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Here, here, here (photo credit)


BikeMonkey Guest Post
I was emailing drdrA the other day about a song I queued up for her blog party. What I was realizing is that I probably first heard this song when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. For whatever reason it stuck with me. I don’t know that I’d heard it in decades before I ran across a link or reference to it on some physical science / engineer-type blog (Sciencewomen, maybe?). I just don’t tend to chat about old mouldy folksongs with people, go figure. Anyway, I had a bit of a head-smacking moment, “duh, of course this is still an anthem for women in the engineering fields“.
This is the one:

In my recent convo with drdrA, though, I came to the realization that it is pretty likely that memorable songs with evocative stories like this are just as likely to be a cause as a symptom of my political development. Impossible to disentangle of course, it was no accident that certain folksongs were actually available in my environment. Many factors shape a young mind but hey, song lyrics are one of those factors.
So what the heck, if you haven’t heard this song before, I hope you like it. Maybe play it for your mini-STEM-in-trainings at home a couple of times.
I totally love dredging up all these old dirty fucking hippy songs on YouTube…I think I’ll start annoying my kids with them.

Female Science Professor’s recent post on the detrimental effects of a constant drip of micro-inequities as been receiving a great deal of appreciation. As well it should. It is brilliant because it jumps straight into the throat of the “you are just oversensitive” and “wah, wah, Political Correctness, wah” and “you are calling me an -ist over nothing” nonsense that is the battle cry of the NiceGuy who does not enjoy examining his privilege*.
What really drew my eye, however was this comment:

Among many points in Gladwell’s book is that the number of small advantages given to Canadian boys with certain birthdays in the hockey league leads to a professional hockey roster almost exclusively made up of men who have birthdays in certain months. He points this phenomenon out over and over again, in many different contexts – consistent small advantages, over time, lead to great advantages, perhaps even to great people, or “outliers”. Why, then, would the same not be true for any discriminated against group, in any field? I don’t understand why people are not open to this line of thinking, and are not open to asking themselves what they can do to try to help remedy these situations when they arise.

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Internet random walk had me returning to this post for some reason recently. It wasn’t Abel Pharmboy’s excellent post on the women in his life, although that is clearly related. I did have the thought “I’ve only written one post tagged with methamphetamine? Really?” at one point along the stroll. Anyway…..
This was originally posted on January 28, 2008.


It is not news to observe that child issues cause women scientists some considerable career anxiety. When to tell the lab or the PI that you are pregnant? Should you wait to start “trying” until after the job interviews? Until after tenure so as to be taken as a “serious” scientist? How many children are “allowable”? How many pictures of the little darlin’s can go over the bench? Should the “balance” of lab and child rearing be kept as opaque as possible from one’s lab?
In contrast men have a much greater ability to conceal their “dad”-ness from their labs. They should not do so.
The father/PI who is seriously concerned about gender equity in science will go out of his way to exhibit his status. If you agree, there is no need to read below the fold.

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It was spectacularly bad timing. We were trying to wrap up the end of the first month of the Silence is the Enemy campaign, spearheaded by Isis the Scientist and Sheril Kirshenbaum, to focus on raising awareness of sexual violence against women. Then we managed to send what amounts to a mixed message.
In recent days some of you may have noticed an ad for Russian Mail-Order bride services on the righthand sidebar around and about on ScienceBlogs. I certainly noticed it. My mental process went a little something like this:

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Okay, I did a little snooping around our hit stats and discovered that we could use some targeted clicking to push a couple of the blogs that are donating their June payout to the Doctors Without Borders / Medicins sans Frontieres over the next pay threshold. So if you all read a couple of extra archived posts, maybe send one to a few friends, Twitt it or whatnot we’ll be doing well. If you are a SuperReader, you might think of putting a post, old or new, from one of these blogs on the Reader’s Picks list.
First up is:

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A small note of thanks for *reading this month DearReader since the blog is participating in the End the Silence campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence.
Scicurious points out that this is just the beginning.
Sheril Kirshenbaum has a new post, with soundtrack, up over at The Intersection.
I’ll also draw your attention to the www.stopsilence.com website, spearheaded by Arikia Millikin.
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*We’ve made an incremental traffic payout threshold in the last day or so and would have little chance of making the next one by the end of today. So you might as well devote your last-minute clicking to other blogs. Perhaps I’ll be able to round up a list of where you can do the most good a bit later.

We are participating in the campaign called “Silence is the Enemy” spearheaded by Sheril Kirshenbaum of The Intersection and Isis the Scientist of On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess. Along with raising some donations for Doctors Without Borders/Medicins sans Frontieres the goals is to raise awareness.
Now as it happens I’ve not been following the NBA playoffs closely for years now. I used to but…well, life happens. So I haven’t had my memories erased by the machine of sports PR and hype. Unsurprisingly, this very same machine is very good at creating whatever narrative will help the bottom line of professional sports industry factions.
Luckily we have the critical and penetrating insight of our favorite blogging sports analyst to remind us that Forgetting is the Enemy.

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Please remember the Silence is the Enemy campaign, spearheaded by Sheril Kirshenbaum and Isis the Scientist, to draw attention to post-conflict and other varieties of rape worldwide. The specific tangible goal is to raise money for Medicins sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders, who are providing care to women in Liberia who have been sexually assaulted.
As part of this effort, a number of per-page-view compensated blogs (listed by Sheril) are donating their June pay. You can assist by visiting those blogs and reading through the archives.

The Intersection
On Becoming A Domestic And Laboratory Goddess
Aetiology
Neurotopia
Bioephemera
The Questionable Authority
Adventures in Ethics and Science
DrugMonkey
Sciencewomen
Blog Of The Moderate Left
Seattle Grassroots Examiner
the rugbyologist

Note the non-Scienceblogs participants at the end here, they might be of interest to our usual readers. BioE! has some additional informational links.
Also don’t forget to call or write your Congresscritter (US readers) or other national political representative. The goal being to ask what they are doing about sexual violence worldwide and particularly in the context of wars, civil and otherwise.

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The good Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde spotted something the other day that I can’t believe hasn’t been noticed by a wider audience. In the wake of the Sotomayor nomination, DJ&MH posteda telling quote from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

From this week’s NY Times Week in Review:

But Justice Ginsburg said her own influence in all sorts of cases at the justices’ conferences was uncertain. “I will say something — and I don’t think I’m a confused speaker — and it isn’t until somebody else says it that everyone will focus on the point,” Justice Ginsburg said.

That is, she is one of the nine highest-ranking judges in the nation, with the power to define and defend constitutional law, and she sometimes kinda feels like people ignore the points she makes…until a guy says the same thing ten minutes later.

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Silence is the Enemy

June 1, 2009

In case you have not read it by now, the Nicholas D. Kristoff Op/Ed in the NYT about the aftermath of civil unrest in Liberia is the trigger. In After Wars, Mass Rapes Persist Kristoff describes an ugly, despicable reality:

Jackie is too young to remember the 14-year civil war in Liberia, from 1989 to 2003, when as many as three-fourths of women were raped. Jackie’s world is one of a bustling, recovering Liberia with a free press and democratically elected leaders.

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The Journal of Neurophysiology is reporting an analysis of peer review outcome for a sample of manuscripts submitted for review in the first half of 2007. Major kudos to them for being concerned enough to conduct such a self-analysis.

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Our good blog friend Dr. Isis of On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess has recently launched a “Letters to Our Daughters” project to solicit advice from women researchers to those who are following. The first entry is one from Pascale Lane, M.D. on being assertive… and the inevitable epithet of “bitch”.
You may also have noticed the latest iterations of vigorous discussion over the role of observations about personal attractiveness in the work setting.
These issues raise their ugly heads everywhere….including the discussion over the merger of NIAAA with NIDA. NIDA, of course, is headed (2003-present) by

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