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July 24, 2014


I will start with a disclaimer that this may be an unpopular opinion. While I recognize the desire to get more women into technical fields, I do not like sex and race based set asides or programs. As a first generation, self funded college student that was also raising a child, I would have loved to have received a free calculator or tutoring or internships that were given to women and minorities in my classes. Even though their financial need was not as great as mine nor were they as culturally as disadvantaged as I was. Such programs made me wonder if there was a special program to help only men that were in the nursing program or elementary education credential program? Since those were traditionally female dominated professions, there should have been gender based programs to help men right? If any special help is offered, it should be available to all or it should be need based. Not race or gender based.

Ingineer--I can appreciate your opinion. That's what's great about the good old US of A. We each get to form our own opinions on the basis of our previous experiences.

Thank you for letting me express mine.

I don't understand the zero-sum thinking here. It seems to me that such a program designed for girls is a good thing. Our AAUW has sponsored math and science events for 7th grade girls, for instance. It is sometimes difficult for girls to function in a situation where boys are supposed to have the edge, and the girls tend to clam up and lose interest. It's quite a different atmosphere when the boys are not around.
They will have to compete later on, of course, with men who may not treat them as equals. And I have a few stories there, too.
In short, I very much favor those programs, but if a group of men wanted to get together and provide a similar program for boys, that wouldn't bother me. It's just that I don't see that men are particularly handicapped in the fields of science and technology, and women are. The numbers show that clearly.

Ingineer--Hey! We can't all think alike; but, we should all be able to discuss.

Hattie--It's all a matter of perspective. I recall, back in the 1970s, convincing the local school district to stop banning girls from taking shop classes. The result? The home-making classes stopped banning boys. A "traditionally inclined" father of six of our acquaintance entertained our social circle with his tale of having gone to open house at the high school only to see my daughter in a shop class and my dearest friend's son in a home-making class. In the end, my daughter went into a "traditionally female" line of employment (she's been with the same employer for just over 30 years) and my friend's son went into a "traditionally male" line of employment (he and his wife have owned a successful landscaping/lawn service business for a like time).

I agree video games do seem to make sex objects out of women. But I do not think it is all one sided in popular culture. There are many commercials on TV for different products that play on men being stupid and women being smarter than men. And there have been several movies and TV shows that play on men being inferior to women when it comes to navigating through life.

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