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Hey girl! Science wants YOU – but don’t forget the lipstick
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:04 AM
22 Jun 2012
The European Commission’s new campaign to stimulate young women’s interest in a career in science has today been lambasted on blogs and social media sites for its patronising tone.
The Science: It’s a girl thing! campaign (with the first letter ‘i’ helpfully substituted by a pink lipstick, in case you were in any doubt that it was aimed at women), launched in Brussels on 21 June. It aims to attract young women to scientific research careers in order to increase the total number of female researchers in Europe, part of a broader strategy across the European Union to increase the number of researchers by one million, as well as raising total R&D spending to 3% of GDP by 2020 (Washington Post).
“The goal of the campaign is quite simply to get girls and women who probably would not have considered a career in science interested in considering it,” says Michael Jennings, spokesperson for the European Commission’s Research, Innovation and Science Unit.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:42 AM
"People Aren't against you; they're for themselves"
"If you don't want people looking down at you then grow up"
"If you know the rules to the game, play; 'cause when we die we all know we'll be going the same way"
Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:01 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:39 PM
Couldn't the Euro Comission do any better? Just imagine the guy equivalent to see how stupid this is. Imagine if the ad was "Science - it's a guy thing", and it features a load of guys riding dirtbikes, and shooting guns, and then being served beer by beautiful women. All this kind of thing does is cause a load of idiots to be misled into doing a subject and then dropping out a month later. Science isn't about lipstick and dancing; it's about investigation of the natural world. If you can't make that seem interesting without jazzing it up in a generic music video, then what hope is there for these girls who weren't interested in science to begin with, to maintain any enthusiasm for something that has nothing to do with fashion and eyeliner? The quality of students who choose science because they saw this video must be frightening.
There are enough hard working, dedicated women in science already. Let those girls do their job and stop trying to bring in airheads to meet some stupid quota. You're gunning for equality of outcome when what's important is equality of opportunity. There doesn't need to be exactly the same number of women doing science as men.
Edited by Deadbolt, 24 June 2012 - 02:41 PM.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:10 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:02 PM
Edited by planetary, 24 June 2012 - 09:14 PM.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:25 PM
The phrase "We need more ____ to join our community. How do we draw them in?" and usually the result is "What do they like? Lets pitch it to them from that perspective." So you get stereotypes used to define a people who from the beginning are defined as outsiders and all the same. Those are then used by people who have no understanding of the cultures and mentalities of individuals reasons for their separation from the group in the first place.
Instead of Thinking you know what makes Group A different and pandering to those differences through Ideas, that are generated by people who have never been a part of anything other than the mainstream group, targeted to assimilating the outsiders into your way of doing things, maybe it might work better another way.
Try asking the missing populace about the topic at hand (science in this case) and approach it from the perspective of "we are working on this but we realised our view on the topic is biased because of limited perspective. Then don't act like it's bait to pull them into your world, start thinking of it as you've been doing it so wrong that your the only group that think your way and you are trying assimilate into a wider group who have otherways that may work better or in parallel.
This is a problem that's being confronted on a lot of social fronts right now as well as intellectual. This seems to stem from a cultural model where White male heterosexual healthy and well educated is the default model identity of a citizen in much of the western world. The degree to which you deviate from that is the degree to which society applies to you.
The only thing I can think of when I realize this is a need to decentralize human identity. Not by having separate models for each subset, though that may function for a while. But instead by a sort of fractal view, where every person is a model of humanity and humanity is a model of every person. Whereby looking at one gives you insight into the other and the only difference is the scale your looking at. That's the way to set the normative human model, then it becomes time to break out the artists colorwheels of specialized and regionally dependent knowledge and experience. It's not that cultures don't differ, it's just those differences are an aspect of humanity not departure from it.
And I'm not saying that there are people who are knowingly deciding these things. But there are aspects of life for some subsets of people who are viewed as a minority that people not having those features aren't even aware of, simply because they have never had to think about them before, it's never been a concern... for them. Ultimately we cannot be expected to solve problems we don't personally have, but we should be acknowledging that there may be and likely are barriers that we are not seeing because they don't apply to us but they none the less are restricting the results, and we need to be asking those that do encounter 'invisible' (to us) barriers to identify them so that we can help each other overcome our limiting factors together.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:25 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:15 PM
I would say that there is a problem with not enough female scientists(and also not enough scientists in general as well), though the reason is likely more to do with girls being told they are not smart enough to do it, and society pushing the view that they don't make good scientists. What they really need is some positive role models, and I think the issue people have with this video is that the role models are don't really seem positive. Instead you got stereotypical role models.
Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:08 AM
I would tell them my response would be F U, science is the one place where ugly people can actually not be discriminated against in favor of pretty people. (Even that is debatable.)
Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:29 AM
Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:21 PM
Edited by NightWolf235, 25 June 2012 - 02:22 PM.
Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:30 PM
Edited by Lily, 25 June 2012 - 02:31 PM.
"All scientific advancement due to intellegence overcoming, compensating, for limitations. Can't carry a load, so invent wheel. Can't catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way too. Advancement before culture is ready. Disastrous."
There's definitely truth in that...
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