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sports & baking & frustration!

ktlee+ at pitt.edu ktlee+ at pitt.edu
Fri Dec 20 15:25:57 EST 1996


Sarah Boomer wrote:

>         Why do women tend to do these "little things"  - why?  I think
> that comes down to some real points made by women on the group (and also
> some people of different ethnic backgrounds, to me personally).  Many (not
> ALL!) men grow up with a behavioural pattern that is geared toward
> satisfying personal gains where many women (not ALL!)  grow up being
> raised to make decisions based on more group-oriented things.  I think the
> real point of these discussions does come down to more of an issue that
> many women look at little tasks around their workplace and think - oh, I
> have to do this because it will impress the group or so and so forgot to
> clean that up - I will HELP them because they are clearly busy.  It isn't
> that a woman always bakes because it is feminine to do so;  it is perhaps
> because she feels that it will please others to do it.  A man, on the
> other hand, may just be thinking - I don't have time for this; 


I already replied to Sarah privately, but thought I'd post it to the 
group with some added stuff as well.  (I also left out a bit...)

I agree that there are some socialogical and psychological differences 
between men and women that may make many women feel like they need to 
do stuff like bake etc.  However I think women can change that.  It's 
not easy, but it is possible.  Ignore the spill, quit baking.  It 
won't mean you're not a woman.  Unfortunately, it is probably a lot 
easier to change ourselves than to change a chunk of the male 
population.

I was not suggesting that the differences weren't real of that the 
problem doesn't exist.  It does! I was mostly responding to the idea 
that somehow if we stop doing the "little things" we will be less 
feminine.  (I don't think we have to choose between being feminine and 
being a scientist.)  I sure hope I haven't chosen.

In any case, the discussion has been really interesting. I have had 
some of the same experiences as many of the women who posted, and 
escaped others.  Most of my bad experiences in grad school were from 
people who were equal opportunity jerks.  They mistreated everybody! 
(I actually had more of a problem because of my socioeconomic status.  
But that's a post for another day.)

I may soon experience more of what you all are talking about since I 
have joined a faculty that is way more than 50% male.  Should be 
interesting. (I have in fact, noticed a certain patronizing attitude 
from some of my older colleagues.  However, they treat the young male 
faculty the same way!)

Anyway, everybody have a safe and wonderful holiday.

Karen



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