I've seen several conservative men say part of the problem is that not enough women are choosing to enter certain fields. The problem with this suggestion is that it overlooks some of the reasons why many women don't enter certain fields.

If a woman has an idea that she is much more likely to suffer sexual harassment and/or sexual assault in a certain field, she has a great reason for choosing something else. If a woman has a good idea that she will have to prove herself in ways men won't, she has a good reason for choosing something else. If a woman knows she will be paid less for doing the same work, she is justified in choosing something else.

The conservative nonsense that pretends women are merely choosing to stay out of certain fields ignores reality. By ignoring reality, it downplays sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexism, and wage discrimination.

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Wonderful post Jonathan.

Hi Kathy, Thank you for the kind words.

Jonathan, I think I can agree with this 100%. Conservatives by their very nature will downplay any reality about women. One such false notion is when they are against abortion and ignore the rights of women, choosing instead the right of an unborn fetus to life, calling the fetus a child. Once that birth occurs further help for this new human stops in the conservative mind, but if he lives long enough they might want to set him up a 401K. No joke intended. No real help for the child or the mother who carried him.

True "pro-lifers" would care about the lives and health and education and well-being of living, breathing, actual people, rather than fetishizing potential children in the womb as a means of controlling women.

Many anti-abortion folks also oppose contraception and comprehensive reality-based sex education, which both reduce the need for abortion. The ones who oppose most abortions yet make exceptions for rape and incest are especially telling: it's not really about the precious zygote/​embryo/​fetus. Taken together, it's clear that it's about punishing women for consenting to sex. Even opposing abortion in all circumstances is a barbaric "morality" which puts the potential child above a living, breathing, actual person.

Onlookers, to a pregnant woman’s fetus: “WE’LL DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO PROTECT YOUR LIFE!” / To the same woman’s newborn baby: “NOW YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN!” “GET A JOB, MOOCHER!” “I HOPE YOUR TRAMP MOM DOESN’T WANT FOOD STAMPS TO FEED YOU!” “OR MEDICAL INSURANCE!”About sex education: it's worth revisiting "Live tweets from an abstinence-based 'sex ed' class", both horrifying and funny.

Grinning Cat, wonderful. Absolutely wonderful :)

Don't forget -- education.  Many times girls are discourages from studying certain subjects

Indeed! Neil deGrasse Tyson had this to say on why there aren't more women or blacks in science:

"Um, the Larry Summers question, 'what's up with chicks and science?'"
"Slightly off topic, nonetheless interesting (it's science education)... does anyone want to field, maybe if there are genetic differences between men and women that explain why more men are in science? Does anyone want to touch that?"

[Neil deGrasse Tyson:]

I've never been female. But I have been black my whole life, and, so, let me perhaps offer some insight from that perspective, because there are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community as well as in the community of women, in a white male dominated society, and I'll be brief, 'cause I want to try to get more questions.

When I look at, throughout my life, I've noticed that I've wanted to do astrophysics since I was nine years old, my first visit to the Hayden Planetarium. (I was a little younger than Victor at the time, although he did it before I did.) And so I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expression of these ambitions, and all I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist, was, hands down, the path of most resistance through the forces of nature, the forces of society. Any time I expressed this interest, teachers would say, "Oh, don't you want to be an athlete? Oh, don't you want to...?" I wanted to become something that was outside of the paradigms of expectation of the people in power. And so, fortunately my depth of interest was so deep, and so fueled, enriched, that every one of these curveballs that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just leaped for more fuel and I kept going.

Now here I am, one, I think, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I want to look behind, and say "where are the others who might have been this?" and they're not there, and I wonder, how, who, what is the blood on the tracks that I happened to survive that others did not, simply because of the forces of society that prevented, at every turn, at every turn, to the point where I have security guards following me as I go through department stores, presuming that I'm a thief. I walked out of a store one time, and the alarm went off, and, so they came running to me. I walked through the gate at the same time a white male walked through the gate, and that guy just walked off with the stolen goods, knowing that they would stop me and not him. That's an interesting exploitation of this -- what a scam that was! I think people should do that more often.

So my life experience tells me that when you don't find blacks in the sciences, you don't find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today. So before we talk about genetic differences, you've got to come up with a system where there's equal opportunity, THEN we can have that conversation.

(Bolding is mine. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEeBPSvcNZQ&t=3684 )

And Neil deGrasse Tyson tells it very clearly! I remember from the fifties and the sixties the constant remarks: you don't have to know that, you're a girl. Girls are too stupid too understand it. Girls shouldn't ask that. All you need to know is in the bible. Perhaps you can be a cleaner or a shop-assistant, because you're too ugly to marry. Every girl should marry and have children...

Repeat this at least once a week for two decades and then ask why such a girl doesn't have a shining career.  

<Nod!>

And a flip side, that boys weren't expected to know anything about cooking or sewing or such, because "your wife will do that for you."

..There are many articles studies that shows teachers are likely to give boys 5-8 times more attention than girls. One way to offset this imbalance is for girls to attend all girls schools. Though, I don't advocate this is as a solution.

Parents do the same. They give girls stupid chores - washing up, sewing, cleaning - and use that time to help the boys with their homework...

Generally speaking, conservative nonsense thrives precisely by ignoring reality, from the Laffer curve to Dolt 45's "bigliest crowd ever."

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