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April 06, 2004

Comments

alexander

Tell me, do you expect in a society where women have been excluded from math and sciences and dumped with full family responsibilities to make an equal amount of scientific discoveries?

1) Women for decades have had equal access to universities and such. Women can say "no" to having children and families. So why then do we see the majority of scientific achievements being produced by men? Could it be there are inherent differences between men and women? But this is not in line with current ideology, so any such discussion of it is suppressed, see Harvard. (Charles Murray has an interesting discussion of this in the September "Commentary" magazine, though I dispute some of his conclusions.)

2) I find it interesting that you think having a family is being "dumped" on.

3) Of course, men have had to deal with a lot of repression to get out scientific ideas. Again, go back to the Middle Ages and the Inqusition. If men were willing to face up to being publicly executed for developing science (e.g., Giordano Brno, Copernicus, Galileo) then why can't women do the same?

4) There is a record of women scientists, just not as many as men. For example, one of the pioneers of atomic theory in the 1930s was a female Jewish physicist living in Vienna, and had to face all sorts of anti-semitic hellaciousness. And so now I have supposed to listen to feminists claim they are today not "enouraged" to be in the sciences?

Since races are a social construction and have litle if any actual genetic basis, why have virtually all advances in science and technology been created by WHITE men?

There is a difference between race (which is a social construct, e.g., skin color) and sex, which reflects real biological differences between men and women. I do not agree that white men have created virtually all advances in science and technology (though your argument could be used as a justification for white supremacy, sort of). One need only look at the record of black scientific achievement in America, even in the face of segregation. In recent years, we are seeing vast increases in technology coming from the Asian nations.

I'd give you that Western civilization in the last several centuries has produced the conditions allowing for scientific progress: free societies, the concept of progress, the scientific method. "Dead white men" ideas if you like it.

alexander

I am currently attending a state university part time. I take computer science classes. I'd say that 2/3 of each computer science class is made up of men. Of the 1/3 women, most are from Asia or eastern Europe.

There is nothing to stop any American woman from signing up for a computer science class, or any other science class. But if women CHOOSE to not sign up for science classes, then feminists need to live with the result, which is that men will produce the majority of scientific advances.

Arwen

Doesn't it strike you as vain and simply ridiculous that somebody could in all seriousness pose such a "what if" question as "central" to any branch of science? How much more useless and masturbatory does it get?

Hee hee. As a computer science major, we spent ridiculous amounts of time reverse engineering from the "what if". I'd say most of human advance is predicated on some wise-acre asking "what if".

Alexander, I'm one of those female comp sci students, and white to boot. Women don't choose to sign up for science classes in part because they've spent their lives internalizing messages about their abilities. There was exactly no black people in any of my classes, as well. I had to do a shitload of emotional work to believe it was possible for me to program a computer. If I got a bad result, I blamed my ovaries.
I did quite well, but it was very, very hard emotionally.

It's only been a very short period of history in which women have had the opportunity to not be pregnant constantly, and a short period of time in which we've been legal persons. Things'll get better vis a vis registration, I think, if women become more visible.

There are lots of women who've made contributions to Comp Sci, as well.

alexander

I would disagree with the caricature of Victorian society being presented. Up until the early 19th century, British (and American) society was quite laissez faire in regards to sex. What we think of as Victorian prudery and double standards did not dominate until the mid-19th century. This was due to several reasons.

One was the rise of the Women's Purity Movement, which advocated modesty, sexual abstinence and the criminalizing of sex work and birth control. Women made the choice to create societal norms which abnegated the human body.

There were the religious revivals of the century which emphasized puritanical mores and the concept that women were the "angel of the household". Women chose to support these movements as they found themselves elevated on pedestals. There's a passage in Bakunin somewhere where he fulminates about how the main barrier to radicalizing women was that women were too busy going to church.

There was also the rise of the middle class (I mean in the American sense) where women decided to let hubby go to work while the wife stayed home and took care of the kids. This placed a premium on women who witheld sex until she got a man to promise her lifetime financial support.

This all has to be related to such things as the rise of the temperance movement and women's suffrage, all of which called for people to behave in a more restrained manner, and this included sexual repression as part of the deal.

alexander

Women don't choose to sign up for science classes in part because they've spent their lives internalizing messages about their abilities.

1) What are these messages? Please give me some quotes.

2) Are women that easy to brainwash that they believe whatever they are told?

3) Here's one solution: why don't women's studies departments start their own computer classes?

Hugo

Alexander, under my new thread drift policy,this sort of thing can get you banned. Only comments directly related to the topic of the post are permitted. The fact that others in the past have sent the thread a-driftin' doesn't mean I will permit it to continue to happen.

alexander

Hugo:

I was responding to a question raised by Arwen.

Hugo

I realize that, but I have permitted thread drift in the past -- not anymore. New rules.

alexander

I realize that, but I have permitted thread drift in the past -- not anymore. New rules.

Oh Well!

BetaCandy

Hugo, I really enjoy reading your thoughts, and in this case I agree 100%.

Those who argue that plastic surgery allows ugly duckling women to capitulate to nature's rules of attraction (which patriarchal standards just happen to reflect) are missing the point. Even assuming men are hard-wired to like large breasts, we are not apes. The natural order also dictates that if someone makes you angry enough to get your adrenaline flowing, you should beat them up. The natural order dictates that if you get cancer, you die. Clearly, we're capable of using our brains to make conscious choices to better ourselves and our species.

But are beauty standards the result of hard-wired biological programming? Look at Renaissance paintings of voluptuous nude women we would now send in for lipo. Look at how much varitation there is among body types worldwide. The standard we seem to have picked for women - skinny, but with a big bosom that doesn't sag under its own weight - is virtually impossible in nature. So how exactly did men come by this biological programming to want it?

The Gonzman

Misogynistic?

I've often heard it said - and overwhelmingly by women, say when we're ready to go out and I'm insisting "You look FINE! Jeez, you look any better and we'll never make it out of the house - "Women don't dress for their men, they dress for other women." (The most vocal proponent of which was my very feminist first wife.)

How do you account for that in your theory?

I heard it opined not to long ago that the repressed gay man in "Brokeback Mountain" was truly the most homophobic character portrayed in recent years on the screen - if it's misogynistic, it seems that this is a case, much of the time, of female misogyny.

I'm sure I could be dismissed as a weirdo, but I don't think so. I don't like grotesquely large breasts, and most the men (and a couple lesbians) I know who do are fetishistic about it. I don't like the Kate Moss, Twelve year old androygnous anorexic boy look. Kate Jackson was the Charlie's angel who made me wake up with wet dreams when I was an adolescent. Easily - EASILY - ninety percent of the men I know regard "The Model Look" as an illusion, and such women as probably shallow and not worth the high-maintainence they would be. Until the extra weight starts translating into obesity, with double chins, rolls, and jowls, it really doesn't bother me, or most men I know. Small breasts? Not an issue.

Like a great deal of Amp's infamous "privilege checklist" I find a great deal of those expectations to be self-inflicted, and unnecessarily so, and number this among them.

Lou K

Hi Hugo: I was looking for posts on plastic surgery and came across this one. Certainly seems to have created a spirtited discussion based on the comments. What I do want to comment upon is not your *mussing* ... but your desire to inform and protect your students ... signs of a *true teacher* !!! Wish that I had more like you when I was growing-up.
Lou K - Orange County Plastic Surgery

I. Gurney

in the spirit of a new approach to life i would like to consider breast implants with fairness and ignore my usual knee-jerk response (of horror) to the topic.
i'm guessing that my knee-jerk response, though cloaked in the appearance of righteous indignation (which no doubt contained some sincerity), has more to do with feeling threatened and less to do with morality or ideologies. threatened by
anothers woman's seeming attractiveness and overt sexuality. and envy. of another woman's seeming ability to make a drastic decision about her own body. i always assumed that a woman's implants were a manifestation of powerlesness. but maybe they are a manifestation of power. or maybe... both.

Dave

I agree hugo, good points.

-Dave
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jessica goodman

has a woman i think herbal products much better than the risks of surgery such as scars or physical reaction to the artificial breast implants.all said the herbs are scams doesn't work but i personally use herbs for breast enlargement and get the perfect results.
http://www.smart-herbals.com

Amanda

Breast Implants require maintenance after surgery. Many people who under go breast implant surgery do not realize this.

Stephen Mcculley

Great post,

An enjoyable read!

SM

kim

I find this all very thought provoking. I was very lucky to be born very beautiful and when i was young i was a model. Now in my 40's with excess weight and sagging jowls I find myself reassessing my worth to society and wondering if the way life treated me when i was young was solely based on my physical beauty. I used to get made about breast implants becuase I was a natural D cup and I felt women were 'cheating ' by doing that-- lol. Now I get very angry when i see women my age getting plastic surgery, removing wrinkles etc. Mostly i am upset for less than autrustic reasons, I was always the prettiest women in the room and now I find women who were not half as beautiful as i was are now looking better than me with thier surgery. I am selfish, i admit it but more than that I am finally understanding the other side of life where the old and overweight and unattractive live. I don't like it here, but I do not think that cutting up my face to make it tighter will fix anything. I think i still look very good for my age at 43 but I often feel intense pressure to get liposuction, tummy tuck and face lifts else i am looked at with pity the remaining years of my life. Why have we as women allowed this to happen? Why are we now pressured to look 30 when we are 60??!? What is wrong with us how we are? The good news is I can now shop and go out withour men bothering me anymore /sigh.

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