Monday, February 28, 2005

Disbelief

Last week I posted a couple posts on gender issues. This week more attention is being paid to these issues by the mainstream media in the form of Time Magazine. (this article starts out interesting, I can't read the whole thing, but at least it seemed balanced and good at the beginning)

On Friday, I was crabby after blogging and Saturday too. I practically tortured that one guy who hangs out with me and even my cats were like, Hey, stop being such a bitch.

I took Sunday off and today I have renewed clarity.

Why on earth are we even having this conversation? Is it really fair that after all of this work women have put in to gain the ability to vote and own property and make their own decisions that we are being forced to defend our gender? In fact we aren't even having to defend ourselves from bigots and old men with "traditional" values. We are having to defend ourselves from science.

Women today have struggled to reach a place where they can work side by side with men as equals. Unfortunately though this is now possible it is not as common as we would like it to be. Women feel constrained by the demands of family is a commen thread in giving reasons for the "glass ceiling" (Why don't the men take some time off to raise the kids too? Why is it only the women? Good thing I hate rugrats.)

Let us go backwards oh, 50 years to 1950. How many women were working in the labor force then? This article from the BLS has a nice graph that shows us that for some age groups the proportion of women in the labor force has more than doubled. In my opinion that is not bad for 50 years work.

Going further backward oh another 50 years to when women in the US couldn't vote, in fact here is a timeline of Women's sufferage throughout the world. We were still trying to get our say in the world's governments as equals, forget the workplace.

I could go on and on about how throughout the 2000 years before this in most places women were treated as property and had no rights of their own. But I wont because we all know this already and it has only been in the last 200 years that we have reached a place even close to equality in education and opportunities. And I refuse to be told after all of the work that all of these women and more have done through the past 200 years is for naught because some scientist saw on some brain scan that I'll never be able to understand calculus as well as a man.

I hope that this breif conflict does not damage all of the work that has been done over the last 200 years. I hope that women take it as a sign that we need to work harder, and encourage our daughters to be mathematicians, physicists and engineers so that by the end of the next 200 years no man would even think to consider the idea that women are not their equals.

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