Friday, November 18, 2005

Women in Science

I representated my esteemed institution (which will go unnamed as I will adhere strictly to the Blogger's Code though I assure you it is reputed) at a Science Exhibition on Sunday. Lots of people came to our stall and asked us questions. But one of them really intrigued me.

One guy (must have been in his late thirties) came up, asked the usual questions and then the trumper

"Is the sex ratio at the institute the same as represented here?"

Whaaaa...! We looked around and saw that there were 4 women and 1 guy to represent my esteemed institution (MEI). We were stunned. But this guy, he went on

"no I am really glad to see so many women in MEI. That is really great. Keep up the good work!"

I was infuriated. One of the things that I cant stand is a patronizing attitude and especially of the male chauvinistic variety.

What if this guy goes home and praises his daughter the same way "Oh my! You are doing really well at Maths being a girl!" His daughter will think twice about excelling in Maths next. She will think "this is not expected of me. Therefore I am different. I should do more girly things."

I can understand and allow for things involving strength were we are at a biological disadvantage. But other than that when it comes to a question of thinking women are as good as the guys.

I am grateful to my parents who never allowed me to think that because I am a girl I am different in anyway from my brother. Maths and Science was important to me as to him. There were no limits, percieved or otherwise, placed on me or my career.

But more than that I am also grateful to MEI. In spite of being a male dominated, I do not percieve any such patronizing attitude here. There is no glass ceiling that prevents women from succeeding or deliberately stalls their progress. Even without those "Affirmative Action" and "Equal Opportunities" that I see on ads for other institutes.

At these times, I am really thankful to the Lord for these small mercies.

No comments: