Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A New Majority

Something amazing has happened at work this summer. For this summer, there are more women than men working in the lab. I realize that this is a statistical anomaly brought on by my advisor's ability to communicate well with men and women. This tends to be a quality that women embrace more so than men, hence he always has a lot of women wanting to work for him. Because we have two undergraduates (both women) working under a fellowship and we have a couple of guys doing internships and working from home, on a regular basis the women outnumber the men. For once, the white, middle class, male scientists are in the minority. And they are FREAKING OUT.
As a little background I will start by saying that most everything you can imagine about being a woman in physics is true. There is a boys' club. There are men who condescend us. There are men who are scared to talk to us. There are men who don't know what else to do so they flirt with us. There are men who think that if juggling work and a family requires us to work less than 80 hours a week we don't deserve their jobs. We are bitches if we are aggressive. We're not cut out to be physicists if we are timid. If we are frustrated with them we must be PMSing. Most of the time, these are things we learn to live with. It does get tiresome though.
That's why when we realized we were the majority, everything changed. Suddenly, we can totally be ourselves and let our guards down. We don't have worry about being judged because one of has to pick her kids up or I have get dinner started for Dean. We understand that as women, we are more efficient with our time, more focused thinkers, more open to each other's ideas, and oh my God we are better listeners. We understand that a compliment can change everything and that a woman's worst fear is being thought of as stupid.
This summer has been productive, comfortable, thought-provoking, interesting, full of wonderful conversations, and most of all FUN.

10 comments:

mom said...

you go girls!!!!!

cynthia noet said...

rock on sister!

BushCheney08 said...

nice blog!

http://bushisnotantichrist.blogspot.com/

dancingo4 said...

You are hilarious. The hornet's nest had me laughing out loud at in my office. Picturing Dean. Wow.

Glad to hear the tides have turned and it won't be long until women rule the world - oh wait - maybe that has already happenend. ha ha.

Love the blog. This will be a great way for me to spend the slow summer days here at the office. I have a case of the Monday's everyday in July I think.

Gebby said...

Welcome to the REAL WORLD, Gentlemen!!! :o)

Scott said...

I just read the post you left on bushcheney08's blog. He posted the same on my blog, then after a post where I describe a dog attack on my 19 month old baby, he writes "lol"

Sylvia said...

Interesting, funny, entertaining, warm! I love your blogs!

Scott said...

By the way, I love your post. I am a software engineer, which is primarily white male. I'm probably guilty of some of bias you mention, not intentionally. It's good for us guys to read something like this; it let's us know that we are being noticed. There was a woman manager at IBM in Mountain View, CA, who was just dynamite at her job. I never thought of her as being good for a woman, but as being extra good because she was a woman, or more specifically because she had to endure so much more than her male peers that were passed over for the same position.

magnetbabe said...

Mom and Cyndi- Thanks for all your support!

bushcheney08- You know what I think.

dancingo4 and gebby- us girlz need to stick together. Thanks for reading and can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

scott- I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I really respect you leaving your opinion and sharing your story. Stop back anytime.

Sylvia- Sorry I didn't send you the link sooner. If you get time, be sure to check out the few posts in the archives. See you soon!

grandma said...

Wow! Can I relate to the good old boys club!Being a nurse for many years, I remember that club well. Having to stand up at the desk when the Doctors came in, finding patients charts for them, turning to the pages they requested,asking them if we could get coffeeor tea for them, escorting them to the patients room even though they had the room number,ect ect. Although it has taken many years,, I find that the younger breed of Doctors are entirely different! They actually see us!! They actually talk to us and what is even more astonding is they occassionally ask for our opinions. My only complaint now is: I wish this could have happened earlier in my career so that I could have enjoyed it longer. Oh well, as the saying goes, better late than never!!!!