Sexism in Science
You know what makes me angry? The fact that I apparently can’t do science because I have a vagina. Now, I didn’t think that my gender was damaging my math and science skills, but I guess having breasts means that engineering isn’t for me.
I went down to a NASA space flight center earlier this year as part of my Rocket Club team. We were participating in a competition sending 10-foot-long rockets a mile into the hot Alabama air. There was a “rocket fair” where we displayed our rocket and experiment for NASA employees and the other teams to peruse. I stood proudly in front of our display and tried to engage the passing engineers.
“Do you have any questions Sir?” The response was almost always the same – a glance at me, a cursory “Yeah.”, and then they would turn to one of my male colleagues and direct the question to one of them.
I don’t blame my co-workers. They clearly know far more about the rocket than I do. I mean, they have penises. All I have is the fact that I was the one who designed the damn rocket. *sigh*
It’s the sheer unfairness of it. I’m knowledgeable, friendly, dressed professionally, and I’m ready to answer your questions, but just because I’m a woman you assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Is my being a woman really that big a handicap? Do my ovaries impair my ability to work out an equation? Is my uterus stopping me from thinking critically? I just don’t understand it. Prejudices do nothing but hurt. When you assume that I am stupid because I am a woman, you not only disrespect me, you deprive yourself of the skills I have to offer and the insights that I might have.
All I want is equality. I don’t think I’m asking for too much.
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