Up: Why Are There So
When writing in the body of the report of all the disadvantages women
face, occasionally an advantage for women would come to mind. In the
name of fairness and in order to end the report on a positive note, I
am including them here:
- The flip side of a woman's being less likely to have a spouse
devoted full-time to supporting her career (page ) is
that she is more likely to have a spouse who earns money. A female
engineer told me how her husband's income allowed her to quit a job
she hated and spend three months looking for one that she loved.
- Although males outperform females in mathematical ability,
females outperform males in verbal ability (page ).
In the academic world of ``publish or perish,'' being able to write
clearly and properly is a large plus.
- If people are more likely to help members of the same sex (page
), and if women are currently raised to be more
sensitive than men (page ), women will get
tremendous support from their same-sex peers. (I have found my female
colleagues extremely supportive.)
- It is not entirely disadvantageous that girls tend to be taught
how to cook and keep house instead of how to fix bicycles (page
). Being able to cook for oneself at college is
healthier and cheaper than having to rely on cafeterias or junk food.
- While all women are to some extent penalized out of the
suspicion that they will take time off their career to have children
(page ), they have more freedom to do so than men.
A woman's career can be salvaged if she takes time off to spend with
her young children, but a man would be considered insanely
- Ingenuity can transform other disadvantages into advantages, as
explained in Betty Lehan Harragan's wonderful Games Mother Never
Taught You. For example, she points out that, while women hate being
constantly in the spotlight, men ``fantasize about how well they
could exploit such a favorable situation.... Today's pioneer women
can begin taking command of situations by merely accepting their
unique position in the spotlight'' [Harragan 1987, page 311,].
Most important, with a positive attitude, women can make the most of
their situation. The successful female computer scientists I know do
not say, ``I could have gone further if I were a man.'' They say, ``I
had to work a lot harder than a man to get where I am.'' Although the
two statements may be equivalent, self-assuredness is psychologically
more useful than self-pity. Additionally, even women who have been
discouraged sometimes succeed out of spite.
Up: Why Are There So