Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shame Will Get More Women Into Engineering Than This Idiocy

From our IT agent in the field.

In short it is a commercial spoofing the Beastie Boy's song "Girls."

It advertises a chemistry set like toy set designed to get girls interested in the sciences and engineering, which I'm all for.

Just one problem.

It is SOOOOOO STUPID, even condescending to girls and women that it becomes a mockery of itself.

EVEN IN THE LYRICS they talk about girls don't like pink, buuuuuut!!!!!


Look, here's how you get girls interested in the sciences and engineering.

You introduce them to video games at an early age and then you tell them the truth:

"Boys are better at engineering and math than girls."

That will at least rile them up and give them the energy to prove you wrong.  And then maybe some day we'll actually have a generation of girls who are majoring in engineering at equal rates to boys, instead of us just lying to them saying,

"You go girl!"
"Grrrrrllll power!"
"Anything boys can do girls can do better!"

while they still major in baby sitting, women's studies, English, and other subjects that avoid math and rigor at all costs.


August said...

I had to sit through this program on what my employers like to call 'staff development day' in which someone talked about getting 8-13 year old girls interested in STEM degrees. So they are wasting a shit ton of money on this crap, even though they've already selected preferentially for women for my entire life AND IT DIDN'T WORK!

IF they threw this money at me, I could fill the STEM positions they claim are unfilled, and I'd end up marrying and having a passel of kids, so that's a bunch of people being taken care of.
Instead they are going to waste it on girls who are mostly going to flake on the whole notion of a STEM career- either during puberty, or when they meet some guy in college. The number of women actually getting STEM degrees and pursuing a career will remain about the same.

The sad thing is that I sat through this particular presentation instead of others because I thought, "they can't screw this one up as much as the others." Well, the others were probably just as bad, but man, people are retards. I thought it was going to be about getting kids in general interested in STEM, not just girls.

Anonymous said...

Girls will be interested in engineering around the same time that boys become interested in nursing and elementary education.

I say this as someone whose 80 year old father spent a lifetime working as a nurse, (although most of his career was spent working in prisons, when women didn't work in prisons).

Anonymous said...

Christ, that sucked commercial sucked ass. And I'm a woman with a chemical engineering background. Social engineers are falling all over themselves trying to get women into STEM fields just as social engineers were falling all over themselves trying to get women into the military.

Be careful what you ask for. I like stuff that actually works. If I didn't, I'd live in Mexico or China (no, they aren't going to take over the world, they're the leading world makers of cheap shyte).

BlackHat said...

Two comments on that commercial.

1. I'd like to know the sex of the people who designed that Rube Goldberg machine; I have my suspicions.

2. It wasn't even a particularly good Rube Goldberg machine. Did you notice how many cuts there were in the video? Or for that matter, how many times one of the critical junctures happened just slightly off cam?

Maybe it's unfair to compare it to this - a commercial for a higher end product, with a much higher budget - but hey, they're the onces who decided to enter the arena.

Honda - Cog Commercial:

Anonymous said...

Getting grrrrls into stem is generally a waste of time and money.
In order to get a degree, you need to have a fairly high IQ. Laws of probability and biology say that for every woman born with an IQ over 145, there are 7-8 men equal or better. Though you don't need quite that high an IQ, it still means that men will vastly outnumber women in high-brainwork fields.

How can this be cured? Well, if women actually chose to have kids with really smart guys, then there is a much higher chance that their kids will be smart regardless of gender.

However, this isn't going to happen because most women would rather take a gangsta "interesting" thug over a smart guy.
Tesla had no kids, Newton had no kids, but some druggie thug can have 20+ kids and get government subsidy.

PeppermintPanda said...

When I started school there was a massive influx of students in Computer Science because it was the height of the dot-com boom. Many of the new students were not that interested in programming (or technology in general) and didn't complete there degrees and/or didn't last in the field much past graduation.

To put up with all the BS that comes with STEM fields you have to love the work, and I am doubtful that someone who loved the work would need a lot of encouragement to enter the field.

Unknown said...

I find the marketing to be just about right, it feeds the ADD hamster and makes mothers want to go out and buy their product to empower her little girl. also any little steps that get girls interested in engineering i'm all for. even if they are misguided. hey they might get lucky.

daniel_ream said...

When I started in chemical engineering in 1991, the female students made up 35-40% of the class (ChemE had the highest proportion of women; it was also the easiest Eng program to get into. Draw your own conclusions). This was at the very beginning of the drive in Canadian higher education to get more women into the sciences, and at my alma mater specifically. Seems engineering has a reputation for being a sausage party and therefore discriminatory.

After twenty years of sex-specific scholarships, advertising, awareness-raising and mentorship programs, women now make up 25-30% of the incoming ChemE classes, and the ratio is slowly dropping every year.

Good job, feminism!

Jose said...

I used to have a video about the folly of trying to get people who aren't endogenously interested in STEM into STEM degrees (though not specifically women). A couple of reasons:

1. The appeal of STEM is that it's valuable knowledge, either for its economic potential or the personal enjoyment of knowing how reality works. Many of these recruitment efforts bypass that appeal and try to make it "cool" or "edgy" or "fun," where STEM can never win against fluffier stuff.

(BTW: Rube Goldberg contraptions are a tradition of engineering geeks everywhere, but mostly they are made to see how many engineering rules you can break: effectiveness, efficiency, robustness, upgradability, safety, optionality, clarity of design, etc...)

2. Real STEM needs real work. Physics is not "Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman," it's "The Feynman lectures on Physics," and that's the first year. If these recruitment efforts get a lot of people who come into STEM expecting Mythbusters- or TED Talk-level of science, they will either drop out, wasting both their time and the effort putting into recruiting them, or -- much worse and increasingly more likely -- the institutions will start to make STEM courses less demanding, i.e. destroying the education of _all_ the STEM students.


Anonymous said...

We already have affirmative action in STEM and it sucks -- all major companies in Silicon Valley and all universities pander to grrrrrrllllls. It's a very long discussion but your opinions on STEM / Silicon Valley are very naive imo. The vast majority of those companies wouldn't even have a market without a lot of indirect help from the Government -- the people who are gullible enough to click on ads are mostly liberal arts majors, getting their money from productive people.