The process of devaluating newly female-dominated fields.

I don’t usually refer to tumblr posts because they are difficult to follow and attribution is dicey at best, but I thought this one was worth reading.

Personal anecdote time! I’m in a biology graduate program. An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major. When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”

I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”

The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.” She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.

2 thoughts on “The process of devaluating newly female-dominated fields.

  1. Heretic November 25, 2015 at 22:08 Reply

    First it was that women couldn’t/shouldn’t do the male-dominated physical labor jobs, because they’re weaker than men. Now they cannot/should not do the intellectual jobs in STEM, because they’re less intelligent. Well, women have a physical advantage with a lower center of gravity and more powerful lower body. They are also just as intelligent, if not moreso, than men.

  2. roughseasinthemed November 26, 2015 at 00:42 Reply

    Slightly different but related, and one that always fascinated me, was that 99% of teachers in primary/union schools were women … but the head? … just guess.

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