April 16, 2007

Opportunities for women at the University of Minnesota

Below is an email that I received recently regarding an opportunity for women at the University of Minnesota:


You want to advance in your career.
Take the first steps now.

Women and the MBA
Hosted by the Carlson School and The Princeton Review

Increase your career possibilities. Create flexibility for your future. Whether
your background is in liberal arts, math, science, engineering, or business
itself, come discover the countless opportunities available to women MBA's.
Join us and we’ll show you how to get started.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
5:30 – 8:30 PM
Carlson School of Management
3M Auditorium

• Learn how an MBA can help you reach your career goals
• Information about the unique opportunities for women at the Carlson School
• Strategies for success on the GMAT
• Discussions of the value of an MBA with current students and graduates
You want to advance in your career.
Take the first steps now.

*I think it is great that there are opportunities for women at the University of Minnesota for them to advance their careers. I will try and keep you posted as to more opportunities for women at the U of M.

April 9, 2007

The Bachelor

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I just finished watching The Bachelor on ABC and feel like I’m about to vomit. I watched the first couple of seasons and liked them, but hadn’t watched the show for at least a couple of years. Now watching it for me is painful and all together a big joke. It is so degrading to women. All these women are trying to date this one guy, and they will pretty much do anything for him. He makes out with a bunch of the girls, and the girls say that they don’t like him kissing and feeling these other girls. The thing is, despite the girls saying this they still let him touch them whenever he wants to.

It seems that in television there are lots of jobs for women where they can play roles similar to the role that they play on the Bachelor. I was just disgusted by this show and I can’t believe that I used to watch it regularly.

April 5, 2007

Another Guest Lecture in Chemical Engineering

Yesterday in my 4001 Chemical Engineering class, we had a guest speaker. She was a female named Martine M. McDonald and she came to us from Exxon Mobil Chemical. Martine is a 2001 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She told us that she graduated with excellent grades. This is impressive to me because I think that Martine was even a smaller minority six years ago being a female than I am now. Good for her that she not only persevered through this tough program, but she excelled.

As I described in my previous post, earlier in the semester I attended a guest lecture by another female. I think that it’s really interesting that the two guest lectures we had were females. I think that this is really cool. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not. I’m glad that despite having mostly male professors in this department, they still promote women in the field by giving us examples of women who are not only in this male-dominated field, but women who are excelling in it!

Guest Lecture in Chemical Engineering Class

Earlier in the school year, I attended a guest lecture by Linda Curley, an engineer at General Mills. The reason that I went to this is because I am a chemical engineering major. I was interested to hear what a women working in this historically male dominated field would have to say about her job.

Linda graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in chemical engineering in 1999. She has been working at General Mills for seven years. Her presentation was about her career path and how her degree has gotten her to where she is today.

Linda started with describing her job in general. She said everyone works in groups. She specifically works with the Innovation, Technology and quality group. What this group does is: makes new products, makes variations on products that they are already making, and they improve on the products they already have. In this group there are many sub-divisions and she works with the new product development group. There are eight main groups and of these eight groups, three have job opportunities for chemical engineering majors. This was encouraging for me to hear that despite getting a pretty specific degree, there are a wide variety of jobs just in one company.

The fact that everyone works in groups, was one of the most interesting things that she said during her presentation. These groups are so productive because everyone’s ideas are all collaborated into one great idea. This made me think of the feminist movement. The feminist movement is similar to this in that when everyone is working together and sharing ideas, that is when the movement is the most productive. General Mills, just like the feminist movement, cannot succeed without people working together as a team.

Another thing that I couldn’t help thinking about was when she told us that she graduated from the U of M in 1999 which meant she started school around 1995. I bet that a woman chemical engineering major back in 1995 was even more uncommon than it is now. The engineering classes that I am in right now are still mostly guys, and I know there has been an increase in women going into engineering in the last ten or so years. I really respect Linda for going into this area of study at the time that she did knowing that it was very male dominated.

Lastly, it was really good to hear that Linda has moved up the ladder in her job. She started as an Engineer 1, got promoted to an Engineer 2, then to a Sr. Engineer 1, and now she is a Sr. Engineer 2. This was encouraging to know that she has been promoted so many places with just her B.S. in chemical engineering. She doesn’t have a masters or Ph. D of any sort. It was so good to hear this because I was under the impression that it was going to be hard for me to make it in the work field if I didn’t go to some sort of school after college, which as of right now I don’t think I want to do.

All in all this presentation was very helpful for me to attend. I learned a lot of things. First off, I learned of a possible type of job that I could get once I graduate with my chemical engineering degree. This was helpful because I really haven’t looked into this very much. I have just been following this degree path because I’m interested in chemistry and engineering, but I never have really looked into what types of jobs they actually do. Secondly, it was helpful to learn that even in just one company, there are many different opportunities for someone with a degree in Chemical Engineering. This was comforting to me to hear because it means that there’s a wide variety of options for jobs. It was also encouraging when she said that she has moved up the ladder in her job. This presentation was offered to all chemical engineering students, but was part of an upper level chemical engineering class. The main thing that I took away from it was that they only have one speaker like this come in per year, and guess what, this speaker just so happens to be a woman! Now that’s cool.

March 29, 2007

Girl Culture

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In my women’s studies class, I was recently introduced to a new web-site. Lauren Greenfield is an author a book called Girl Culture. This book is filled with photos of a wide range of women. The photos range from contestants in the Fitness America pageant to girls who are attending a fat camp. There is a slide show of some of the images from Lauren’s book which can be found by following the link:
GIRL CULTURE

When looking at these images, I was thinking about how society has touched each of the girls featured and what has made them think the way that they do. For example, the girl above is tanning at the age of 13. She has barely gone through or perhaps not even reached puberty and she is already conforming to the tan image that society has made everyone think is the sexy body image. This is sad. There are a lot of photos on this site that will make you sad but hopefully they will make you realize how influenced we all are by the media and society.

Fake or Real?

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There are so many things wrong with this ad that it’s hard to even find a place to start. First let’s start with the fact that this is an image of a woman, yet the top half of her head and the lower half of her body are completely cut off. This is dehumanizing to her by just taking her body and amputating any part that the company wants to. Removing parts of a female’s body is extremely common in advertising, but rarely do you ever see a man who has part of his head cut off.

Another thing that is wrong is a more obvious one. This woman is almost completely naked with huge breasts that are only partially covered with her own hands. She is extremely thin which only further enforces societies emphasis on how being thin is the body type to strive for.

The next thing is the question in the middle of the ad that says “Who cares if they’re real?? What are they referring to in this question? My immediate thought was they were talking about her breasts. Then when I read what was being advertised I found they are advertising for “designer inspired jewelry.? So apparently they were referring to who cares if the diamonds are real. Yeah right. I don’t think it is appropriate to be referring to women’s breasts being real or not in an advertisement. Plastic surgery isn’t something that should be joked about. It is a serious decision that someone makes, not just something that they decide to do spur of the moment as this advertisement implies.

Basically, this ad is disrespectful to women in many ways. This advertisement for fake designer jewelry is very upsetting to me.

March 28, 2007

Transsexuals

Recently in my women’s studies class, we talked about transsexuals. Then, while I was reading People magazine, I found an interesting article about a transsexual. The man’s name is Steve Stanton, and he is a city worker with a 13-year-old son. He has been taking hormones recently in preparation to live as a woman. The thing that caught my attention in this story is the injustices Steve faced once he reveled to people at his workplace discovered that he was a transsexual. His job of 14 years became in jeopardy once the people he worked with found he was going to start dressing like and living like a woman. They began the processing of getting him fired. Steve took what they were doing and turned it around on them. He is now on paid leave while things get worked out. This article is another illustration of the injustices transsexual people face in society today. This is something that needs to become more accepted by society so that everyone can be better off.

March 22, 2007

Condoleezza Rice

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I thought I would take a moment to recognize an amazing woman in our society today, Condoleezza Rice. Rice is currently the Secretary of State for the United States of America. She works very much as a diplomat.

Rice works with different Arabic countries, primarily Iran but also Iraq, Syria, and some others. In these countries: women are forced to walk 10 feet behind their husbands, can’t show their hair or full faces, and can’t initiate eye contact with a male. The women in these countries basically have no rights compared to men. Despite these views by men on women in these countries, Condoleezza Rice is highly respected in these cultures. She is a strong African-American woman who is making a difference on a global scale.

Some additional interesting things about her are that the Forbes magazine ranked her as the most powerful woman in 2004 and 2005 and the second most powerful in 2006. Also, before becoming a part of the Bush administration, she was a political science Professor at Stanford. She was the Provost from 1993 to 1999, and she was the first female, first minority, and youngest person to hold the Provost position at Stanford University.

Pretty amazing woman.

American Girl Dolls Anaylisis

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This is a bit of a follow-up on a previous post regarding American Girls. I decided to look into their website a little more critically. When you are at the homepage, the first link is “Shop.? This is the link that I will be discussing below.

The homepage of the “Shop? link has a big picture with a white girl and a black girl, each holding a doll of their respective race. One thing that I find so odd is that the black girl is always holding the black doll and the white girl is always holding the white doll. Why is this? I don’t understand why even these little girls are always displayed only interacting with dolls of their own race. I think that this is something that needs to change in these doll websites in order for young girls to become more comfortable with different races.

Of the eleven historical characters, one is a Native American, one is a New Mexican, one is a slave, and the rest are white girls. This is the majority white girls and the minority being girls of different ethnicity.

American Girl also sells dolls titled “Just Like You.? When shopping for this doll, I found that they were sorted by most popular to buy. The first was “Light skin, blond layered hair, blue eyes, earrings,? the second most popular was “Medium skin, short brown hair with highlights, brown eyes,? and the third most popular was “Dark skin, textured black hair, dark brown eyes.? This was interesting and exciting to me to see that the colored doll was the third most popular. All of the African-American dolls come with “textured hair? which I don’t know what it feels like, but at least they are making an effort to make them more realistic.

Like most doll manufactured, the dolls are majority white, which hopefully someday will change.

March 21, 2007

300

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I recently saw the movie 300 which is about the great Spartan warriors. One thing that I really noticed throughout the movie was how the main role that women played in society back then was to give birth to future Spartan warriors. They weren’t allowed to be fighters or warriors like the men. The women were respected in the society, but for the sole reason that they were the beings who gave birth to the great warriors which was what the Spartans were known for. This seems like a society which doesn’t respect women for the right reasons.

Another time that I saw a woman was a part where the king of Sparta was going to meet the oracle. Here a woman was shown as in the picture below:

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I wasn’t completely clear as to what this scene meant, I just remember that this woman’s seemed to be possessed and her body kept being bent and moving in a very sexual way. Also, she was only wearing a sheer piece of fabric that was white and mostly see-through so you could see her nipples, breasts, and every part of her body. This was another time in the movie where I felt that women were only used for the sexual aspect of them.

I enjoyed the movie because it was entertaining but when I think about how women were portrayed in this film, it is disappointing.

March 7, 2007

Abercrombie advertisement

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I was in Abercrombie and Fitch tonight with my mom and my little sister and I saw an ad similar to this one. This isn’t the exact ad but the concept is the exact same. There were two ads in the store, one man one woman, which were pictures of them without any cloths on. The one of the woman was having her breasts facing the camera and her arms were bent so that her nipples were covered. The one of the male was with his back facing the camera, and his body was flexed in a way so that all of his muscles were showing.

Looking at these ads just really made me wonder, how the heck is this an advertisement for clothing? They aren’t even wearing any cloths!!!

Girls interested in politics

Yesterday I was given an article from the Minnesota Women’s Press. It is the February 21-March 6th, 2007 edition. I opened right up to the front page of the inside cover and immediately found an article that I was super interested in.

New Moon magazine recently surveyed over 1,000 girls about where their interests lie. I was very interested to see that girls are very interested in public issues. The statistics that they found are as follows:

-78% interested in politics
-58% would think about of running for public office
-47% have been to a rally or protest action
-41% have run for student government
-40% have been in touch with a member of Congress
-32% have helped campaign for a political candidate

These statistics were great to see that women are getting so involved in the government, a historically male dominated field.

British Tabloids

My mom and sister just took a trip to London, England and they brought back some British tabloids for me to read for fun. They are the only magazines that I have looked at pretty much since I started taking my Women’s Studies class. I found myself looking at the magazines in a different way. There were many articles and ads that I found very disturbing where in the past I may have just glanced over them. The following topics are ones that really caught my attention as to how ridiculous they were:

~One of the stories in the British tabloid hot was a story titled “Woah Paris! Where did you get that Bust?? Are you serious, what the heck does this have to do with anything? I don’t see how they can do a two page article filled with full page pictures of close-ups of Paris Hilton’s chest.

~Another from the same tabloid was a two page spread of pictures of two different people who wore the same thing. The viewers had voted on “who wore it best.? As if it even matters who looks better than whom in the same piece of clothing!

~Lastly was an ad in the tabloid OK! and it was an advertisement for some electronic devices. These devices were draped in a red scarf and had some elegant red leather gloves by them. So what does this mean, if you use their cell phone or DVD player you are going to be elegant and sexy. Of course they used the color red to imply devilishness.

March 2, 2007

Andrew Anthos--Gay Rights

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*A picture of Andrew Anthos in front of the Detroit capital.

Andrew Anthos, a 72 year-old man, died last week after being attacked by a man who was allegedly upset about Anthos’ sexual orientation. Anthos was helping one of his friends who was in a wheel-chair through the snow, and was attacked from behind by a metal pipe. The man who attacked him was riding the bus with Anthos earlier that evening, and supposedly asked Anthos if he was gay. The attacker proceeded to shout anti-gay comments at Anthos before and after he attacked.

Anthos was known for his dream to light up the dome of the Michigan State Capitol in order to honor the people who work for this country. This dream never came true before he died.

Anthos spent ten days in the hospital before dying from injuries from the attack. According to the Detroit Free Press
www.freep.com
“In 16 days, only one person with any sort of a well-known name in southeast Michigan has stepped forward to say it is wrong to beat a 72-year-old man to death with a pipe because he is gay.? This comment came from Senator Hansen Clarke, who stated that “he would try to expand Michigan’s hate crime law to include sexual orientation.?

It seems ridiculous that there wouldn’t be many angry politicians upset about what happened to this man.

This story just shows that it’s not only women fighting to gain equality in this country, it’s also gays/lesbians and many other groups of people. We can’t just focus on women’s rights when there are so many other groups of people that also are fighting for equality.

Young Female Professor

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I was studying for my organic chemistry test last night, and I found this woman as one of the faculty at the University of Minnesota. It was really cool to me because she is the youngest woman professor in this department. Her name is Christy L. Haynes and she is an Assistant Professor of analytical chemistry, chemical biology, materials chemistry, and environmental chemistry. She received her B.A. from Macalester College in 1998, her M.S. from Northwestern University in 1999, her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2003, and her Postdoc. From University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2005.

She has won many awards on her way to becoming a professor at the University of Minnesota, including but not limited to the following: Award for Excellence in Graduate Research from Northwestern University in 2003 and the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award in 2006.

I just thought it was really cool that this young woman is a professor here at the University of Minnesota, especially when she is one of very few female professors in this department.

Below is a link to her research page if anyone is interested:
Haynes research page