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Point for discussion

Annette C. Hollmann ah690549 at bcm.tmc.edu
Tue Jun 2 23:46:35 EST 1998

In article <3571B001.6851753D at nospamsalk.edu> forsburg at nospamsalk.edu writes:
>In my continuing efforts to get this group up and running 
>again (and if you are having trouble posting, please contact
>the Biosci folks for help!), I put forth the following discussion
>question.  I hope will be sufficiently provokative and maybe
>even contentious so we get some traffic flowing:
>Do you think women have to be better than men to gain the
>same level of success in science?  Why or why not?

 From personal experience, I wouldn't be too surprised - though my data is 
confounded by the fact that I have a physical disability.
I have found that in most places where I have worked, both science and
non-science occupations, there has been one jerk who has gone out of his
or her way to prove that I'm not up to the task at hand. I don't mean
just snide remarks either, but things like deletion of adaptive
software from my computer. It's one thing to compete with your peers. It's
quite another to compete while someone is doing everything in his or her
power to make sure that you do not succeed. 
While there are only a few people who still believe that women and
minorities have no place in science, it might only take one of them to
sabotage your career. IMHO the only defense against such a situation is a
good offense: to be so far ahead of anyone who might try to derail your
career that the jerks can't touch you. In a way, it's like speedskating:
If you're in the middle of the pack, you're going to get shoved and
tripped every once in a while - but if you're a quarter lap ahead nobody
can touch you.


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