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STEMinism & Women in Biology: The Female of the Species

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

"STEMinism has an overemphasis on women in the non-life sciences". Agree or Disagree?

Strongly Agree
4
13%
Agree
8
27%
Neither Agree nor Disagree
8
27%
Disagree
4
13%
Strongly Disagree
1
3%
Don't know
5
17%
 
Total votes : 30

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Stanmenistan
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STEMinism & Women in Biology: The Female of the Species

Postby Stanmenistan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:08 am

Encouraging young women and girls to take on careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a popular talking point in modern Feminism, sometimes described under the portmanteau title of STEMinism. However, it often overlooks that women are quite prominent in one field of science in particular; biology. Or at the very least, it downplays this fact in favour of promoting women working in other fields of Science (not that there's anything wrong with that, but focusing more if not near-exclusively on Female engineers, physicists etc. could be argued to send the harmful message that female biologists are not as important as women in other STEM fields).

Considering the term STEM was coined popularised by a female biologist, Rita R. Colwell, this seems like an oversight at best, or downright disrespectful at worst (Rita is an environmental microbiologist and she has degrees in bacteriology, genetics, and oceanography and studies infectious diseases). Most of my mathematics teachers were women also.

I myself don't consider myself a feminist, but an Egalitarian. I known not all Feminists are radfem, but groups like TERFs are massive issue within the movement, not all female Feminists like men using the term feminist to describe their beliefs (preferring the term Male Ally or Pro-Feminist Man), and (some) feminist media critics sometimes seem to demonstrate a lack of research and/or ignorance about the things they are reviewing or critiquing.

My question is: Does STEMinism (STEM feminism) ignore or downplay the vast female presence in the field of Biology? If so, should it?

My personal answers are yes to the first question, and my answer to the second question is, No, STEMinism should not downplay the presence of women in Biology.

Glossary of Terms-
STEM-An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The term was first used by Charles E. Vela and Peter Faletra, but became mainstream when female biologist Rita Colwell, the then president of NSF, adopted it in 2001.
STEMinism-a portmanteau of STEM and Feminism, this is a branch of Feminism that looks to promote Women's roles in STEM and looks to encourage a younger generation of females into looking into STEM careers.
Hard sciences-The three main branches of science: biology, chemistry and physics
Soft Sciences- Also known as social sciences, this includes economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, human geography, linguistics, management science, media studies, musicology, political science, psychology, welfare and nursing studies (which overlaps with biology to an extent as both deal with living things) and social history
Life Sciences- the branches of science that involve the scientific study of life and organisms, including microorganisms, plants, and animals, including human beings.
HASS-An abbreviation for Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Essentially, soft science's counterpart to STEM.
Physical science-The branches of the Hard Sciences that deal with non-living things, like Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Earth science
Femininity Shaming- Where feminists or other people deride certain women for acting too stereotypically feminine, even if they are not harming themselves or others as a result.

Source 1
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Source 6
Source 7 (Only one Biology based toy)
Source 8 (there are a few more on this one)
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Last edited by Stanmenistan on Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:22 am, edited 28 times in total.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:29 am

What was the question again?
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Postby Vassenor » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:46 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:What was the question again?


something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is underrepresentation over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.
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Postby Stanmenistan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 2:51 am

Vassenor wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:What was the question again?


something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is a comparative lack of parity over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.

It goes a bit deeper than that. In Nordic countries where gender equality is near-perfect, men and women still CHOOSE different jobs. And in the scientific world, most women choose to be Biologists, rather than physicists, Engineers, computer technicians etc. By not mentioning this vital fact, you ignore a large chunk of female scientists.

Scientists did tests on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.
Last edited by Stanmenistan on Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
About me
Man is free at the instant he wants to be-Voltaire
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We know more about the surface of the moon than the deep oceans of our own planet-Alastair Fothergill
If we do not become active partners in crafting the policies that involve & affect our work, it will be done without our insight, reason & wisdom-Rita R Colwell
The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, & beautiful-Francis Collins
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:33 am

Stanmenistan wrote:
Vassenor wrote:
something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is a comparative lack of parity over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.

It goes a bit deeper than that. In Nordic countries where gender equality is near-perfect, men and women still CHOOSE different jobs. And in the scientific world, most women choose to be Biologists, rather physicists, Engineers, computer technicians etc. By not mentioning this vital fact, you ignore a large chunk of female scientists.

Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.


Interesting as that is, I still think the thread would go better if you showed an interest in other people's opinions. You do that by phrasing a question in the Original Post.

Can we have some numbers on the various fields? Engineers I know are numerous (because of direct employment in industry) while Mathematicians I believe are rare.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:42 am

This is a non-issue to begin. If women don't wanna work in STEM, that's their perogative. If men don't wanna work in biology, that's their perogative. We need to stop telling men and women what carrers to choose and let them make up their damned minds. If women want to work in STEM, let them, if they don't want to, they shouldn't. If there are more female biologists than male biologists, good for them. If there are more male engineers than female engineers, good for them. As long as nobody is prevented from entering STEM because of their gender, then this become the biggest non-issue ever. I would say that this becomes the biggest first-world prpblem, but this too pety to qualify as such. Now, if men and/or women are preventing from enetering STEM, then it becomes a problem
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ostroeuropa » Mon Apr 06, 2020 4:41 am

Vassenor wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:What was the question again?


something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is underrepresentation over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.


They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.
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Postby Stagnant Axon Terminal » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:01 am

Is this another "feminists are bad because *opinion that has little to nothing to do with feminism*" thread? Please advise.
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Postby Valrifell » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:06 am

Me reading the title like:

"STEM" oh that's neat, I like STEM I wonder where this is goi- "Feminism" ah, balls.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:15 am

Ostroeuropa wrote:
Vassenor wrote:
something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is underrepresentation over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.


They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.


There are physical reasons why African-Americans are over-represented in basketball, surely. Though I fear you're going to call me racist for implying that white men can't jump. I hoop you do better: tell me why if it's not a systemic racial advantage, why ARE African-Americans over-represented?

It wasn't me who chose the analogy it was you. Are you implying that men are genetically advantaged in being better on average, at the STEM subjects?
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Postby Ifreann » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:27 am

Stanmenistan wrote:Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.

Therefore what?
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Postby Greater vakolicci haven » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:33 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:
They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.


There are physical reasons why African-Americans are over-represented in basketball, surely. Though I fear you're going to call me racist for implying that white men can't jump. I hoop you do better: tell me why if it's not a systemic racial advantage, why ARE African-Americans over-represented?

It wasn't me who chose the analogy it was you. Are you implying that men are genetically advantaged in being better on average, at the STEM subjects?

That doesn't makd sense. We're seing a lot of (white) basketball players in the NBA from Eastern Europe.
It probably has a lot more to do with basketball being more prominent in black neighbourhoods, more black role models for young basketball players etc.

As for the thread itself, this also seems rather obvious to me: women (on average) prefer to take up certain jobs, and men prefer to take up certain jobs. There is enough encouragement for women to take up jobs in physics, the fact that they're not doing doesn't show they're underprivileged as much as it shows they simply don't want to take up those jobs.
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Postby Rojava Free State » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:56 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:
They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.


There are physical reasons why African-Americans are over-represented in basketball, surely. Though I fear you're going to call me racist for implying that white men can't jump. I hoop you do better: tell me why if it's not a systemic racial advantage, why ARE African-Americans over-represented?

It wasn't me who chose the analogy it was you. Are you implying that men are genetically advantaged in being better on average, at the STEM subjects?


Black Americans are overrepresented because that's one of the few sports you can play in the inner city and because theres a stereotype they are good at it.

I went to several different schools as a kid and my highschool was mainly brown and white. Our basketball team was mostly a bunch of white guys and when they went up against Southfield, who's population is mostly black, school population is mostly black and team was all black, southfield got their asses handed to them. Their black skin didn't save them from taking an L, because your skin color doesn't make you good at anything besides protecting yourself from UV radiation and sunburns.
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Postby Ostroeuropa » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:57 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:
They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.


There are physical reasons why African-Americans are over-represented in basketball, surely. Though I fear you're going to call me racist for implying that white men can't jump. I hoop you do better: tell me why if it's not a systemic racial advantage, why ARE African-Americans over-represented?

It wasn't me who chose the analogy it was you. Are you implying that men are genetically advantaged in being better on average, at the STEM subjects?


Physically inclined white males go in for physicality professions such as firefighting, police work, etc. This has a far higher degree of moderate success but relies on a lack of institutional barriers to those professions. Meanwhile, black males tend to go in for sports more often which has a far higher failure rate as only a couple hundred or so make it. The pool of people trying their hand at being sports stars is far higher in the black population as a result.
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Postby Rojava Free State » Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:59 am

We should encourage women to do whatever they want as long as they aren't committing heinous crimes against others. Women should get into STEM more, because honestly that's where future employment is. Everyone should be looking at STEM. As for biology, maybe more men should look into that.
Rojava Free State wrote:Listen yall. I'm only gonna say it once but I want you to remember it. This ain't a world fit for good men. It seems like you gotta be monstrous just to make it. Gotta have a little bit of darkness within you just to survive. You gotta stoop low everyday it seems like. Stoop all the way down to the devil in these times. And then one day you look in the mirror and you realize that you ain't you anymore. You're just another monster, and thanks to your actions, someone else will eventually become as warped and twisted as you. Never forget that the best of us are just the best of a bad lot. Being at the top of a pile of feces doesn't make you anything but shit like the rest. Never forget that.

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Postby Stanmenistan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:03 am

Ifreann wrote:
Stanmenistan wrote:Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.

Therefore what?

Therefore girls who grow up playing with toy animals are more likely to become biologists, whereas boys who grow up playing with toy machines are more likely to become interested in machinery and technology. Both Nature and Nurture shape our young people.
Last edited by Stanmenistan on Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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If we do not become active partners in crafting the policies that involve & affect our work, it will be done without our insight, reason & wisdom-Rita R Colwell
The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, & beautiful-Francis Collins
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Postby Valrifell » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:04 am

Rojava Free State wrote:We should encourage women to do whatever they want as long as they aren't committing heinous crimes against others.


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Postby Ifreann » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:07 am

Stanmenistan wrote:
Ifreann wrote:Therefore what?

Therefore girls who grow up playing with toy animals may be more likely to become biologists, whereas boys who grow up playing with toy machines may be more likely to become interested in machinery and technology.

Your conclusion doesn't follow from your dubious premise.
Both Nature and Nurture shape our young people.

Obviously.
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Postby True Democratic Socialism » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:08 am

Stanmenistan wrote:
Vassenor wrote:
something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is a comparative lack of parity over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.

It goes a bit deeper than that. In Nordic countries where gender equality is near-perfect, men and women still CHOOSE different jobs. And in the scientific world, most women choose to be Biologists, rather physicists, Engineers, computer technicians etc. By not mentioning this vital fact, you ignore a large chunk of female scientists.

Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.


Okay, that's a fine and dandy hypothesis of why men are over-represented in engineering and physics and women are over-represented in biology. BUT is really a natural genetic prefrance enough to explain the disparity?

I mean, it is possible for a girl who was interested in for example horses to grow out of that and become interested in something completely unrelated, isn't it? So what else could be at play? Could it be an inherit social factor of the fact that people make horse toys for girls and transformers for boys? Or could it maybe be so that if you have friends who are into horses, you keep your interest in horses because you have friends who are interested?

I mean I'm just saying that that explanation doesn't seem sufficient and it's important to know if it is because well, we should neither accidentally lock women out of high salaries nor force them into jobs they don't want to be doing.

Also what would the evolutionary pressure be that makes women more interested in animals and men in machines?

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Postby Stanmenistan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:08 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Stanmenistan wrote:It goes a bit deeper than that. In Nordic countries where gender equality is near-perfect, men and women still CHOOSE different jobs. And in the scientific world, most women choose to be Biologists, rather physicists, Engineers, computer technicians etc. By not mentioning this vital fact, you ignore a large chunk of female scientists.

Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.


Interesting as that is, I still think the thread would go better if you showed an interest in other people's opinions. You do that by phrasing a question in the Original Post.

Can we have some numbers on the various fields? Engineers I know are numerous (because of direct employment in industry) while Mathematicians I believe are rare.

Mathematics teachers can be considered Mathematicians of a sort. I don't know about you, but when I was younger, most of my Mathematics teachers were women.
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If we do not become active partners in crafting the policies that involve & affect our work, it will be done without our insight, reason & wisdom-Rita R Colwell
The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, & beautiful-Francis Collins
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Postby Stanmenistan » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:13 am

Stagnant Axon Terminal wrote:Is this another "feminists are bad because *opinion that has little to nothing to do with feminism*" thread? Please advise.

Not All Feminists. I just wish more Feminists (heck, more people) encouraging girls and young women to get into science would pay a little more attention to female biologists, especially given a female biologist (Rita R. Colwell) coined popularised the term STEM in the first place
Last edited by Stanmenistan on Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Man is free at the instant he wants to be-Voltaire
Think for yourself & let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too― Voltaire
We know more about the surface of the moon than the deep oceans of our own planet-Alastair Fothergill
If we do not become active partners in crafting the policies that involve & affect our work, it will be done without our insight, reason & wisdom-Rita R Colwell
The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. He can be worshipped in the cathedral or in the laboratory. His creation is majestic, awesome, intricate, & beautiful-Francis Collins
It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right & wrong-Jeremy Bentham

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Postby Vassenor » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:27 am

Ostroeuropa wrote:
Vassenor wrote:
something about Feminists being bad for focusing on areas where there is underrepresentation over ones where women are equally or overrepresented.


They're focused on expanding female privilege rather than creating equality.
https://www.macleans.ca/society/could-h ... -stem-gap/

It's like white people up and deciding we need more white basketball players and acting like the system is rigged against them.


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Postby Saint Nicholas and the Hussars » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:32 am

Ifreann wrote:
Stanmenistan wrote:Scientists did test on babies and female babies preferred looking at biological motion while male babies preferred looking at mechanical motion. That's why girls toys are often animals while boys toys are often machines.

Therefore what?

Males will be the first to involve into transhuman machines naturally and become cyborgs first. They will surpass their female counterparts as they stay in an inferior, biological and fleshy world.
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Postby Ifreann » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:38 am

Saint Nicholas and the Hussars wrote:
Ifreann wrote:Therefore what?

Males will be the first to involve into transhuman machines naturally and become cyborgs first. They will surpass their female counterparts as they stay in an inferior, biological and fleshy world.

Cool, can't wait to get sunglasses built into my face.
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Risottia » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:11 am

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:What was the question again?

I'm pretty sure there was none in the OP.
Statanist through and through.
Evilutionist Atheist Crusadjihadist. "Darwinu Akhbar! Dawkins vult!"
Founder of the NSG Peace Prize Committee.
I'm back.
SUMMER, BLOODY SUMMER!

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