Some people may wonder why I am discussing this topic. Perhaps feminists or gay activists or just people surfing the net. Some may wonder why I am even raising this issue when there is a more accepting, equal, anti-discriminatory climate in 2011. Some feminists and gay activists may question why I am distinguishing lesbians in the scientific field when gender and sexuality shouldn’t matter.
I am an empowered woman, a feminist, a lesbian and scientist. While studying science both as an undergrad and postgrad, I didn’t face any prejudices or discrimination (that I was aware of) because I was a female. I only came out in the later years of my masters, but even then I didn’t experience any negative issues. If anything, the people I told (friends, colleagues, my supervisor) were positive about it and didn’t make much of a fuss at all.
I’m not solely protesting the lack of women in science, or the lack of visibility of female scientists or the lack of visibility of lesbian scientists. I believe these are important issues and I strongly believe in encouraging greater visibility of female scientists and greater encouragement for young women to pursue careers in science.
I am simply addressing a topic that is interesting to me. I am intrigued as to how many women in science identify as lesbian or bisexual (or queer for that matter too). And I want to know more about their experiences, their stories, their contributions and achievements in their chosen fields. I’m curious to see how many women have had positive experiences and have found that their gender and their sexuality hasn’t been an issue. We hear about scientists (that are women) and their achievements. But I have the opinion that there should be more promotion and positive images of female scientists in the media.
As a young woman I was inspired by stong female scientists (on TV and in books) to pursue a career in science. Positive representation of women in science is a great thing. And I wonder how many young lesbian / bi / queer / trans women out there who have an interest in science would be encouraged to pursue their dreams if they see other queer women that have done this. Maybe there is a need for lesbian scientist role models? I think there is! And discussing these issues is an initial step.
- Women in Science (sapphicscientist.wordpress.com)
- Lesbian Microbiologists (sapphicscientist.wordpress.com)
- Lesbian Scientist Role Models (sapphicscientist.wordpress.com)
- Women In Science – shy and nerdy or sexualised? (sapphicscientist.wordpress.com)
- Focus on Female Scientists (sapphicscientist.wordpress.com)