised of physically unimpressive (geeky) people. A "feminine" woman may be considered too attractive to be a scientist, just like someone who looks like Brad Pitt would be regarded the same way.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    23 Jun '16 23:10
    Originally posted by vivify
    I agree. People assume the same thing of bodybuilders; that they're probably not intelligent enough to be scientists. I doubt most people would consider that sexism.

    Scientists have a stereotype of being comprised of physically unimpressive (geeky) people. A "feminine" woman may be considered too attractive to be a scientist, just like someone who looks like Brad Pitt would be regarded the same way.
    I was wondering about the possibility that what the participants were responding to was an apparent absence of geekiness rather than "masculinity/femininity" (I assume they mean sexual attractiveness by this). However, in that case it points to a difference in perception of what it means to be geeky as a man and as a woman. If a man who is geeky can be perceived as masculine, but a woman who is geeky cannot be perceived as feminine then it implies an imbalance in perceptions of men and women that some may regard as sexist. I think most female scientists are more concerned about equal opportunity, unoppressive working conditions, absence of glass ceilings and so forth.
  5. Standard member vivify
    rain
    23 Jun '16 23:20 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I was wondering about the possibility that what the participants were responding to was an apparent absence of geekiness rather than "masculinity/femininity" (I assume they mean sexual attractiveness by this). However, in that case it points to a difference in perception of what it means to be geeky as a man and as a woman. If a man who is geeky can be ...[text shortened]... bout equal opportunity, unoppressive working conditions, absence of glass ceilings and so forth.
    Geeks are not considered masculine. Every media portrayal of a geeky man involves someone weak-looking who is unattractive to most women.

    A geeky woman can be considered feminine, but (like you) I'm assuming the article means "feminine" in an attractive sense.
  6. 24 Jun '16 19:53 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.zmescience.com/science/psychology-science/women-feminine-traits-science/

    sexism raises its ugly head. Again.
    It's a cultural stereotype. And one should not assume that American culture's gender stereotypes are universal.
    I would add that stereotypically 'feminine-acting' (as distinguished from 'feminine-looking' )
    women are less likely to overcome sexism to succeed in STEM fields in the United States.

    By the way, the ChessBase website has been doing its (stereotypical) best to point out
    that attractive women can be strong chess players.
  7. 24 Jun '16 23:51
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.zmescience.com/science/psychology-science/women-feminine-traits-science/

    sexism raises its ugly head. Again.
    There's a difference between social gender stereotyping and institutional sexism in science.

    A woman scientist probably would not care much if a stranger at a party was surprised
    to discover her profession: "Oh, you're really a scientist? I can hardly believe it. You're
    so attractive, you appear so feminine. I had assumed that you wanted to be a model!"
    But she would care if her scientific paper was taken less seriously on account of her gender.
  8. 25 Jun '16 07:16
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    There's a difference between social gender stereotyping and institutional sexism in science.

    A woman scientist probably would not care much if a stranger at a party was surprised
    to discover her profession: "Oh, you're really a scientist? I can hardly believe it. You're
    so attractive, you appear so feminine. I had assumed that you wanted to be a mod ...[text shortened]... "
    But she would care if her scientific paper was taken less seriously on account of her gender.
    I have noticed that some women in science prefer to list only their initials when they are publishing papers (when the option is available), even though these days it is more common to list a full name.
  9. 25 Jun '16 18:07 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    sexism raises its ugly head. Again.
    Your thread title isn't accurate. I don't think anyone would say that a feminine woman can never be a scientist. But many people would guess that a feminine woman is unlikely to be a scientist. (not the same thing at all) Judgements like these are not necessarily sexist or racist. They become a problem when people use such judgements to negatively affect someone. So if a feminine looking woman is denied entry to a science conference because of her looks, then that would be sexism.

    On a side note, my sister is feminine and a scientist.
  10. 25 Jun '16 18:18 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I have noticed that some women in science prefer to list only their initials when they are publishing papers
    (when the option is available), even though these days it is more common to list a full name.
    In Soviet citations, it was common to refer to authors by initials (given name, patronymic).
    I know a mathematician who uses her initials rather than her Chinese given name and
    routinely gets letters (assuming she's male) in English addressed to 'Mr' rather than 'Ms'.

    After I gave one lecture, I was disappointed by some of the feedback I got from students.
    They did not complain much, if at all, about the content or about my style of presentation.
    But there were several comments that they found it hard to take what I said seriously because
    I did *not appear* authoritative enough. These comments were about my physical appearance.
    A significant proportion of the students apparently would have learned more if my same
    words had been uttered by a tall man (presumably white) in a booming deep voice.
    But there's not much (no high heels) that I can do about appearing more like a tall man.
  11. 25 Jun '16 18:29
    Originally posted by twhitehead to Sonhouse
    Your thread title isn't accurate. I don't think anyone would say that a feminine woman can never be a scientist. But many people would guess that a feminine woman is unlikely to be a scientist. (not the same thing at all) Judgements like these are not necessarily sexist or racist. They become a problem when people use such judgements to negat ...[text shortened]... her looks, then that would be sexism.

    On a side note, my sister is feminine and a scientist.
    I already have pointed out that Sonhouse's confusing social gender stereotyping with institutional sexism.

    "I don't think anyone would say that a feminine woman can never be a scientist."
    --Twhitehead

    You have not met all the sexists whom I have met.

    "So if a feminine looking woman is denied entry to a science conference because of
    her looks, then that would be sexism."
    --Twhitehead

    That's an unrealistically extreme example. A more realistic example is that a woman is taken
    less seriously when she speaks because she's perceived as feminine or simply as a woman.
    Many women attempt to oppose this common prejudice by dressing like men (as much as
    they can) and speaking in their deepest voices. Personally, I doubt that this approach
    is very helpful because the audience can still perceive that the speakers are women.
    To be realistic, however, I would not advise a professional woman to adopt an ultra-feminine
    style of presentation.
  12. 25 Jun '16 20:08 / 1 edit
    At some American universities, fraternity members have held contests in which they have rated
    (numerical scores) female students or teachers for their looks or 'hotness' (sexual desirability).
    These contests have been criticized for being sexist, and some efforts have been made
    to discipline the fraternities involved for violating some code of student conduct.

    In the most blatant incidents, male students have whistled and shouted out their scores
    ('She's a 10!" ) in public while female students have walked by. This behavior evidently
    violates policies against sexual harassment and should be comparatively easy to stop.
    I don't know what could be done to stop a fraternity, for instance, from doing a survey of its members
    and making a private list of the female teachers whom its members most want to sleep with.
    I know that professional women do get objectified and compared in these crude ways.
  13. 25 Jun '16 20:32
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Many women attempt to oppose this common prejudice by dressing like men (as much as
    they can) and speaking in their deepest voices.
    And other women choose to reinforce the stereotype with the dumb blonde syndrome ie either deliberately acting dumb to get attention, or using the 'I'm a pretty girl so don't expect too much of me' excuse for dumb behaviour.
  14. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    25 Jun '16 21:02
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I already have pointed out that Sonhouse's confusing social gender stereotyping with institutional sexism.

    "I don't think anyone would say that a feminine woman can never be a scientist."
    --Twhitehead

    You have not met all the sexists whom I have met.

    "So if a feminine looking woman is denied entry to a science conference because of
    her looks, t ...[text shortened]... ever, I would not advise a professional woman to adopt an ultra-feminine
    style of presentation.
    So gender stereotyping would be a girl using two typewriters at once, something a man could never do
  15. 25 Jun '16 21:03 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And other women choose to reinforce the stereotype with the dumb blonde syndrome ie either deliberately
    acting dumb to get attention, or using the 'I'm a pretty girl so don't expect too much of me' excuse for dumb behaviour.
    I don't believe that many women 'deliberately act dumb to get attention' (some stupid women can't help it).
    I believe that many women downplay their intelligence to appear less threatening to men,
    hoping therefore to avoid hostile treatment. (Some men have urged me to do the same.)
    But I don't think that the top priority for feminism is to rebrand it so it appears less threatening to men.

    Suzianne has been honest enough to admit her weakness in logic and mathematics,
    yet she also seems to rationalize it by implying that it may be explained by her gender.
    If she had been brought up as I was, she would have been told that this excuse would not be accepted.
    That's not to say that I grew up in a feminist family. Both my parents believed that women
    are inferior to men in intelligence. But there also was a belief that, with enough determination,
    a woman could do better than most men even in mathematics, science, and engineering.

    At RHP, I have received comments about my physical appearance from men who never have seen me.
    One man guessed that I'm a brunette. One of my trolls claimed that I never have to
    worry about being raped because I obviously must be extremely ugly and repulsive.