“Today, on average, a woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women’s median annual earnings are $10,800 less than men’s” (Business Insider). In the most progressive age of any society in the earth’s long life, there seems to be something left out. Whether we are men, women, or identify as anything else, we are all people, this is not how we treat our fellow human beings. Although there has been many advancements in blocking out the “traditional” and barbaric ways men have treated women in the past, there are definitely a few key issues that keep seeming to slip through the cracks. The fight for equal pay has been a long battle that still has been going on very silently, but why? This is not the early 20th and 19th century, companies need to realize they need to be looking for the best candidates for their jobs, not a women they can pay less, or even a less qualified man who receives more pay. The issue of pay gap goes even deeper than just men vs women, it goes into things like race, and that is where we see the real gap. Equal pay should not be fought for, it is right, there should be no separation between sex, race, or where you come from. Continue reading
Women in science
Women have stereotypes in many cultures that have historically been taken as negative traits to keep them out of many fields, however I feel that even if many of these stereotyped gender roles have lead to biological differences over time, I think that these differences in thinking would add value to the modern work force rather than retract from it. In “The Classical Debate” the author notes “Women were viewed as essentially evil creatures. This perception can be traced back to the writings of the eighth-century poet Hesiod, who provided us with the story of Pandora and her box. In his poem Works and Days he described human misfortunes as beginning from a woman’s curiosity: Pandora opens the box she has been told not to open and lets out “pains and evil” (cited in Anderson and Zinsser 2000, 1: 49) I find this similar to the story of adam and eve which leads the prejudice against women as evil in Christian culture. However it is the “woman’s curiosity” that would make women most valuable to scientific pursuits.
I believe that women’s curious trains of thought have likely sparked many scientific discoveries throughout history with their spouses or another relation in the scientific community. I think Pythagoren theory makes the most sense of the philosophies presented. “The importance of harmony, balance, and reason was a crucial aspect of Pythagorean philosophy, and the nature of the human soul was a central concern. According to Pythagoras, the soul had three parts: intelligence, reason, and passion. Diogenes Laertius, writing in the third century a.d., informs us that Pythagoras stated: “Reason is immortal, all else is mortal” (Diogenes Laertius 1941, 2: 347). Pythagorean theory believes that at the base both men and women have equal capacity for “intelligence, reason and passion” as Men. Being that these are the most crucial factors for productivity it would follow that Men and Women have equal potential value to the American workforce. However I think it is also acceptable to take gender into consideration when determining the positions where women would reach their highest value potential. If in the Pythagorean principal of opposites men and women are to have many different character traits and mental dispositions, having equal numbers of men and women in academic fields like science would serve to provide the balance and harmony valued in this philosophy. It would also increase the intellectual diversity and increase the value of everyone in the process as their ideas are developed by being challenged and put to test. As
Thomas R. Martin asserted, “The inclusion of women in the ruling class of Plato’s utopian city-state represented a startling departure from the actual practice of his times. Indeed, never before in Western history had anyone proposed—even in fantasy—that work be allocated in human society without regard to gender” (Martin 1996, 181). Whether justified or not I think that it would make sense that the roles that women have been subjected to throughout history would have some impact on the evolutionary development of the female gender in whole, this is not to say that these skills can not be applied to the modern workforce.
Aristotle defines these distinctions clearly.
In all cases, excepting the bear and leopard, the female is less spirited than the male…. With all other animals, the female is softer in disposition, is more mischievous, less simple, more impulsive, and more attentive to the nurture of the young; the male, on the other hand, is more spirited, more savage, more simple and less cunning. The traces of these characteristics are more or less visible everywhere, but they are especially visible where character is more developed, and most of all in man. The fact is, the nature of man is the most rounded off and complete, and consequently in man the qualities above referred to are found most clearly.
While some of Aristotle’s analysis may have merit, he see’s many otherwise positive qualities in only a negative light. According to Aristotle, both male and female possessed a soul with the ability to reason; however, in the female the irrational power dominated. This is the opposite of the male. Furthermore, although the woman, unlike the slave, has a “deliberative faculty,” it is “without authority” (1260a 14; Aristotle 1984, 2: 14). Woman’s described qualities seems to make them the perfect kind of innovative and creative thinkers that break outside of the normal way of thinking and dream.
Lawyers and feminist have attempted to fix the problem, and social scientist have studied it, but women continuously remain outnumbered in the science and technology fields. Since before the Scientific Revolution women have been unfairly turned away from these jobs. Science and technology have been continuously male-dominated, and It is crucial to establish a stronger female presence in both fields. Continue reading
Aristotle’s claim that men are complete, perfect beings, while women are simply incomplete males is an inherently wrong claim that has regrettably permeated the field of science and technology to this very day. The recent scandals in Silicon Valley with companies like Uber and Google have highlighted this issue. Despite many companies today working hard to promote a message of inclusion, equal opportunity, and open mindedness, many of these companies are no different than the sexists of the past. I do believe that there are fundamental differences between men and women, but I can firmly state that these differences are limited to the physical attributes.
I am a male and I am absolutely horrible at math and science. Since elementary I have struggled with numbers, data, and analysis. However, I have always been strongly drawn towards the humanities, it is something that basically just clicked with me from an early age. In class on Wednesday we discussed how teachers in elementary school tend to push boys towards math and science subjects and for that reason men are typically stronger in those areas. That talk struck a chord with me. I can not begin to express how much I hate dealing with numbers. I have loved my time at Colby because for once in my life I have had the opportunity to pursue my true passion, politics. As a government major, I am taking classes that are genuinely interesting to me and applicable to my interests. I have also met women here who are so skilled and strong in mathematical subjects. I believe that the supposed male disposition to math and science is a complete fabrication. While the statistics may point to more men excelling in these fields may disagree with me, I am of the opinion that humans have the ability to determine their own interests and it is much more of a “nurture” factor than “nature”.
I contend that males are pressured into certain career paths due to the societal construct that men are expected to be the breadwinners in typical American households. Careers in finance, business, and technology are typically high paying and for that reason men are drawn to careers in those fields. This is an issue that I have struggled with while considering a career in the political realm, I have felt pressured to find a career that will allow me to provide a stable financial background for my family. As the role of women continues to evolve, I believe that this tragic construct will continue to diminish.
For the longest time women have been expected to run the “home”, care for children, and take jobs that allow them to play a major role at home. This is finally changing, women are now able to prioritize their careers and pursue careers in high-paying sectors. This development will certainly show that women are taking to new careers in the business and science industries and the male monopoly will begin to diminish. I could not be more excited by this development and I am excited by what the future holds for the role of women in the workplace.
The stories of women like Rosalind Franklin, Lise Meitner, and many others are left out of textbooks and forgotten. Not only have their names been left out of history and science books, but their names have also been left out of research papers they were a part of and of award applications submitted for their work. Women have dedicated their lives and made many contributions to the field of science throughout history; however, for the most part, these women do not gain the recognition they deserve until after they die, and they have to work at least twice as hard as men to prove themselves to the scientific community and to the wider public. Continue reading