Now remember, I’m just the messenger here. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Quick comment on platform liability.
It seems to me that if a social media platform reads posting content and uses it for advertising selection, promoting presentation order, allowing user searches to find the group or altering user preferences then the the platform is 100% liable for the hosted content.
If, however, the platform ONLY reads the content in order to allow a user to search for a particular message in a group THEY ARE ALREADY A MEMBER OF, then it is OK.
It all boils down to money: if they profit then they are liable, if not then they aren't.
It's not just a matter of girls acquiring the belief that they're not as smart as boys. Boys become dismissive of girls, because they believe we are lesser. The pattern of girls not striving to achieve in large numbers prevails in part because boys exclude girls. The hard work required for girls to achieve includes a measure of fighting against a social resistance that boys do not encounter. And this doesn't even consider skin tone.
I feel the crux of the matter lies in childhood education. I was lucky enough to be raised in an all-girls parochial school (with just an average IQ). We only had to compete with ourselves and mostly had women teachers. So we learned how to speak up, have integrity, and still be compassionate and strive for intellectual goals. We couldn’t graduate without doing charity work. It was tough and thoroughly stimulating.
After two years at an all-women’s college I went to work to earn money to finish my college education. I couldn’t believe the nonsense going on at the workplace. Women being subservient to men who made terrible decisions. So I bounced around a bit. Then when I went back to university, I was
called out by the women in my classes for raising my hand too often when I knew the answer to a question - just like the men. But instead of becoming subservient myself, I suggested the women just study harder so they can raise their hands too. Of course the women were taken aback, and clearly didn’t follow my lead.
None of it made any sense to me. The teachers even told me I was intimidating. I asked why they didn’t say that of the men in the class? They went silent.
Finally, I got a masters in librarianship. I met a slew of brilliant women and formed fast friendships. But the men always got jobs first, and at a much higher pay than women. That never made sense to me.
Finally I left jobs where I had to deal with others prejudices, and became an entrepreneur who helps people. I challenge myself all day, I love to do research on things I don’t understand and my clients trust me. I’ve found my nitch.
Culture plays a huge role in how women perceive themselves. The class of women who attended my school mostly became entrepreneurs or went into management. We like to show up to reunions for the camaraderie.
I have 4 daughters and my wife and I have always taught them that they can do, learn and be anything they set their mind to. That said, it always amazes me that questions like this focus on one thing. Intelligence. Why's is the focus always intelligence? The same study that was used to say girls don't consider themselves as smart as boys could be interpreted to mean girls feel they work harder than boys. It also ignores the equally important question of why do we lack males in important fields like nursing and teaching?
The answer seems obvious but is not politically acceptable - males and females like different things and as a result tend toward different careers, perhaps with "I'm not as smart" as a convenient excuse. We should make opportunities available to all and encourage kids in the direction that gives them satisfaction. I firmly because that girls can and should have ever opportunity to choose the career they want. That said, let's not let statistics pressure kids into something they may not want just to satisfy our notion of equality.
Very interesting article, sad but true. I had that belief throughout middle and high school years. I also grew up in an era of women get married and stay home with the babies while the men earn the living.
“It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
— John Steinbeck
Throughout my entire career I seemed to gravitate towards females as direct reports. My last three top level department heads were (at the same time) female. Females were always the most collaborative, most intelligent and hardest working. Perhaps more important, while they had tremendous egos they managed them far better than males.
I’d be curious to know how “really really smart” correlates to “really really rich”? Also, simply looking at a picture of a person seems very subjective (not to mention the picture itself i.e. fat, skinny, black, white, smiling, frowning, bearded, make-up, etc.) Are men deemed smarter because they typically make more money? To a 5 year old, daddy is the bread winner.
I would add to Ninah's comment that the crux of the matter lies in childhood education AT HOME; at a young/impressionable age, the values we hold and most of what we know and believe about the world and ourselves is shaped by our parents and the TV.
My mother and aunt (who was single and lived with us) both had advanced degrees from London University in the mid 40's and same with my sister a quarter century later. Yet, my mother and sister became homemakers and my aunt proudly worked as a teacher even though she was a barrister-at-law (and could wear these funny white wigs!). On TV, i only saw women being cast as secretaries, telephone operators or homemakers and the best (looking) one as Bond girls. The worst - by far - is the ad by Virginia Slims i believe showing a pretty and thin woman with the slogan "You've come a long way baby".
When (patriarchal or TV) bias is eliminated from the home and is replaced with strong work ethics, encouragement and belief "that you can", i truly believe the pendulum will shift way past equilibrium in favor of women.
I hesitated before concluding with this last paragraph. Notice what else Mr. Albert and the other Greek bearded men have in common? They are all white. That's the other bias. You never hear anyone mention a black person (male or female) when the intent is to describe a really really smart person. My personal pick is Katherine Johnson; it would be very hard to get a male supporting role for that Hidden Figure. I wonder the outcome if the 3-uni experiment was redone replacing a (presumably) all-white cast with an all-black one.
Human nature can play a part here. While I never considered myself less smart, even smarter than boys, women are programmed to be nurturers and caretakers and homemakers. Therefore I idolized being the perfect wife, homemaker and mother as a career. That was then, this is now.
I support an organization called TechGirlz.org whose mission is to encourage, promote, and provide STEM education to middle school aged girls at no cost. There is a precipitous dropoff in STEM participation among girls beginning in middle school. While this study suggests the issue begins earlier, providing free access to STEM programs for 5th-8th grade girls can hopefully encourage more participation in STEM vocations and professions. The talent gap in tech jobs is growing by the day and if there is any chance of filling the expected future vacancies, we should do everything in our power to encourage girls to pursue these roles.
I would really love to know how religion comes into play with this, as well.
My sister and I were separated since birth. She was given up for adoption by my mother, while 6 years later, I was not.
That’s a whole other story, for another day. Lol
She was raised as a Southern Baptist Christian, while I was raised Catholic, but am now more of a Secular Theist…I believe in God but I don’t buy into organized religion.
In my understanding, my sister’s religion teaches that women were put here to serve men. They are meant to be subservient to them, and their role is, at best, what many would define as that of traditional females. I can’t comment on what her religion teaches regarding the intelligence level of males vs females.
In short, my sister reads her bible and it tells her that her husband is in charge. He is destined for great things while she is meant to support his endeavors. Her church reinforces and perpetuates this insanity.
Admittedly, my views are colored by feelings more than facts, so I should probably stop at this point.
Thank you for this today's article. I am raising 2 daughters and want them to be the best that they can. I agree with the commenters who mention that this mindset begins at home. We have to do better from the start.
The hurricane effects in Florida might be changing some people’s views as to where is the optimum place to live?
My brother in law and his wife (in their 70’s) live full time in Naples, and were extremely fortunate in having weathered the storm and also sustained no flooding/damage to their home. Despite their having stayed in place for every hurricane in the past, they said they will never again go through this. They plan to double their efforts to move further north and away from the gulf.
Fortunately, my daughters and son were raised to love science as I was a science teacher and then a Physician Associate. One of my daughters is home with children and loving it and one is a fisheries geneticist. The daughter without children has chosen to never have kids as it would interfere with her career. ( As children do) My older daughter with kids always wanted to be a full time mother, a noble calling. Perhaps young girls realize this choice from an early age. Don’t say women can have both because when we do, we lose out on both. Perhaps my children are responding to my choice of both and only being able to do 80% of either. (which is 160% by the way)!