Tuesday, July 29, 2008

just a thought

I may be opinionated; I probably inherited this trait genetically from my dad, who has an opinion about basically everything. I try to be open-minded and listen to other people's opinions to make sure I really know all sides of the issues. But when it comes time to defend my opinions, I'm sometimes at a loss for how to state them without actually arguing with the other person, because I don't really want to have any bad feelings with people that I like. So I make an effort to always let the person say what they have to say without throwing my opinion down their throat. I think I do a pretty good job of this but sometimes I end up feeling like I didn't effectively convey my side of the issue. Anyway, today somehow we started talking about women and engineering, and I definitely have an opinion about that. After a while I just couldn't believe I had to explain why I taught for WTP, why I think we need to help encourage more women to consider careers in engineering. And it just makes me upset that some of my peers in engineering are basically perpetuating the unwelcomeness that women often feel in engineering. And they don't look beyond their own personal life for reasons why women might be underrepresented in mechanical engineering. And therefore they don't think it's a problem, don't think we need to do anything about it. It makes me madder than I can really say. Why I didn't think this at the time... well the circumstances were different. Everyone was laughing because nobody really wants to actually fight with each other. But deep down I'm a little hurt by the subject of our conversation, and it's illustrative that I was one woman arguing my side while five guys were on the other side. Well, not all of them were disagreeing with me, but I felt singularly responsible for trying to explain why women don't go into engineering at the rate that men do. Oh boo.

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