This is funny. Truman said this in reference to women in male dominated careers. This is interesting, as his atomic bomb project employed many women due to their attention to detail in handling experiments. Other female physicists worked on the projects developing the theories behind ‘fat man’ and ‘little boy’. (Read: The Making of the Atomic Bomb)
An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education prompted this post. “Reasons Why Women Leave Science and Technology Careers” from the Chronicle‘s June 18, 2008 edition has sparked quite the debate. The article communicates that the reasons are similar to ‘the women can’t stand the heat’. With quotes like, “women leave science and technology careers in droves because of “hostile macho cultures” and risk-taking incentives, among other reasons”, how can we expect to evolve as a society with such stereo-types?!
I have a degree in astrophysics. I can code. I do all things ‘anti-female’ and female. I lost my research position that worked with NASA and several colleagues in Chile in 2002 because an incoming student (male) expressed interest in working with the project. I then was given another assistantship – polishing telescope mirrors. Out of anger, and assisted by the fact that one of my majors was being dropped, I left and finished my degree at another university. Needless to say, my name is nowhere to be found on the paper published in 2005.
I cannot believe that the stereo-types women faced in the early 1940s while working on the atomic bomb project are still prevalent today. Sure, not all women are golden, but not all of us are weak, lazy or incompetent. We’re never going to get anywhere with society and education if this stereo-type remains.