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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Did Marie Curie Love Pink?

Society judged women’s scientific temperament harshly. This book explains the latest science—spurious and convincing—that hovers around the old bias.

Did Marie Curie Love Pink?
Did Marie Curie Love Pink?
outlookindia.com
2017-07-15T10:44:22+05:30

When our son was an infant, I wondered if he would aut­omatically choose the toys that boys were ‘supposed’ to play with—toy cars, act­ion figures and finally Meccano sets or whether these were conditioned responses of a child growing up in a society with clearly defined gender roles. Alas, my experiment was a failure, since these were the only toys he ever got as presents!

Pink vs blue, dolls vs action figures, doll houses vs construction sets—gender stereotyping starts early. Starting with toys, this goes on to more insidious typecasting of women being less competent in parking cars or doing mathematics and science.

Angela Saini realised this in high school. A self-confessed geek, she found that men vastly outnumbered women in the scien­ces, mathematics and technology (STM) disciplines. This obviously leads to a hugely skewed gender ratio at the top. Thus, for instance, only 28 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the scie­nces, while the Field’s Medal (in mathematics) first went to a woman only in...

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