Special bonus points: female

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

drb
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Special bonus points: female

Postby drb » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:33 am

Please don't flame me - I did not make the title up - its a category in the applicant profiles threads. My question is - how much of a bonus point is this (noting that almost half the posters in the 2011 applicants thread are female). Enough for a XX student from state U with top 20 physics grad program (per NRC) who has unremarkable GPA and test scores, but respectable research experience (including middle author on a submitted ms.) to even consider top-tier schools, specifically in applied physics or biomed engineering? I can afford the $70 per application fee, but would rather not throw it away if its pointless.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:55 am

drb wrote:Please don't flame me - I did not make the title up - its a category in the applicant profiles threads. My question is - how much of a bonus point is this (noting that almost half the posters in the 2011 applicants thread are female). Enough for a XX student from state U with top 20 physics grad program (per NRC) who has unremarkable GPA and test scores, but respectable research experience (including middle author on a submitted ms.) to even consider top-tier schools, specifically in applied physics or biomed engineering? I can afford the $70 per application fee, but would rather not throw it away if its pointless.


Being female adds precisely 132.41 admission points to your application.

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grae313
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby grae313 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:26 am

The only thing you or anyone else can do is compare yourself to the profiles in the profiles threads and make a wild guess, but even then, you're playing with statistics. I think if anything, the physics GRE is not weighted quite as highly for women, but you won't get a break on your GPA for being female. I think that once you meet a certain benchmark of acceptability for a given school (which will vary from school to school) in terms of scores and GPA, research and the letters from your research advisers overwhelmingly become the most important part of an application, but that's just my theory.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:17 am

grae313 wrote:I think that once you meet a certain benchmark of acceptability for a given school (which will vary from school to school) in terms of scores and GPA, research and the letters from your research advisers overwhelmingly become the most important part of an application, but that's just my theory.


I agree with your benchmark theory. =)

-Riley

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby admissionprof » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:08 pm

grae313 wrote:The only thing you or anyone else can do is compare yourself to the profiles in the profiles threads and make a wild guess, but even then, you're playing with statistics. I think if anything, the physics GRE is not weighted quite as highly for women, but you won't get a break on your GPA for being female. I think that once you meet a certain benchmark of acceptability for a given school (which will vary from school to school) in terms of scores and GPA, research and the letters from your research advisers overwhelmingly become the most important part of an application, but that's just my theory.


This is exactly right. Men and women with precisely the same grades, and the same success rate in grad school don't score the same on the PGRE---men do better. So we typically don't weigh a poor GRE as much for women as men. But in all other respects, there is no difference (and the effect on the PGRE is small in any event).

pqortic
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby pqortic » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:45 pm

admissionprof wrote:
grae313 wrote:The only thing you or anyone else can do is compare yourself to the profiles in the profiles threads and make a wild guess, but even then, you're playing with statistics. I think if anything, the physics GRE is not weighted quite as highly for women, but you won't get a break on your GPA for being female. I think that once you meet a certain benchmark of acceptability for a given school (which will vary from school to school) in terms of scores and GPA, research and the letters from your research advisers overwhelmingly become the most important part of an application, but that's just my theory.


This is exactly right. Men and women with precisely the same grades, and the same success rate in grad school don't score the same on the PGRE---men do better. So we typically don't weigh a poor GRE as much for women as men. But in all other respects, there is no difference (and the effect on the PGRE is small in any event).


in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:58 pm

pqortic wrote:in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?


My gut feeling wants to agree with this, but I don't know if there would be anyway you could verify this claim. I was under the impression that better recommendations came from better students. =) I don't see why an admission committee would go that far to think that recommendations written for girls are "prettier or better designed".

-Riley

laser
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby laser » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:29 am

pqortic wrote:in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?


Do you have a source for this? It's my understanding that letters for women tend to focus on their personalities, and the letters for men tend to focus on their actual ability. This article is about higher-level jobs in academia, however it would stand to reason that it would extend to LOR in our field in general: http://www.psypost.org/2010/11/recommen ... -jobs-2674

pqortic
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby pqortic » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:54 am

laser wrote:
pqortic wrote:in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?


Do you have a source for this?


yes I do. one source is admissionprof's post. when a professor writes a letter for a female applicant they would think: "this girl has good abilities but she might not do well in the test, so I should help her" or the student would ask them to think that way. the other reason is that when people want to comment on a girl, they have different attitudes than they have for boys. it's not being sexist or anything like that, it's just what it is.

admissionprof
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby admissionprof » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:25 pm

pqortic wrote:
laser wrote:
pqortic wrote:in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?


Do you have a source for this?


yes I do. one source is admissionprof's post. when a professor writes a letter for a female applicant they would think: "this girl has good abilities but she might not do well in the test, so I should help her" or the student would ask them to think that way. the other reason is that when people want to comment on a girl, they have different attitudes than they have for boys. it's not being sexist or anything like that, it's just what it is.


This is false. Many letter writers don't even know the PGRE score, and aren't even aware of the gender disparity on the test. I can't imagine someone writing a better letter because "she might not do as well on the test". Perhaps some do, but it is not statistically significant. I have noticed that letter writers do tend to talk about personalities more than abilities for women, but it's not a huge effect (and I'd rather hear about the personality than "He/she got an A- in my class and finished 3rd out of 18"....).

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grae313
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:41 pm

pqortic wrote:
laser wrote:
pqortic wrote:in return, professors are willing to write better or more detailed recommendation letters for women than men with exactly the same abilities and attitudes. do admission committees consider that when reading letters?


Do you have a source for this?


yes I do. one source is admissionprof's post. when a professor writes a letter for a female applicant they would think: "this girl has good abilities but she might not do well in the test, so I should help her"


That's not a source, that's a wild conjecture. Support your claim with actual evidence or acknowledge that it is your unsupported opinion.

pqortic
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby pqortic » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:35 am

grae313 wrote:
That's not a source, that's a wild conjecture. Support your claim with actual evidence or acknowledge that it is your unsupported opinion.


I don't think all the posts on this forum have strong support behind them. what I said is my opinion. like what was said about PGRE. that's an opinion. you can never say that's not true until you become a male professor and write letters for two of your students. (this sentence implies that admissionprof is a female 8) ).

generally I am saying the rules that we are creating about this male vs. female are nonsense. if female applicant cannot do well in the test then she cannot do well in the school either so she shouldn't go to the same place that male applicant goes. if they have the same abilities then the test is not standard and should be changed (which I think is not true because it is working well for male applicants at least).

we have a program called "women in Physics", why do we not have a program for "men in physics"? or why universities accept certain number of female applicants regardless of how low their records are compared to peer male applicants? everything is much more straightforward if we accept the world the way it is.

kroner
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby kroner » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:42 am

pqortic wrote:generally I am saying the rules that we are creating about this male vs. female are nonsense. if female applicant cannot do well in the test then she cannot do well in the school either so she shouldn't go to the same place that male applicant goes. if they have the same abilities then the test is not standard and should be changed (which I think is not true because it is working well for male applicants at least).

The PGRE is supposed to indicate an applicant's ability in grad school, but we know the correlation is loose at best. Indicators like GPA, recs, research experience, etc are much stronger indicators. What admissionprof said is that empirically women tend to do worse on the PGRE than the other parts of their application would imply, the parts are more reliable for predicting their success. This seems to indicate that relative to men, women tend to do worse on the PGRE compared to their potential. The claim that their worse scores (on average) implies that they'll be worse in their physics careers seems to be totally wrong.

pqortic wrote:we have a program called "women in Physics", why do we not have a program for "men in physics"? or why universities accept certain number of female applicants regardless of how low their records are compared to peer male applicants? everything is much more straightforward if we accept the world the way it is.

1) At least part of the reason that women are underrepresented in physics is cultural. Ingrained in our society is the idea that math and physics are men's fields. This bias is self-perpetuating, since some women who might have pursued physics end up not because of these cultural forces. Women that do are sometimes not taken as seriously because of subtle biases in their peers. This leaves the field male dominated and encourages the bias for future generations. In order to break the cycle, qualified women are actively encouraged to pursue physics through various means.

2) Women make up a small minority in physics programs. That can be isolating and discouraging, especially when taken on top of the cultural forces mentioned before. That's why there are often groups to build some sort of support network. Men clearly don't need any additional encouragement to pursue physics or to feel like they belong in a department. A "men in physics" program would be pointless for the men and further exclusionary to the women.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby schwiss » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:58 am

3) Old and dirty professors like to see more fresh molestable flesh in their classes.

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grae313
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby grae313 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:14 pm

pqortic wrote:if female applicant cannot do well in the test then she cannot do well in the school either so she shouldn't go to the same place that male applicant goes.


This has been proven false by example countless times. You seem to be denying the very idea that a test can contain an institutional bias in the way it is written, or that men and women may tend to think differently and have different strengths and weaknesses. There is a wealth of data to show that performance on the physics GRE does not correlate to performance in graduate research.

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grae313
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby grae313 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:19 pm

pqortic wrote: if they have the same abilities then the test is not standard and should be changed (which I think is not true because it is working well for male applicants at least).


Read this again carefully and try not to laugh. If the test is misrepresenting the ability of women to do physics, it should be changed. But hey, it's working well for men so it must be fine. ????

Again, you're ignoring the fact that the test could be written to men's strengths because that is what is traditionally valued in a traditionally male-dominated field. The women in my graduate program scored, on average, worse than the men on the PGRE but do not score worse on exams in classes and are no less successful in research. What does that tell you?

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:51 pm

grae313 wrote:
pqortic wrote:if female applicant cannot do well in the test then she cannot do well in the school either so she shouldn't go to the same place that male applicant goes.


This has been proven false by example countless times. You seem to be denying the very idea that a test can contain an institutional bias in the way it is written, or that men and women may tend to think differently and have different strengths and weaknesses. There is a wealth of data to show that performance on the physics GRE does not correlate to performance in graduate research.


and more generally, studies have shown that women tend to not do as well on multiple choice exams. Again, this is not because women are less intelligent or less knowledgeable on the subject, just that the thought processes of women tend to be sufficiently different to cause some noticeable difference between their performance on these specific type of exams.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby badphysicist » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:09 pm

grae313 wrote:There is a wealth of data to show that performance on the physics GRE does not correlate to performance in graduate research.



Then why do departments still require this god forsaken test? :lol: (not a shot at you, a shot at ets and the adcomms for still requiring a test that doesn't reflect research ability)
Last edited by badphysicist on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alice
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby Alice » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:34 pm

pqortic wrote:we have a program called "women in Physics", why do we not have a program for "men in physics"?

I had to laugh at the suggestion of a program for "men in physics". This shows such an utter lack of perspective on the state of gender equality in physics. Clearly, pqortic has no idea of the challenges facing a woman in physics. For me, it starts in the fact that I'm the only woman in the majority of my classes. Most of the other students, if even they respect me (which most do, to be fair), still see me as a sort of cultural anomaly - "a woman in physics, really?"
You can have no idea how humiliating it is to have someone in another research group come to me to ask about applications of my research to his field of interest, but upon seeing that I wear lipstick and high heels, he asks for a date instead of a paper.
And then there's the fact that there's this subtly sexist professor who thinks girls can't operate his lab machines because we have "delicate hands".
Or the fact that whatever I do in physics, however well or badly I do my research, it always reflects on women in physics as a whole. Who wants that kind of pressure? Just for once, I would love to be seen by my peers as another physics student. Not "the physics girl".
You can have no idea what it's like to talk to some new post-doc and have him snub you because of your gender. Not because your research isn't good enough. Not because your grades aren't top notch. But because of the way you were born. The resulting pain and the hopelessness, the implication that no matter what you do, you'll never be good enough because of the way you were born... those are insurmountable horrors.
And I've had it easy. In my department, the majority of professors care deeply about the gender problem in physics. They are very supportive. And it's still difficult. Most physics majors work hard because physics is not easy. But female physics majors need work twice as hard: to overcome the emotional difficulties presented by being a woman in this field, to stand up to chauvinist jerks, to succeed in tests designed for men by men (even though we think about things differently), and at the same time to study just as hard as the males do.
To summarize, the first tenured female professor at the Harvard physics department said she was often told to lower her voice and speak less during faculty meetings. That was no more than ~15 years ago.
So if you think women don't need support groups in physics, think again.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby quizivex » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:47 pm

@ badphysicist, grae: The fact that the GRE doesn't correlate to research success for students already admitted to a given school does NOT mean the test is flawed... in fact it's quite the opposite.

This concept was discussed very thoroughly on this thread.

The main point is the following... but many more details were discussed and explanations were given... btw badphysicist your last quote accidentally includes pqortic's name.

quizivex wrote:Since admissions are based on a holistic evaluation of the many components of a student's record, it's natural that the "successful" applicants who were weaker in some area were on average stronger than the typical successful applicant in other areas, to make up for the weakness. Otherwise they would not have been admitted.

So the students with weak GRE scores probably had exceptional research accomplishments or outstanding recs, and thus were equally qualified in the first place. To test the true correlation between the PGRE and future success or ability, you must look at all applicants, not just the successful ones!

If there's no correlation between PGRE scores and some metric of grad school success/performance, then that actually reflects FAVORABLY on the test! Statistically, it means the PGRE is equally as good as the other selection factors in predicting success (think about it). That's the way it should be. If admission is based on a weighted sum of the pieces of a student's record (A*PGRE + B*GPA + C*School Reputation + D*Quality of recs + etc), then in theory, if the optimum/ideal weights were used, there shouldn't be any correlation between any of the individual admission criteria and student success.
btw @ Alice... that reminds me of a comment last year by vicente:
vicente wrote:I don't think most girls are happy in an environment full of guys. It's annoying to always get hit on. You're seen as "the girl" rather than another classmate or friend.
I'm a little skeptical how the PGRE test itself could be biased against women, regardless of what "studies" show... if someone who just reviewed undergrad physics in preparation for the PGRE can't figure out what happens when you double the length of the pendulum and double its mass, or which phenomenon is evidence of an electron's intrinsic spin, maybe he/she shouldn't be a physicist.

badphysicist
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby badphysicist » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:06 pm

quizivex wrote:@ badphysicist, grae: The fact that the GRE doesn't correlate to research success for students already admitted to a given school does NOT mean the test is flawed... in fact it's quite the opposite.

This concept was discussed very thoroughly on this thread.

The main point is the following... but many more details were discussed and explanations were given... btw badphysicist your last quote accidentally includes pqortic's name.


Yeah, I didn't notice that I had a doubt quote in there. Should be fine now.


*deleted for off topic*
Last edited by badphysicist on Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:13 pm

So what exactly is the problem if women feel ostracized by society if they do physics? The career you choose is based on what makes you happy. If physics is a pain, don't do it. Just like I won't choose to become a garbage man. Or a prostitute. Everyone thinks garbage men and/or prostitutes are some kind of lower beings.
I don't like being considered a lower being -I'll do something else.
The benefits of being a garbage men outweigh the disadvantages - I'll become a garbage man.

Simple, the end.


Ah, physics still makes me happy, but it's all not super ok-dokey? Well, news flash, no jobs are super ok-dokey. Just live with the negative aspects and stop the QQ

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:17 pm

Oh ya, and if women feel so discouraged because the men are overwhelming...how about the men feeling discouraged because more often than not women are unfairly advantaged?

How do you pick sides on this anyway? Just let the freaking world function as it does.

Why don't we have groups supporting male nurses? Or male house-wives? For every woman that leaves the kitchen, a male has to take her place. What exactly did anyone gain from this meaningless switch?

kroner
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby kroner » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:10 pm

negru wrote:So what exactly is the problem if women feel ostracized by society if they do physics? The career you choose is based on what makes you happy. If physics is a pain, don't do it. Just like I won't choose to become a garbage man. Or a prostitute. Everyone thinks garbage men and/or prostitutes are some kind of lower beings.
I don't like being considered a lower being -I'll do something else.
The benefits of being a garbage men outweigh the disadvantages - I'll become a garbage man.

Simple, the end.


Ah, physics still makes me happy, but it's all not super ok-dokey? Well, news flash, no jobs are super ok-dokey. Just live with the negative aspects and stop the QQ

The physics community has an incentive to make doing physics more attractive, and bring in as many of the most capable and interested people that it can. More good physicists means more progress in physics. If you run a physics department and the choice is to get and retain talented female physics students or drive them away, I think it's pretty clear what you're going to try to do.

kroner
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby kroner » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:28 pm

negru wrote:Oh ya, and if women feel so discouraged because the men are overwhelming...how about the men feeling discouraged because more often than not women are unfairly advantaged?

Men don't get discouraged because women are chosen over them, they get discouraged because they don't get into the program or awarded the fellowship they want, and then they rationalize. Believe me, I've been there.
negru wrote:Why don't we have groups supporting male nurses?

There probably are.
negru wrote:What exactly did anyone gain from this meaningless switch?

More efficient specialization of labor.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:30 pm

negru wrote:If physics is a pain, don't do it.


If it is a pain to have to deal with women getting into programs with "lesser credentials" than don't do physics.

-Riley

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:39 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
negru wrote:If physics is a pain, don't do it.


If it is a pain to have to deal with women getting into programs with "lesser credentials" than don't do physics.

-Riley

Exactly my point. Let everyone just do what they want. Don't send any extra encouragements OR discouragements.

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:33 pm

And by the way, it is exactly this affirmative action that negates the true, merit based achievements of women. Of course that as long as women have any advantages no one will take them seriously. Of course that whenever a woman gets into a good program or gets some fellowship many will think it was only because she's a woman. Since secondary school all the way to college all my physics teachers were women, and they've been among the best physics teachers and researchers I've met. The fact that some women get even the slightest advantage makes all their actual achievements (yeah, achievements, facts, etc - as opposed to lots of empty talk and bs-ing that feminists do) in promoting a positive image of women in science meaningless.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:09 pm

negru wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:
negru wrote:If physics is a pain, don't do it.


If it is a pain to have to deal with women getting into programs with "lesser credentials" than don't do physics.

-Riley

Exactly my point. Let everyone just do what they want. Don't send any extra encouragements OR discouragements.


Obviously you didn't get my point. Women should be encouraged to do Physics because there is currently discouragement for them to be in a scientific field. If you are bothered by the fact there are "Women in Physics" programs then gtfo. Similar to the point you made. This is the way it is, deal with it.

-Riley

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:27 pm

negru wrote:So what exactly is the problem if women feel ostracized by society if they do physics? The career you choose is based on what makes you happy. If physics is a pain, don't do it. Just like I won't choose to become a garbage man. Or a prostitute. Everyone thinks garbage men and/or prostitutes are some kind of lower beings.


I don't know how universal this sentiment is, but in the United States the majority of the population tend to be of the opinion that all people should have a fair and equal shot at making their lives the way they want it to be. What this means in practical terms is that if someone has been given an unfair advantage or has been hindered with respect to the rest of the population, then we try to make some sort of accommodations to equal the playing field. Considering how historically prominent sexism has been and its influences on modern american society, the majority of reasonable people have acknowledged that women frequently aren't getting a fair shake and so we've tried to make the appropriate adjustments.

If it helps illustrate the point, imagine a 100 yard dash in which everyone lined up at the start line, but you were forced to start from 20 yards back (i.e. you would be running a 120 yd dash). Would you really respond to this situation by saying, "Well if you don't want to run a 120 yd dash in the 100 yd dash competition, then don't become a sprinter. Sheeeesh!"?

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:37 pm

negru wrote:And by the way, it is exactly this affirmative action that negates the true, merit based achievements of women. Of course that as long as women have any advantages no one will take them seriously. Of course that whenever a woman gets into a good program or gets some fellowship many will think it was only because she's a woman. Since secondary school all the way to college all my physics teachers were women, and they've been among the best physics teachers and researchers I've met. The fact that some women get even the slightest advantage makes all their actual achievements (yeah, achievements, facts, etc - as opposed to lots of empty talk and bs-ing that feminists do) in promoting a positive image of women in science meaningless.


While I agree with your statement that many people scoff at women for getting additional assistance (including yourself), I don't agree that it is unwarranted. The lifeblood of a physicist in academia and the physics graduate program in general is consistently good research. Plain and simple, there is no way in hell somebody is going to commit to 5+ years of research with a student who is less skilled than another potential student, regardless of whether they have boobs. The reason women might get some leeway on some pieces of their application is not because people feel bad for them or to meet some affirmative action quota, but because the admissions committees know that the test is not representing their abilities accurately enough and they aren't about to lose a good student to a different school.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:51 pm

HappyQuark wrote: Considering how historically prominent sexism has been and its influences on modern american society, the majority of reasonable people have acknowledged that women frequently aren't getting a fair shake and so we've tried to make the appropriate adjustments.

But for every sexism there is an opposite and equal anti-sexism. The amount of jobs, be they in industry, academia, or the kitchen, will always be conserved. If women and men are equal in ability, talent, etc, it makes no difference who goes where. Just like you might encourage that woman to drop the frying pan and do string theory, maybe you should encourage that male arts major to do math, or that nerdy astrophysicist to do some sports, or that businessman to stay at home to take care of the kids. You could keep telling everyone that what they're doing is not the thing that would make them the happiest, but to what end? There's no finality to this.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:54 pm

Just you could tell the drug addict to keep trying the next more powerful drug. Yeah, every new experience will be the best he's ever had, but what exactly is the point? No one lives the optimal life. Everyone just settles with something, with both good and bad.

Let them decide, instead of telling them what they should be rather doing/trying.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:12 am

negru wrote:But for every sexism there is an opposite and equal anti-sexism.


Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit. I don't doubt that there are cases in which attempts to avoid or counteract sexism wen't too far and someone was discriminated against when they shouldn't have been, but to say that the amount of "anti-sexism" is equal in proportion to the amount of sexism displays a profound amount of ignorance of modern society and history in general.

negru wrote:The amount of jobs, be they in industry, academia, or the kitchen, will always be conserved.


How in the world did you come to that conclusion? See below for a graph that shows the increase in the "amount of jobs" over time.

Image

You do realize that at one point there were no jobs in the automotive industry and now there is just over a million, which means that we increased the amount of jobs by a million.

negru wrote:If women and men are equal in ability, talent, etc, it makes no difference who goes where. Just like you might encourage that woman to drop the frying pan and do string theory, maybe you should encourage that male arts major to do math, or that nerdy astrophysicist to do some sports, or that businessman to stay at home to take care of the kids. You could keep telling everyone that what they're doing is not the thing that would make them the happiest, but to what end? There's no finality to this.


I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say here so I'll more or less repeat what I said earlier and if you are willing to clarify what you mean, I'd appreciate it. I don't care what anybody decides to do with their life but I hope, as I would think you agree, that everybody should be given the opportunity to make an attempt at their intended career path and if they are entirely capable, they should allowed to proceed with that choice. My ultimate point is that if somebody is hindered in some way and it is done for no other reason than they are female/african american/jewish/an oompa loompa/etc, then we haven't really given that person the opportunity that everyone should have.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:20 am

negru wrote:Just you could tell the drug addict to keep trying the next more powerful drug. Yeah, every new experience will be the best he's ever had, but what exactly is the point? No one lives the optimal life. Everyone just settles with something, with both good and bad.

Let them decide, instead of telling them what they should be rather doing/trying.


What in the world are you on about?

The way I interpreted this, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that you think that life isn't always perfect so women should just suck it up and be okay with what ever future they manage, regardless of whether they had to fight harder and didn't get as far as their male peers?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:32 am

HappyQuark wrote: ...they are female/african american/jewish/an oompa loompa/etc...


Bottles up to all the female Jewish African American Oompa Loompas in the house!

-Riley

laser
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby laser » Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:21 am

Haha Negru, I can guarantee you that no one is trying to tell women that they won't be happy if they aren't in physics ;) And I know lots of men who aren't in science/engineering/etc but are in the arts, and aren't discouraged from doing what they want. As a student of physics currently, and previously of engineering, and after spending years in the engineering industry, I know from first hand experience that women are still actively discouraged from continuing in these subjects, and discriminated against (though I've seen marked improvement in this attitude and policies over the last decade; for context I graduated high school in 1996). I can provide several example, from a civil engineer getting laid off shortly after having a child, to a woman delaying her geology career for ten years because no employer would have her part time to handle being a mom and shuttling her kids around, to having to prove myself time and time again in engineering design instead of being given the benefit of the doubt every time I started a new job, when it was assumed that the man hired at the same time as me would just get it done (in spite of having less experience and education... and then me having to fix all his screw-ups). The few of us that are here are here because we love physics and we're good enough to pursue careers in it. We are set back from the starting line as HappyQuark astutely noted by the bad attitudes that have waged against our gender. The few of us that persist aren't deterred by bad attitudes like yours that suggest that we should just deal with the discrimination and not go into physics for reasons that have nothing to do with physics or our ability to do physics. The people that we're missing are the ones who are able to do physics but who don't think that it's worth the trouble to overcome these barriers. This is a tragedy. We're missing out on good people in this field as a result.

Get a life. Clearly you have too much free time if you've nothing better to do than troll and obsess about women getting a foot in the door.

pqortic
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby pqortic » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:41 am

laser wrote:Get a life. Clearly you have too much free time if you've nothing better to do than troll and obsess about women getting a foot in the door.

this type of condescension is not appropriate for this forum. we are just discussing something that is going around us. if you are not interested, move on. you clearly don't have too much free time to think about matters other than getting a woman.

vttd
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby vttd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:52 am

pqortic wrote:you clearly don't have too much free time to think about matters other than getting a woman.


Haha I thought that was funny because you just assume laser is a guy, when she's not.

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:02 pm

maybe she's lesbian? wow you guys are so prejudiced

vttd
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby vttd » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:14 pm

In previous threads she said she chased boys. So no I'm not prejudiced, I just think before I say things. You are just trying to incense people and I feel that I do not need to address your comments because you are just trolling.

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:48 pm

Ok so maybe someone can explain how exactly the women in physics groups help improve the image of women in physics? I've been to their meetings (they give free food) and everything that happens is: eat pizza, gossip, feel self conscious for eating said pizza.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:11 pm

negru wrote:Ok so maybe someone can explain how exactly the women in physics groups help improve the image of women in physics? I've been to their meetings (they give free food) and everything that happens is: eat pizza, gossip, feel self conscious for eating said pizza.


The point of "women in physics" groups is to show women that there are other people like them who are going through the same trials and tribulations as them. As it turns out, humans are social animals and when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, it makes us feel better when we can identify with someone else (hence why there are so many members of the forum that just chit chat about unimportant stuff). Pizza is also very tasty, which probably explains why they eat the pizza. However, it is also high in calories, which probably explains why they feel self conscious shortly after eating the pizza.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:14 pm

pqortic wrote:
laser wrote:Get a life. Clearly you have too much free time if you've nothing better to do than troll and obsess about women getting a foot in the door.

this type of condescension is not appropriate for this forum. we are just discussing something that is going around us. if you are not interested, move on. you clearly don't have too much free time to think about matters other than getting a woman.


Wow! One would think after nearly 300 posts that you would have figured out that condescension and derision is entirely common and expected on this forum (and the internet in general).

You mouth breathing, knuckle dragging troglodyte! :roll:

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:16 pm

vttd wrote:
pqortic wrote:you clearly don't have too much free time to think about matters other than getting a woman.


Haha I thought that was funny because you just assume laser is a guy, when she's not.


There are only two possible conclusions we can draw from this. Either pqortic doesn't know how to read and somehow missed the blatantly obvious fact that laser is a woman (hence why she kept on referring to her own experiences with sexism) or pqortic has assumed that all feminists are lesbians.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:20 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
negru wrote:Ok so maybe someone can explain how exactly the women in physics groups help improve the image of women in physics? I've been to their meetings (they give free food) and everything that happens is: eat pizza, gossip, feel self conscious for eating said pizza.


The point of "women in physics" groups is to show women that there are other people like them who are going through the same trials and tribulations as them. As it turns out, humans are social animals and when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, it makes us feel better when we can identify with someone else (hence why there are so many members of the forum that just chit chat about unimportant stuff). Pizza is also very tasty, which probably explains why they eat the pizza. However, it is also high in calories, which probably explains why they feel self conscious shortly after eating the pizza.


Ok, and that makes it look like they didn't belong in physics in the first place...how exactly?

I'm sorry for being so thick, but in the backwards country I come from, there were plenty of girls in physics, doing very well at olympiads, national and international, with no issue of being oh so alone and discriminated. Probably because feminism doesn't yet exist there to inform females of their actual inferiority and their being discriminated against.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:46 pm

negru wrote:Ok, and that makes it look like they didn't belong in physics in the first place...how exactly?


I'm not saying that it does make them look out of place, you did. You were suggesting that having "women in physics" groups ostracizes them from all other physicists. I'm suggesting that it does no such thing and that it's nothing more than a social gathering that has absolutely no impact on who they are as scientists.

negru wrote:I'm sorry for being so thick, but in the backwards country I come from, there were plenty of girls in physics, doing very well at olympiads, national and international, with no issue of being oh so alone and discriminated. Probably because feminism doesn't yet exist there to inform females of their actual inferiority and their being discriminated against.


Just because you weren't aware of female physicists feeling uncomfortable or pressured to get out of physics and into "female appropriate jobs" doesn't mean that it wasn't there. In fact in many countries women don't feel confident to openly question gender roles which is probably why you never heard any complaints.

negru
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:54 pm

Well no I'm talking about females who later went on to college and grad school here and always found women in xxx ridiculous and humiliating.

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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby negru » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:58 pm

HappyQuark wrote:I'm not saying that it does make them look out of place, you did. You were suggesting that having "women in physics" groups ostracizes them from all other physicists. I'm suggesting that it does no such thing and that it's nothing more than a social gathering that has absolutely no impact on who they are as scientists.
.

My point was that the existence of such events/groups brings even more amount of ridicule.

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razor
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Re: Special bonus points: female

Postby razor » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:24 pm

negru wrote:So what exactly is the problem if women feel ostracized by society if they do physics? The career you choose is based on what makes you happy. If physics is a pain, don't do it. Just like I won't choose to become a garbage man. Or a prostitute. Everyone thinks garbage men and/or prostitutes are some kind of lower beings.
I don't like being considered a lower being -I'll do something else.
The benefits of being a garbage men outweigh the disadvantages - I'll become a garbage man.

Simple, the end.


Ah, physics still makes me happy, but it's all not super ok-dokey? Well, news flash, no jobs are super ok-dokey. Just live with the negative aspects and stop the QQ


<backtrack>
No it's not that simple. You might like being a garbage man but if the universe is conspiring to make you unhappy in being a garbage man, then it wouldn't be such a great idea.

Now, if we are given the choice between being happy as a Physicist and being happy with the environment as well to being happy as a physicist but unhappy with the environment, the choice is quite obvious.
Last edited by razor on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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