Hello everyone, my name is Emily and I am bad at math. Sometimes this makes me feel like a failure as a feminist.
See, I’m a nerd at heart (surprise!), and a lot of my favourite websites and blogs accrete STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) news alongside covert footage of the new Millenium Falcon. I certainly don’t mind — after all, I follow NASA on Facebook. I really am truly interested in most of the science news that comes across my dash, but it’s like being a child with a crush on one of her parent’s friends: I think it’s so incredibly cool and it thinks I’m kind of silly. Left-brainers range from befuddled to downright arrogant when dealing with us right-brainers.
At any rate I see a lot of news about how important it is to get more girls into STEM fields, and it leaves me feeling a little guilty. I would consider myself both a nerd and a feminist, and yet my brain seems to be built like a sieve with number-shaped holes. Seriously, when my husband was doing his engineering degree he would sometimes vent about the concepts he was learning and even when I was trying very hard to focus and follow what he was saying, my brain would go fuzzy and I’d entirely lose track of his words. Numbers just make my brain congeal a little.
This, but with math.
I’m not exaggerating. I can do the same problem four times and get four different answers. The numbers swim and change places, and working through problems feels like pushing something heavy through something thick, only to find out you were moving the wrong heavy object once the job is done. STEM types laud math for being so reliable and utterly logical, but it’s always felt rather arcane to me.Continue reading →
I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now, however, a picture I recently saw finally gave me the push I needed to actually get down to it.
This was not that picture:
It was however, a picture very similar. Adalia Rose, the little girl in this photo, was contrasted up next to a picture of a model, the caption beneath it reading something along the lines of “Like if you think this girl is just as pretty as this model.”
Readers, Adalia Rose is not beautiful.
And that’s okay.
Because between this and my religion posts, I’m looking to get in hot water with everyone I know…
As luck would have it, just as I was perusing the AV Club’s various articles on the US networks’ fall programming, regular CWR reader/my friend Marilyn brought a certain issue to my attention.
This fall CBS will be bringing the series Intelligence to the small screen [not to be confused with the CBC series of the same name that aired in 2005]. The following is the trailer, which I only saw half a minute of earlier because it failed to grab my attention:
EVAN: Welcome, one and all, young and old, to what I am dubbing as the first ever Valentine’s Day Edition of Evan and Gordon Talk!
I had originally come up with this topic to rile my co-writer, but then realized that it fit in perfectly with tomorrow’s holiday.
GORDON: Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t rile me. My vindictive co-writer understands that I am a deeply unemotional individual who knows more about the surface of the moon than human interactions.
EVAN: I had mostly planned on this being me asking Gordon about what traits he appreciates in a woman, and I will start thusly:
Gordon, what is the first thing you notice in a woman, physically [that appeals to you]?
GORDON: You know that I am partial to redheads.
EVAN: Our readership did not. What do you like about them, exactly?
GORDON: No reason springs to mind, I guess it’s just an irrational preference. Similar to your irrational detestation of the ladies of your own ethnicity.
EVAN: Oh, I don’t detest Asian women, I’m just not as attracted to them as almost any other race. But we’re getting off topic, you can ask me potentially embarrassing questions in a moment.
What woman would you hold up above all others as an ideal example of physical beauty?
GORDON: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
This is beautiful to someone. Just not me. Or anyone I know. Or will ever know.
In my case, I’d cite Bryce Dallas Howard or Olivia Wilde as being prime examples. At least of physical attractiveness.
Obviously there’s plenty more that goes into it.
EVAN: Like what? I mean, I know there’s more, but what else do you think there is to it?
GORDON: Intelligence, obviously, is a major factor.
EVAN: So what’s the standard for your future significant other?
GORDON: I’ve answered quite a few- I’ll let you answer that first.
EVAN: I’d like to be with a lady who reads. Not being able to talk to her about a book [or, let’s be honest, a comic] that I’m reading would be pretty terrible.
So reasonable well-read, I’d say. She doesn’t have to have read Joyce’s Ulysses, but knowing who the Romantics are would be nice.
GORDON: Certainly we can agree on this.
I’m going to describe who I’ve always seen you marrying/dating, since I feel like it’ll touch on another area of life you deem very important.
I’ve always imagined you getting together with what you would call “a dirty hippy.” Dreads, doesn’t shower very often, a conscientious consumer in that she pays for products that are ethically produced, someone who goes to rallies but knows what exactly she’s protesting.
GORDON: This is the part where I’d describe who I’ve always thought you’d wind up being only, only I don’t speculate on that because I’m not a pervert.
EVAN: I feel like your skirting around the subject and avoidance of outright denying my speculation gives it validity.
GORDON: Then here is my outright denial: I don’t like hippies. They’re pacifists.
EVAN: Fine, she advocates violence in certain situations.
GORDON: I don’t like vegetarianism or veganism or any of those other affronts to god and nature.
EVAN: So you’re saying being a vegetarian is a deal-breaker for you?
GORDON: Totally. My little sister is a vegetarian, and I am so ashamed of the fact that I just tell people that she’s actually a meth dealer.
If cows had the chance, they’d kill you and everyone you love…
EVAN: While we as an audience are probably relieved that you would never date your sister, I think now would be a great time to list off the [presumably] many deal-breakers you have when it comes to a significant other.
GORDON: Emotions. Talkativeness. A need for companionship or validation of any kind. Playing any music which isn’t heavy metal without earphones. More than three pairs of shoes. Adherence to any political belief that Glenn Beck wouldn’t decry as being forged in the fires of hell.
This could go on, you know this.
EVAN: I’m going to take it from your second deal-breaker that you prefer your women to be seen and not heard. How are our readers supposed to perceive this?
GORDON: The readers can take it any way they want- my own point is that I don’t like people who I hang out with to have to talk, as a baffling number of people on this little blue rock apparently feel obliged to.
EVAN: You live a hard life, Gordon.
GORDON: I truly do.
EVAN: To switch our places while still hopefully making you equally uncomfortable, you can ask me a question about my feelings. My feelings about women.
GORDON: . . . why are you doing this to me?
EVAN: Gordon, I am doing this for our readers.
GORDON: In that case, I guess what the reader apparently wants to know is. . . I have no idea. I have literally no idea. . .
EVAN: Gordon, if a girl wanted to send you a Valentine, what sort of gift/card would you most appreciate?
GORDON: Can cigars count? You can write on the little labels. . .
EVAN: Only if we’re allowed to read something Freudian into your choice.
GORDON: Do I still get cigars?
GORDON: Then I can live with that.
EVAN: Conversely, what sort of Valentine would you give a girl?
GORDON: . . . Cigars? They’re like chocolate, only they don’t taste lousy and make a mess.
EVAN: Also, they don’t go straight to your thighs.
GORDON: This is true.
EVAN: I’m going to try to come up with one more question you don’t want to answer, and then we can wrap this up. When was the last time you had a crush on someone?
GORDON: Ah, an easy one. Never.
EVAN: The last time you considered a woman you saw to be very attractive [not counting on TV/on the internet]?
GORDON: That’d be when I went to Toronto with you. Though it must be noted that I had been stuck in a tiny college town with the same people for the past four years. So I wouldn’t put much stock in my judgment at that point.
EVAN: The women of Toronto will try not to read too much into your comment. And I suppose that brings this Special Evan and Gordon Talk Valentine’s Day Edition to a close!
GORDON: For next week, I suggest: Drugs, Legalization, and Culture. It won once before, I think it deserves another shot.
EVAN: Oh yeah, it did. I think we talked about Django instead.
EVAN: Cool stuff. You should end this by telling our readers how you feel about them.
GORDON: You people make me sick. Prying into a dude’s personal life at the cackling delight of Evan. He’s an impressionable child and easily led astray. You should be ashamed of yourselves for encouraging his bad behavior.
EVAN: I think you are all wonderful people, and should consider yourselves lucky to have been privy to Gordon’s life. Tune in next time, as always!