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Work shoes and other important things

Cathy Quinones quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Sat Feb 25 12:42:46 EST 1995

In article <karine.hertzberg-250295113159 at biomac21.uio.no> karine.hertzberg at bio.uio.no (Karine Hertzberg) writes:
>My point - which seems to have been missed - was this:
>I am not interested in your personal shoe problems. I thought that this
>newsgroup was meant as a forum for discussing topics related to being a
>woman in biological sciences, their ways into research, their career
>prospects, exchanging news which are relevant in helping other women into
>research and staying there. To me, discussing which shoes to wear doesn't
>enter into it. 
>There's a warning posted before you send an article to a newsgroup, to
>prevent people from sending out too many and irrelevant messages. The
>people participating in the shoe discussion should be aware that entering
>your personal shoe problems into a worldwide newsgroup can serve to dilute
>it and make in uninteresting for other women scientists around.

Literally every newsgroup gets threads that go off on a tangent.
This is usually much fun because you get to discuss a side topic with a
bunch of people who have a similar background/set of interests.  I mean, we
weren't just talking about "I like my shoes with little bows" vs. "I like
my shoes with little buckles."  We were discussing shoes in the context of
the workplace, which for some includes potential splashes of caustic
fluids and extended hours of standing on very hard, flat floors.  We were
talking about the ergonomic problems that result from having to force
one's feet into shoes that don't fit well, because no adequate options may
be available, which quickly goes into the topic of occupational hazards. 

What is next, a post from someone who knows she doesn't want to have
children saying that topics re: childbearing are out of context because
they don't specifically fit her idea of what "women in science" ought to
be discussing publicly?

The same (international) readers that *you* think are saying "look at this,
so-called scientists wasting time talking about their fashion preferences" may
*actually* be thinking "look at THAT person, she obviously has no sense of

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