“Singled Out”

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Scientist and science writer/blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum talks about sexism. Below is a short excerpt:

Shortly after entering the blogosphere, there was a period when I stopped posting personal pictures altogether… until I stepped back and thought about why I felt pressure to remain somewhat obscure. These reservations stemmed from wondering whether a woman can really be taken seriously as a writer for her ideas, if on some level she is first perceived as female. Evolutionary psychologists describe subconscious cues and I’ve encountered more than a few folks from the fishing industry to the Senate with overtly preconceived expectations on gender. I’d like readers here to recognize content before appearances, but I never had the option of anonymity. Eventually I realized that the truth is, by ‘hiding,’ I’d been undermining myself by unintentionally creating self-imposed constraints based on fear. I’d been feeling the need to censor myself because of the potential for external bias. Thing is, those outside pressures are going to exist no matter what, so the only opinion of real consequence is my own. And in time, I decided it was incredibly important to openly provide an image of a woman in science to the many bright young readers who follow the blog …

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