A major gripe I have with modern feminism is that its approach towards achieving “equality” seems to be less about lifting women up and more about tearing men down, as if feminists feel the only way to “empower” women is to disempower men. As such, it’s rather uplifting for me to see women taking a much more positive approach towards female empowerment rather than through the typical male-bashing. Case in point: #GirlsWithToys.
At this point, I don’t need to tell you that there’s a severe deficiency of women within scientific fields. Most “feminists” would see this “gender gap” and try to “correct” it by, at best, demanding gender quotas and "diversity measures" for scientific positions, or, at worst, berating male scientists for their “unearned privilege.”
However, it seems that more women, especially female scientists, are taking a more positive, proactive approach through the hashtag #GirlsWithToys (a clever play on the phrase “boys with toys” used to describe male scientists). Through social media, female scientists post pictures of themselves working within their respective fields, mostly by using cool-looking scientific gadgets, in an effort to inspire young women to take an interest in science.
PolicyMic has showcased a good dozen of these photos and tweets, but here are a few of my personal favorites:
#GirlsWithToys Me at JPL with the engineering twin of the @MarsCuriosity rover, which I help drive on Mars pic.twitter.com/qgCu17m3sC— Dawn Sumner (@sumnerd) May 17, 2015
Disappointed in outdated thinking abt #WomeninSTEM in @NPR piece. Great response: #girlswithtoys! Here's mine! pic.twitter.com/a0oqAdlaok— Laurie Leshin (@LaurieofMars) May 17, 2015
Helpin' out #girlswithtoys Limor "Ladyada" Fried - manufacturing in the USA with her pick and place machines... pic.twitter.com/ETQyw5YQUO— adafruit industries (@adafruit) May 17, 2015
Honestly, I feel this is a much better approach towards achieving better gender representation within science: by showcasing female role models to inspire young girls and women, showing them that they too have a place in science and technology. If more feminists took this approach, I would probably be more willing to call myself a feminist. Too bad many feminists feel more inclined to shame male scientists like Dr. Matt Taylor.