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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

日志

 
 

性别化教育 (Gendered Education)  

2011-04-09 02:29:59|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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性别化教育 (Gendered Education) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 在 性别教育平等尚未受关注之前,人们认为女性学文科(如文学和历史)比起学理科来得合适,而理科是男性的专利。自然科学和数学被认为比文科难度更大,女性受 所谓的智力因素限制无法驾驭。尽管现代女性已经不再被排除在这些学科之外,在这些领域的偏见依然留存至今。这种普遍的陈规还是硬要把文科与女性、理科与男 性分别联系在一起。

Before there was a real interest in educational equality for men and women, it was considered more appropriate for women to study the liberal arts (for example, literature and history) than to study science and mathematics, which were considered to be the exclusive domain of men. Science and math were considered to be harder subjects that were beyond women's supposedly limited mental capabilities. Although women are no longer barred from studying these subjects, the bias against them in these fields lingers today in the form of the prevalent stereotype that associates women with the liberal arts and men with science and math.


A desire to end this bias has sparked a relatively recent movement to encourage women to enter these stereotypically masculine fields. Organizations such as the GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) Club attempt to engender enthusiasm for these fields in young girls. As its website states, the GEMS Club aims to encourage more girls to pursue careers in math, science, and technology by “[exposing] 5th and 6th grade girls to the fun and wonder of these fields” (The GEMS Club: Girls Excelling in Math and Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2011 <http://www.gemsclub.org/home>).


Encouragement of this sort is good because it celebrates women who have overcome barriers and achieved in science and math, but as someone majoring in English and French, I have sometimes felt that my work in college is somehow less significant or impressive than that of my friends who are studying science or engineering. Because of the stress given to making science and math fields more accessible to women, I sometimes feel that I have somehow failed or let down my fellow women by not helping women make strides in these fields. It seems as though I have conformed to the sexist expectation that women should study liberal arts and men should study science.


Yet, the reason that I have chosen to study the liberal arts is not because I believe that women are ill-suited to math and science or even that I personally am incapable of succeeding in these fields. Rather, my decision springs from my passion and enthusiasm for the liberal arts. I have sometimes had to remind myself that gender equality in education does not mean that every girl and woman has an obligation to enter traditionally male-dominated fields. The importance of educational equality is rather that every girl and woman should be able to study and pursue careers in the subjects that interest her most, regardless of whether those subjects are in the domain of science or that of liberal arts. It is an important distinction, and one that should not be lost in attempts to encourage women to enter male-dominated fields, however admirable those attempts may be.


讨论:你是否认为某些学科更适合特定的性别?你曾受到这种成见的影响吗? (Discussion Question: Do you find that certain subjects are associated with a specific gender? Have you ever been impacted by this sort of stereotype?)


Photo: School girl in front of a map, 1936-1945 based on the visible map by United States Federal Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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