Femininity and Scientific Competence

An essay on the following topic:
“Is femininity(being a woman) compatible with technological competence(being a scientist)?” –> Yes, femininity is compatible with technological competence

– The paper is an analysis of an interview with a professor in the STEM field.

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– Interview contents:

1. Do you believe your femininity is compatible with your technological competence?
Answer: “In my opinion, femininity has nothing to do with one’s scientific ability. It all depends on the individual. Femininity can be compatible with scientific ability if that is what you are good at.”

2. Do you think technological competence or affection be part of women’s identity or femininity?
Answer: “Men and women do have fundamental differences. It would be difficult for technological competence to be part of femininity. But femininity can definitely enhance the masculine culture of science and technology.”



Rough Draft of the 1st Paragraph
– Please edit
– You do not have to use this paragraph at all
Common gender stereotypes have shaped the assumption that femininity is incompatible with scientific or technological abilities. Oftentimes, we picture women in STEM fields being coerced to conceal their femininity to be taken seriously. However, the basis of such assumption does not stem from solid evidence but from socially constructed norms. Dating back to the mid 20th century, women were encouraged to study mathematics and computers were often operated by women. Ironically, it wasn’t until women’s rights under labor laws were expanded that women were no longer accepted to high-level jobs in computing. Therefore, the male dominance of the science field was rather historically constructed. Despite the fact that there is no evidence of femininity affecting scientific competence, stereotypes continue to justify and effect the perceptions toward women in STEM fields. An in depth interview was conducted to learn the perspectives of women who had experience working in the STEM field on femininity and scientific competence. I reached out to Professor Heim Lim who is currently teaching at Sook Myung Women’s University’s applied physics department. The interview with Professor Lim changed my perspectives toward what the real STEM world might look like. Not all our assumptions of gender discrimination is true.

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