Roxana-Mălina Chirilă

Reverse discrimination isn't less discriminating

Reading a very stupid „research” article in which 41 Turkish academics got questioned about their work environment to prove whether they were discriminated against or not. No research was done on men, all conclusions on the way women were treated vs. how men were treated are drawn from women’s answers about themselves. Which is dumb. Why? Because it is. You can’t compare two things if you only have data about one.

„none of the participants agrees with the statement that it is easier for women, compared to men, to succeed in academia. In contrast, 80.5% of the participants reject this statement which implies that women’s job is not easier than men’s, if not more difficult.”

Erm. Why would it be easier for women? This question is dumbly phrased and politically-oriented. It only proves that you, researcher, think it should be easier for women. Which it shouldn’t. It should be just as easy/difficult. If you had really wanted an honest answer, you should’ve said „Do you think men and women find it equally difficult to succeed in academia?” – and then asked for more details from people who answer „no”.

„The majority of the participants also reject the notion that women’s qualities match with the demands posed by academia more than men’s qualities do.”

I object to that question on principle. What are „women’s qualities”? What are „men’s qualities”? What is it that you are really asking and why?

Urgh. The questionnaire was just filled with crazy shit, some of which was taken to be gender-related, but really wasn’t (like low salaries, burning out because of the need to do research, being married etc.). And apparently reverse discrimination (in this case, discriminating in the favor of the woman) would be a good thing. Well, no. I don’t think so. I think if you want to stop sexual discrimination in the world, you really ought to stop preferring one sex to the other. You would think that’s kind of obvious, but it’s not.

Do you want to help women get out of their female bubble of uncertainty and little achievement (if you think that’s where they are)? Research. Find out why they aren’t achieving. Ask them stuff like „Why didn’t you publish more in your academic career?” or „Why didn’t you go for that ph.D.?” „Why didn’t you ever consider becoming a researcher?” Etc. See where the problem lies, don’t just decide you know where it does and then try to prove it.

Crappy research is crappy, but it might just be in line with the wave of reverse discrimination I’ve noticed around some circles.

(LE: Which is not to say that there aren’t a good deal of quality articles on the subject of women and engineering out there, but this is not one. Somebody should review stuff like this before it gets published.)

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