Charlie Anders & Annalee Newitz (BSS #104)

Charlie Anders and Annalee Newitz are the co-editors of She’s Such a Geek.


Authors: Charlie Anders and Annalee Newitz

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Rethinking his views on women.

Subjects Discussed: The gender divide in science and technology, whether empirical accounts can raise public awareness, present historical perceptions of gender in relation to past perceptions, female stereotypes, positive cultural portrayals of women, Trinity from The Matrix, Scarlett Thomas, the relationship between underground and mainstream culture, prognosticating gender roles, macho sentiment in the workplace, geek answer syndrome, sexual roles, jiggly breasts and video games, Ghost Rider, gender presentation vs. work performance, dress code, the “lawyer situation,” unisex possibilities, responding to Olivia Boler’s review, and the nature of geek.


Anders: Part of the problem is the stereotype that Larry Summers famously perpetuated a couple of years ago, the stereotype that women are naturally less adept at science and math. I blog surf all the time and web surf for the book’s blog, and I see lots of people say, “Well, but women just don’t have the spatial sense. Women can’t rotate five-dimensional objects in their sleep the way men can.”

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1 comment

  • Ana de Campos

    “Well, but women just don’t have the spatial sense. Women can’t rotate five-dimensional objects in their sleep the way men can.”

    I only wanted to point this as what I think is the perfect example of how irrational and simply dumb a stereotype can be and still have people proclaiming it as a fact.

    Because seriously, 😉 , rotate a five dimensional object in your sleep? That’s doubly absurd since it’s hard to even conceive of a four dimensional object, to consciously evoke in our minds a rough image of it, we need to trace analogies to third and second dimensional objects. Then the absurd of expecting someone to actually ROTATE a 5, not 4, but 5, dimensional one when they’re sleeping.

    Maria Gaetana Agnesi
    Hypatia of Alexandria
    Julia Bowman Robinson
    Amalie Emmy Noether
    Sophie Germain

    These are 5 examples of great female mathematicians, yet in school a teacher won’t talk about them. Women are not mentioned for their accomplishments as a rule of thumb, there is no reason to not mention Hypatia when talking about philosophers of Greece. Or Bowman alongside of Galois.

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