After the very informative class discussion on Friday about McClintock and Franklin and how gender influenced their scientific accomplishments, it got me thinking about women’s role in science. Where these scandals really based on gender or were these incidences just flaws in scientific practice? Coming from more of an art background this was my first place to look in understanding how woman are being portrayed. Expectedly enough, I did not find very much. The one cartoon I did find is shown below.
Initially when I saw this cartoon I thought it was quite humorous. After further analysis I realized a few things about it that made me question the message being sent. First of all, it is clear that these characters are representing a male and a female. This is made obvious because of the baldhead and more stereotypical male colored clothing of the character on the left. The character on the right is representing a female because her name is Natalie, she has long hair, and is wearing a pink outfit which is more stereotypically a feminine color. The male seems to be having an authority position over the girl based off of what he is saying. The girl on the other hand, seems to be very excited about her “not so scientific findings”. The image could be read in multiple ways. A few possible messages being sent could include: women are not making very scientific discoveries, that men tend to have higher positions than woman when it comes to science fields, that “students” aren’t taking science very seriously, it could be mocking scientists discoveries in general, or maybe this cartoon was just suppose to be humorous. Part of me just wants to believe that this was just suppose to be funny, and part of me thinks that because it was purposefully made very evident what character was portraying the male and which one was the female that a statement about gender and science was being made. Do you think this cartoon is just humorous or is it a statement about women’s role in science? Also, do you think that because this was the only cartoon I found about women in science that woman don’t have a very substantial role in science fields or are they playing an important role like McClintock and Franklin and just not being recognized?