Pro-feminist male looking for insight into gender, sex, and sexuality with as few pretenses and assumptions as possible, I hope. If you're willing, help me understand.
Disclaimer: I'm a male in a long-term monogamous relationship with a woman. We have two young children, who are also male. I'm always open to parenting ideas that'll make them into better people.
The Smithsonian’s Awesome Vintage Images of Women In Science
Since 2009, the Smithsonian Archives has posted photographs showing women scientists and engineers at work. Here are some images from their archives.
Anna Chao Pai, working on developmental genetics and cross-breeding special strains of mice.
Anna “Vesse” Dahl, a Norwegian adventurer who made great contributions to research on atomic energy.
Bertha Parker Pallan, one of the first female Native American archaeologists.
Aviation expert and pilot Anesia Pinheiro Machado, the first Brazilian woman to make a cross-country flight.
Source: The Smithsonian
We’d be much better off if we let kids be kids, and didn’t project our own gender anxieties onto their preferences or playtimes. And we should start recognizing that terrorizing a kid for cross-gender play isn’t “tough love”; it’s abuse.
I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…
When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. 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 society.
Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.
Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.
…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when 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 start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.
"What’s up with chicks and science?"
Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.
Do men at all police  other men the same way that women do with other women? Are women just doing to other women what men do to women and are we just programmed to be hypercritical of ourselves and each other?
Because I notice that my guy friends are all pretty chill with each other. They don’t talk about anything the other person does or says to anywhere near the degree that my women friends do it.
I think that the policing is a patriarchal artifact, but I’m wondering what anyone else thinks.
 observe to an insane fixated degree, analyze, criticize, etc
I’m probably not the best person to answer this, because of the types of friend groups I’ve had since high school - relatively small circle (4-10), 40-60% women, and 25-60% couples. I’ve only hung out in a group of only men (party, outing, bar, etc) a handful of times since high school. Hell, there were even women at my bachelor party, my sister and a cousin who was both my best friend growing up and my “best man.” Point is, my experience may be unrepresentative to the point that I should probably cancel this post. :P
There also might be a problem with how unobservant, oblivious, and/or privileged I am. I’ve not seen much of this type of policing between the women in my friend group, but I have no idea if it happens when a few of the women I’m friends with get together alone. I’ve engaged in gossip about with friends in this friend group about friends that aren’t there. Nothing particularly mean spirited - “can you believe they’re buying another new car? they just bought one last year, how can they afford that?”
A few times, gossip like that becomes sort of an informal council and someone ends up getting delegated the job of speaking to the gossipee about this or that, like the time when one of our friends (who was in a very long term relationship with another one of our friends) was flirting in ways all of us thought looked to be very inappropriate and insulting to his girlfriend/our friend. His roommate got the job of pointing this out to him.
My gut says that the kind of behavior I imagine when you talk about policing between women mostly doesn’t exist between men. Men seem more likely to just kick you out of the club than to try to mold you into the type of person they think you should be. There does seem to be some ribbing that might have a similar effect, but I don’t know how much that really compares.