Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflexion: 2011

One of my greatest lessons this year has been one about forgiveness. Holding onto offenses is such a bad idea and a time-sapper too. The moment you let go, is when you liberate yourself and free your mind to creative thoughts and the wisdom you gain from adverse circumstances.
Discipline is another thing. I really need to stop being lazy and get a little more serious about things, academic and work-related things.
As for music, haven't really been in tune with the goings on and to be honest, music has been a bore ever since M.I.A. stopped making those bizarre dance tunes that made my life but at least we have a female rapper doing big things.

This year, these two song releases just did it for me.

Kind of reminds me of myself when I was 18/9.



I disliked this song when I first saw the video but when I heard the bass properly and the line "Mack the dudes up", I immediately took a liking for it. That was Nicki's feminist moment, she got me there. Her voice is still quite an annoyance however and the Barbie thing is disgraceful but good for her for being subversive.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Girls and the Numbers


Found at Gender Across Borders this article deals with the issue of the so-called "math"-gap which seems to prevail at the majority of higher learning institutions all over the globe. The numbers of women achieving highly in college math are far lower than they are for men and the reasons are probably more social than they are biological. The position is that female ability in math is simply inferior and all arguments that attempt to explain the matter noting the patriarchal ways in which the world and history have been structured are ignored.

It seems to me that there are problems with the male attitudes toward women attempting to build careers in science and math related fields. Maintaining a patriarchal attitude, males have a tendency to underestimate the ability, logic and thinking skills of their female counterparts instead of observing them as equals they instead see them as inferior in some way. The reasons for doing this may be far more complex than simply stating the prevailing sexist belief system but this sort of behaviour only seems to fall under this umbrella of gendered discrimination.

For instance, this year I had to deal with the annoyance of a male colleague who pestered me with insinuations that I am sad or that there was something wrong (emotionally) because I often chose to maintain a serious expression when during lecture times. Though there were others in our classes, boys, who spent most of their time quietly pondering to themselves, unsmiling and stern, he did not bother hector any of these individuals with the same meaningless assumptions. I was one of the few female students in the class. Was his choice to bother asking such foolish questions a result of my gender. Does he assume that a woman wearing a serious expression is suffering emotional turmoil rather than going through the motions of thinking about stuff? It could very well be that this person was suffering some sort of depression of their own and may have chosen to project them as a defense mechanism. Women being as unable to control one's own emotions as he probably imagines them are a great target for this projection. Makes sense in the patriarchal mind doesn't it? Then again, the dude was short too so there could also be another round of insecurities as a result of that.

I also had a tutor who seemed to be much more adamant to question the actions of female students in our physics computational tutorial class than the male student's as if to say: "You're female, good chance you may not have a clue what you're doing you need guidance." There have been male students in my vicinity that have joked about race and gender issues and the one thing they all have in common is neither of them occupy positions in society that would accord them any form of discrimination. In other words, they are privileged and male - CLUELESS of the ways in which society discriminates against, punishes and oppresses those that do not act in accordance with their gender-related and racial roles. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Concern about Dress

Taken from this article at Brainmind.com

As based on popular literature, the mass media, advertisements, experience in general, as well as from a perusal of the above responses, there certainly seems to be sound reasons for at least suspecting that many women do not like each other. However, it seems that a primary motive is competitive. Thus, many women express their dislike by finding fault with "other" women so as to presumably bolster their own self-image.


This is something I have always found quite peculiar because I have see women size each other up much more often than men do. It seems as a gender, women are far more critical of the way others dress and look than the people we imagine these rituals of beauty are carried for are. The article offers up somewhat of a plausible explanation for it. Quite honestly, it baffled me for some time. I couldn't understand what deep interest another person would have in the sneakers that I am wearing, or the bra that I did not decide to put on, or the fact that I may not be wearing a belt when you think I should. How on Earth do these things become someone else's business. Well, if that individual perceives other women as competition for the sights of men in general, what you are wearing or not wearing will almost certainly become a part of their agenda.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RIP Mr D

This is one of my favourite jams from the 90's

Good White People?

For a race that seems to hold most of the social and economic power in the world, Sistah Souljah asked a very pertinent question here. If you really believe and stand for a cause, you will raise you arms and fight for it no matter the cost.

Monday, November 14, 2011

AWKWARD BLACK GIRL



I just discovered this web-based series and am already in love with it! We need more shows like this on TV to break down the stereotypes. As a black girl with slightly different and what some may define as quirky tendencies, I have largely been misunderstood by ignorant people who fail to understand that people are far more complex than stereotyped images show for. This just reminded me that I am not alone.

This Poem was So Good

I had to re-post some lines from it on my blog
The rest of the poem is found here

i am self-conscious of the image i see in the mirror facing me.

a seeming fraud, a scam artist

a black girl docta

holding all these damn credentials

in my hands

& a ringless second finger

pushing away doubt and doubters because I can do this, be this

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Looking Forward not Behind


Striving harder and being better.
Not settling for a mediocrity that my environment has dictated to me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bonne Anniversaire Marie!!

This day marks the birth of one of the greatest minds that ever lived. Marie Curie was the only woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, the only woman to receive these honours on two occasions. She remains an inspiration to all the female scientists the world over.
When doubt begins to seep in, ladies, just think of Marie Curie. Let her allow you to know that it is possible to work hard and excel in your own right whether you are receive accolades or not. Your gender says nothing of your intellectual ability.

The Grade Factor: the figures that DO matter

Ever since I caught-up call this semester and started to realise that grades are not the meaningless digits I used to think they were, I have taken a different perspective toward my academic life. Earlier on in my life, these figures were as important as the food I ate and would work in all my power to obtain the straight A's I wanted to achieve.

This year, I took a rebellious approach and decided to experiment with the idea of not thinking too highly of grades. Of course, the direct result was somewhat of a slack-off which led to undesirable test grades and a whole lot of terrible other things that had to do with the...grades and started to notice that although one should not stress themselves out too far, it is essential to take some care when it comes to school work. Neither extreme is good for a person's health but a middle ground, where one is able to have the discipline needed to complete all tasks as well as they possibly can while still taking the time out to relax and have time for enjoyable activities.

Denzel Washington has a word of advice that he gave to his children and that is "Do the things you have to do so that you can do the things you want to do." It's all about sacrificing what is enjoyable to you for the time being so that you can get the essentials done because it's obvious that pleasurable activities keep you occupied for hours on end leaving no time left over for what really needs to be done and that is the work that more often than not has a deadline of some sort.


Mr Washington kind of reminds me of my parents, mother especially who instilled a great deal of discipline and a great work ethic. By forcing us to keep the kitchen and our rooms and bathrooms spotless and neat, she was conditioning us into having a sense of responsibility for the state of our surroundings i.e. what goes on in our lives. That what we get out of life is a direct result of the work that we put into it and that we are victims to nothing but carve out our own existences based on the choices that we make. A "You made your bed, now lay in it" approach to the repercussions of things.


"Consequence is no co-incidence," one of my favourite quotes from Lauryn Hill.

Wisdom begins when you understand that you are a factor, a fundamental one to the events of your life. For a while, I may have forgotten this when I was slacking off and blaming fatigue. Hell, coffee was made for a reason right and there is no better motivation than imagining the good results of your perseverance tomorrow today.

As a true scientist, I ran an experiment, testing a hypothesis and the result was quite close to what I expected. A lax attitude yields mediocrity. It is only a winning, focused and serious attitude that yields excellence. If you're reading this, at whatever level you are in your academic life, know that although grades are not a reflection of your intelligence what they do display is commitment, loyalty, hard-work and determination. And these are all attributes that will make you a pleasure to work with.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This Messed-Up World

Now, this dude seriously needs some religion in his life. What kind of messed-up head concocts this modicum of death, sex and violence.

http://www.tylershields.com/portfolio/portraits/

But on a topic akin to this:

he concept of Sixth Sense appeals to the shutting down of intellectual and cognitive functions to “surrender” to the mesmerizing effect of lust in mass media. It is during this somewhat hypnotized and slightly aroused state that messages can effectively reach the viewer’s brains with maximum effectiveness.

Taken from an article on Vigilant Citizen website

Major Overhaul

When I started writing this blog in 2008, I was a young woman trying desperately to grapple onto a sense of her place in society. I was fresh out of high-school - a very enclosed and sheltered world where the staff members were predominantly female and most of those who accomplished academic success were females. I lived in a world where women ruled and women were on top and that was a comfort to my identity as a woman. In my own family, women were strong opinionated, working for their own and making it on their own without any need for a man. This inspired me to dream of an independent life and thing first about my career aspirations above my romantic pursuits, which I did until the world held me by the chin and slapped me in the face with some news.

The world does not take kindly to the idea of female strength nor does it take kindly to the notion of an independent woman trying to make it on her own. This woman is not liked, may be perceived as an ice-cold, heartless and conniving b**** and is criticized for her character and sometimes her looks. Women, in the real world are objects upon which the male gaze is projected, they are made to be looked at and worse yet f***ed only. They are not meant to have thoughts of their own, aspirations, dreams and goals. They are viewed as strange or crazy when they pursue artistic, intellectual, political goals because a go-getting woman is violating the fundamental premise of the feminine by not being a passive, weak and fragile thing that seeks the protection and validation of a man.

I was taught these concepts by males who are essentially insecure about their own manhood and seek to conceal these flaws by suppressing and oppressing women into neat, predictable little corners where they can be monitored so as not to let them get out of hand you know, by having too much influence and power.

The limiting roles, the chauvinistic gender binary caused me to become a radical feminist at 19 and much of my blog at the time was filled with rants about the experiences and encounters with sexist-minded females and males and how I always knew that if I were a male, none of this grief would be handed to me.

So, as an undergraduate astrophysics student caught in the middle of a male-dominated career field, I have much experience in the league of dealing with chauvinists and therefore plenty of wisdom to hand down to young women who, like most of us, have normalized these inhibiting ideas and absorbed them to the point of dumbing themselves down for the sake of being socially acceptable. Truly gifted young women are wasting their minds on frivolous and trivial garbage all because they are afraid to cross the line on what society makes clear is the right way to be a woman. It's a tremendous waste and I am on a mission to do my bit in reducing this phenomenon in my direct vicinity.

The lack of female scientific pursuit is more a case of discouragement than it is a factor of men being more gifted at these fields. We are told and therefore we believe. If there were more female scientists in the world or had many of the great scientific breakthroughs been made by women, the converse would be true. So, we can easily conclude that this is more of a psychological issue than it is a result of genetic predisposition.

Or perhaps, for those chauvinists that believe women have no place in science, it could very easily be more a matter of genetics than just the odd Napoleon Complex which bears no physical justification. Know what I mean... ;)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Call Yourself a "King"

It's foolishness how Nicki Minaj and Beyonce find it cool to call themselves "kings" as a way of reinforcing their dominance. Doesn't this just come right back to the patriarchal notion which tells us that to have power is to be male or masculine. This is just positive reinforcement of the gender binary. These two could not do anymore to disappoint me in my books.
MASSIVE FAIL, Nicki Massive Fail and for Beyonce, what else would you expect from someone married to Jay-Z?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Dark Skin Thing


Alright, wow! I could not actually watch this video from start to finish without pausing and taking the time to digest some of the things these women were saying. They are all my kindred souls and I can relate to them so well. This is certainly a movie I would love to watch!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bottom-Up Scenario

In the white-dominated academia, it seems that success is predominantly owned by those that own the school themselves white males. I try and google African female graduate and what do I see, pictures of white women in graduation garb. What madness is this? Not even google algorithms can stand the thought of a smart black woman finishing college.

Personally, I can't stand these insecure losers. That is essentially what they are. Secure white men have no problem with others rising up but there are so many weak pathetic losers out there and some of them happen to be in the academia. I will name no names. The point is, they need a foundation upon which to believe themselves smart, good, great. That foundation is anyone they believe inferior, often times, a person who is female and a person with darker skin. So, they keep you down in order to stop themselves from falling. It's a typical bottom-up scenario. But one has to be aware of it and counteract it by acknowledging the fundamental weakness in character that exists in people that put others down for their own gain.

Proscovia Njuki, Engineering Graduate and the first of her kind in East Africa


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Time-Wasters, this one is dedicated to you.


What irritates me? People that cannot seem to make up their minds. What irritates me even more? People that cannot make up their minds and leave you hanging in limbo about where they stand with you. Some months ago, this dude kept agreeing to meet with me but would postpone at the last minute. I was interested in meeting him but he would text to cancel at the last minute. Now how is that for inconsiderate? Why not just say "No, thank you." A person who doesn't have as good an intuition can continue being strung along by that foolishness but I caught the game quickly and dismissed him but for the time he wasted with me, boy was I irritated.
Sometimes, all a person wants is someone to stroke their ego! Now, that's what I call insecure.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Unsung Hero of Quantum Physics

Tomonaga Shin’ichirĊ



Spent much of his working life as a theoretical physicist working quantum electrodynamic theory and won the Nobel Prize in 1965. Unlike the Einsteins, Paulis, Rutherfords, Feynmans and the like, Shini'chiro has not been hailed to the point of immortality. Nevertheless, his legacy still stands.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Gareth "Douchebag Motherf****er" Cliff



Listen Mate,

So you think that all or the majority of the 22-year-old women out there are only interested in lying on their backs with their legs open. Listen here, you nutter I am a 22-year-old woman myself and I can tell you that there is a lot more going on in my mind-space than the thoughts of having sex. You loser! In your wretched porn-infested mind, all you see is young women with their legs open anyway to the point where all you are really capable of seeing (or perceiving) when you catch the sight of a young lady is her lying back with her legs open. We are not the ones with the problem, it's you you diabolical beastly idiot!

This brings me to another point, about how foolish people (like yourself), fail to view women and girls as complex beings with deep minds, souls, hearts and intellects. You fail to see women as people and reduce them to nothing more than their genitalia. In other words, a woman is either a chaste virgin or the whore that you imagine 22-year-old women like myself are. Well guess what bozo, many of us are not whores. We are gifted, intelligent, hard-working colleges students, career women and for those of us that are mature and strong enough, mothers too. So back off with your unilateral one-dimensional thinking and bite your tongue before you say something you will regret.

You should count your lucky stars too Gareth, because your white privilege will probably help you keep your job unlike the unfortunate Khuli Roberts lost her job entirely.

Love, peace and happiness.

But honestly, get a life. You're utterly pathetic and a complete bore in any case.

Sincerely,

the Unspoken Word

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Black Leather Jacket

Gossip Withdrawal

I love the feeling of not being in the know-how about what celebs are up to which is why I avoid radio and TV like the plague for the majority of the year. Our culture is so obsessed and fixated on the things these so called famous people say and do. I will not for a second say that I am not one of these people. I too have spent hours of my life watching E! Entertainment Channel and following up on the latest gossip being dished up by Sal Masekela but you come to a point of realization where you begin to wonder why you care so much about the lives of these people who care little for your own existence. It's quite silly actually.

For this reason, I vow to take a serious break from all celeb-related news, gossip and fanfare. We'll see how long this one lasts!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Understanding lies at the Root of Healing

What I have come to know for sure is that all people want and yearn to be loved. That is fact and not speculation. When that thirst is not quenched it turns people angry, butter, spiteful, aggressive, tyrannical and always willing to hurt someone else to transfer the pain. To hurt the way they have been hurt. It's true "misery loves company", rather I cry with you than alone and my injury provides certainty of that.

As much as understanding and having empathy for your fellow human being heals. Not understanding or trying to understand destroys even more. One reason why I believe empathy should be at the cornerstone of every person on this planet's principles.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Throwback: Ladies Night 1996

I may have watched this video a total of 200 times between the years '96 and '99.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Policing Women's Attire in Rape Society

WE recently had our very own SlutWalk at Greenpoint here in Cape Town on Saturday the 20th and it had a good turnout which I am very happy to see. Rape is still an issue in this culture that seems to adamnat to condone it and women are still being blamed for crimes involving forced penetration and violent assault that are committed against them. But some reactions from some individuals today made me think about the way in which a protest like this is received in this Rape Culture Society of ours.

"I disagree with the whole SlutWalk thing because it is degrading to women":
In the same manner that the idiot officer from Toronto sought to blame victims of rape based on their manner of dress, this individual missed the entire point of the protest and aimed to focus more on how wrong the protest was and not how wrong rape itself actually is. Instead of showing some smidgen of sympathy for the victims and complaining about how awful rapists themselves are for violating the physical boundaries and private spaces of women.
So, how does the protest itself become degrading. Well these women are calling themselves "sluts". NO! They are making the point that a woman's clothes should not in any way be a precursor to a sexual assault committed against her. It is extreme but of course it should be bold. Perhaps that is the issue this young man has with it. That it is bold, blazing and brazen and therefore a massive hit to the male ego. No woman in her right mind could possibly claim that an anti-rape protest is wrong in anyway.

"The word slut is degrading":
Yes it is. It is a word among several that was created to shame women for expressing sexuality. It is a word that sought to weaken and silence women in sex thus giving men a sense of domination of the so called "weaker sex". These words are simply a kind of verbal genital mutilation. An attack against a woman who feels no shame about her vagina, her clitoris, her vulva and the pleasure that she feels during the act of coitus. Women in more civilized society's may not have their genitals mutilated like the many unfortunate one's living in primitive states and following primitive religions but we have a kind of mutilation of our own going on and it is called slut-shaming.

One of the most prominent tools for slut-shaming is of course the media where the perpetuation of this practice is simply overwhelming. No wonder these attitudes filter through into uncritical and unthinking minds.

The word "slut" and its many variations should not even feature in the English language. A woman expressing desire is not a thing to marvel at, be ashamed of, stone to death, hate or assign a name to especially one that has negative connotations.

Its roots lie deep in patriarchy which asserts male dominance in every form and sex is just one of the ways in which men define their power and identity so that in the act of raping, objectifying, they reinforce what they have been told by patriarchy they are entitled to: dominance and complete control over the female gender. That's all it is about: power. The moment a woman begins to apply a power that is on par with this, she is attacked and weakened by those who believe strongly in the male order of things. And that is why the word "slut" is degrading, because of the very same system of thinking that encourages rape: patriarchy.

"What would Christ say about this?":
Well, of course, I have no idea but if this individual was trying to assert that Christ would frown upon the protest then that means Christ would have a problem with people who have a problem with injustice. The Christ I know from my readings of the word. The Jesus who's good friend was a former prostitute, the Jesus who healed the woman with the issue of blood, the Jesus who sat down and had a sincere conversation with the woman at the well who had a history with men i.e. a run-of-the-mill slut would probably grab a banner and join right in with the protest because He would, more than anything frown upon the abuse, misuse and maltreatment of God's children that is all the women and girls who have been forced against their will by selfish, malevolent, egocentric, megalomaniacs of men who have zero empathy. Christ, in my mind, was no one to disgrace a slut in any way but sought to love, heal, empower, forgive and help those in need spiritually and mentally. This would be a girl or woman who has had her spirit broken by the forced entry into her sacred temple by a man she may have trusted or been related to.

Religions are not exempt from scrutiny when it comes to matters of gender inequality is because the Church has been built on the same system of male domination that most societies and cultures in the world has.

A while back I heard some young man defend the fact that a man should head the household because it said so in the Bible. I told him that that attitude is also used to justify abuse of women and he responded by saying that believers should follow Biblical standards and not those of the world. He is blind, totally blind to the fact that those so called holy standards are in complete alignment with the world's. Males rule, females submit. That is patriarchy and yes it is found in the Bible, pity, but it is there. The fact that so few women are excluded from positions of authority in churches. (The Vatican has stringent rules on this, clergy have their genitals examined before being ordained). Female subordination happens in religions too and men use these tools well because many women seek to be loyal to their God not realizing that all their being loyal to is patriarchy.




The SlutWalk was a brilliant idea and if I had known about it ahead of time, I probably would have been there. Being nothing but big ole slut. 

The Exceptional Kola Boof

”Anger comes from hurt and that is why nobody likes an angry woman, because she’s hurting inside.

An angry woman is dismissed as ‘bitter’—which is just people’s way of excusing themselves from having to heal that angry woman or to care about or understand her.

And whereas Roman Polanski can be known worldwide as a child molester and still manage to win an Academy Award in the year 2003, and whereas angry black men can rap and hip-hop their age, uncut and completely raw, into the public consciousness and become celebrated, well-respected millionaires from defiling their own mothers and poisoning their own communities…a woman being angry and exploring that ager…even in art…is still not acceptable, understandable or even pitiable by most of the people who order the society and think of themselves as fair judges of ‘rational behavior.’”

--Kola Boof, Diary

of a Lost Girl

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Obsessed

I have never been stalked before but what do you do about someone who continues to contact you long after you have said goodbye to them more than once? It is guilt-inducing but at the same time very frightening. Akin to attempting to get a message across to a brick wall.

Obsessions smack of not having self-control and being terribly insecure. Why should one person be your only hope at having your desires fulfilled. There are so many more opportunities to find joy and satisfaction.

Its pitiful watching someone deteriorate in this way. Unable to simply let go. You want so desperately to tell them to sod off but you pity them knowing that at the centre of all that insane behaviour is someone desperate for validation.

Wisdom tells me that for the sake of not fanning flames, all communication must be shut off. I will only be rewarding this individual by contacting them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sex Appeal: Not Woman Enough

In this patriarchal world, it seems that any woman who hones and focuses on anything more than having sex appeal is dismissed as immature, boring, less female and unattractive. The very basis of this form of female subjugation demands the display of skin for the purpose of enticing a male gaze.

This kind of attitude is not hard to miss and I see poor teenage girls falling prey to this shoddy ideology, dressing in ways that do not fit their age and spending more time being attractive for boys than channeling energy into excelling at sports and academics, thinking about what potential career paths are fitting for their particular personality types.

The world we inhabit encourages girls to grow believing that their worth is measured by their appearance and, of course, ideological state apparatus' such as the media, family, and even religion has women thinking that they should work over-time at improving their looks. Once for wearing loose jeans, I had someone inform me that I was "selling myself short". Imagine that. Really? Not reaching my full potential is not achieving my goals. The last time I checked. My goals did not include wearing life-sapping skinny jeans that cause itching, sweat and blocked follicles that may result in rash for the sake of looking good.

These pressures put on women is one reason I was compelled to read 'The Beauty Myth' by Naomi Wolf last year which, though exaggerated and focused more on the plight of white, middle-class women in North America, struck a major chord in my mind.

The lack of coverage of female sports is, without surprise, also a consequence of this line of thinking. Without a sexist gender binary in place, women's sports would be taken just as seriously as males. This article at Gender Across Borders explains the link between this phenomenon and sexism quite well.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tim Wise Delivers

Eloquently done and full of wisdom. Tim Wise's lecture on "white privilege" gives you insight into the workings of race construction, white privilege and systems of racial domination in the U.S. not dissimilar to other society's upon which apartheid has wreaked mighty havoc.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"I am an invisible man, I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."
 
-Ralph Ellison
 
 
 
 
 
 

She is (on her way to being) an Astronomer


The Dearth of Female Scientists: is there a non-sexist reason for this?

Reading an article which depicts an exercise that debunks a common myth that women and girls are incapable of scientific thought and success in science-related fields. 

Looking at how minimal the numbers of female graduates and tenured professors in science-related professions may be a discouraging factor for girls who display interest in the field. But there is also a level of socialisation that comes into play. Gender performance expectations sway some women away from fields that encourage the advancement of logical thinking skils such as engineering and the sciences.

The discrimination that women face through micro-aggressions delivered by male colleagues and superiors in the process of climbing the academic ladder sometimes also proves too much for some women and they crack under pressure.

I have to say that I can give personal accounts of shady behaviour from a tenured professor who is being considered for the Head of the Physics department making outright chauvinist remarks in a physics class where men outnumber women to even getting too friendly with female students. Now, there are boundaries that need to be maintained in the academic arena and to me, efforts to point out gender difference in a way that knowingly undermines female ability within a specific course of study is undoubtedly sexist. But this same professor claims that he will "not change" which brings to light another element of why women and girls could find themselves giving up on the pursuit of scientific excellence: run-of-the-mill douchebags that seem to have personal issues with members of the opposite gender.

These attitudes may stem from the common tendency in society to devalue all female qualities that remain disjointed from her physical appearance. Female intelligence is non-physical and for reasons that operate in the interests of a patriarchal value system must be dismissed without further discussion.

In a professor who makes passes at his female students, there is a chauvinist who seeks to strip a woman of any pride she may have at pressing hard at academic pursuits to nothing more than a female body that is or should be desired.

This also leads to the notion of expectations. It's beel long proven that the child that succeeds is most often the child who is expected to succeed. I saw this in my own life. Teachers at my high school, female of course, saw potential in me and on a deeper level, I made it my mission to live up to that greatness that they believed I could reach. When those around you anticipate your inability or failure, you, depending on how thick your skin and how firm your character, may easily lose sight of your goals and slip into the role those around you expect you to play. It takes a conscious reminder to oneself that external expectations are not the ultimate definer. A person incapable of defining themselves will give way to the opinions of others and become a product of their environment. This dynamic may occur with female students in science-related fields. You come into the game as a pariah and get treated as such. Without proper guard, self-doubt can seep in as a result and a downward spiral begins which would not have started had the work environment not been so exclusionary and pessimistic to the presence of a woman in the first place.

Women have made outstanding contrubitions to the science over the span of decades but the dismissal and sexism of our male counterparts has held us back in tremendous ways. Patriarchy breaks down at the point when men acknowledge the fact that their dominance over the lives and bodies of women does not define their worth or power. Until this fallacy breaks, the struggle to recognise female intelligence in male-dominated academic fields will continue.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

(Unnatural) Blonde Ambition




Tweak it, cramp it, flatten it but go blonde and it could be the best thing you ever do for your career*. 

*spoken with a true note of sarcasm. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Thousand Sisters against Violence in Congo

A fact for you to digest but only digest because you may not ever be able to fully empathise. 
Since 1998, 5.4 million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The death toll is the equivalent of an Asian Tsunami every 6.5 months. A September 11 every 2.5 days. And nearly half of the deaths in the Congo are of children under the age of five.

A Thousand Sister's Official Website can be found at this link.