Schlagwörter: MINT – Sexismus – Englisch
And here I’m going to speak personally for a moment. I am a lady in a STEM field, and I went through the necessary schooling and training to acquire a STEM job. I saw what that training did to me and to the other girls who enrolled. I saw how the teachers treated us. I saw how we had to be twice as good as the boys in order to be considered half as competent. I saw how our good grades were seen as proof that the teachers were interested in us sexually, and not proof of our own merits. I saw how my male schoolmates called me lesbian and feminist like those were the worst things I could be, and they were careful to let us hear how they would only ever date girls from the art building, or from the hairstyling school downtown, and how they would never, ever, marry another engineer.
I’ve seen at my own work the toll it takes to live in a STEM field as a woman, and why so many women leave. I’ve seen men congratulated for leaving work early to work on a Ph.D. or to train for a bicycle race, but women castigated for going home to cook dinner or tend small children. I’ve seen countless men lose their tempers and scream until they are red in the face in meetings, while women who raise their voices even the slightest are immediately branded as bitches who are impossible to work with. I’ve seen male managers gossip with male employees about the sex lives of their female co-workers, and I’ve seen those men „warn“ each other away from us. I’ve seen, just this week, a male colleague old enough to be my father make blow-job jokes about me when I had to use the team vacuum cleaner to clear bugs away from my desk.
And I’ve seen how older men can get away with the blow-job jokes because they’re From A Different Era, and how younger men can get away with the blow-job jokes because they’re Too Young To Know Better and how all this practically sums up to the fact that if I want to work in a STEM field, I have to be willing to put up with blow-job jokes. And I have to be willing to do that while I’m the only woman in a room full of 30 people, which is its own special brand of loneliness. If I leave the STEM fields — and there are so many days when I fantasize about doing precisely that — it won’t be because I wasn’t sufficiently coddled with Rube Goldberg* toys. It’ll be because sexism drove me the fuck out.
And I’d like to see that acknowledged just a little bit the next time we talk about female representation in STEM fields. Because, goddammit, it’s not just about encouraging girls to step through the door. It’s about being open and honest about what’s on the other side of that door that causes so many women to step right back out again. Women aren’t stupid, and we’re not going to think a mire of sexism and misogyny is really a pasture of rainbows just because it’s marketed that way. And focusing on entrance rates with no focus whatsoever on retention rates is a way of making this whole thing one more Exceptional Woman hoop, where Good Women go into science fields and we just need more Good Women. That isn’t going to solve the fact that Good Women are leaving science fields because of socially-acceptable misogyny bullshit.