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Showing the Women in Science

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I feel like I’m supposed to rejoice or feel vindicated when some large conglomeration “gets it right” and chooses a female CEO or female Congressperson or female… LEGO minifig. Then I realize it’s extra-good because the figure isn’t labeled “female scientist”, just “scientist”. Then, I’m mad at myself for needing to notice that detail. Then, I’m mad at LEGO for not having half of its figures in female form. And then, I feel repressed because this female scientist is only one of the collectors’ characters, not a regular-issue figure in the boxed sets. I don’t even think there is a science-set within the LEGO boxes.

No, there are not equal numbers of women and men in science (or many other “technical” fields). However, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of worry about the lack of men in nursing or secretarial work. I’m still waiting for the camo-colored knitting needles and wartime-scene counted-cross-stitch kits to get boys into needle arts. And why aren’t we worried about the lack of male baby dolls?

There are a lot of things to get mad about. I wonder whether anyone would notice a scientist character if LEGO only made male figures. I mean, there don’t seem to be any major news articles on the 15 other new LEGO minifigures. I’m not a minifig collector, but I think I’m more excited by the fact that there are LEGO Erlenmeyer flasks.

So, what should women celebrate and how should we do it? I like the xkcd advice of celebrating all people in their respective lines of work, not only the highest of the high.


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