Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

One of the science pages I follow on Facebook, Trust Me, I’m a “Biologist” shared this awesome picture the other day. I just love it. I’ve admired the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ motif / image since high school history. This picture uses this image and has replaced the wrench with a pipettor, an instrument used in chemistry and biological laboratories to measure and dispense small quantities of liquid such 1 or 100 microlitres. This picture speaks to me. Feminism, science, pride in being a scientist (specifically a biomedical scientist). Quite simply, cool.



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Not science related, but a personal and feminist perspective on Playboy Magazine. A bit of self promotion!

Lipstick On My Lab Coat

I was in two minds over clicking the ‘like’ button on the Facebook page of Playboy Magazine a few weeks ago. On one hand, I like how women are depicted in the magazine and its presentation. On the other hand, as a feminist, I am opposed to the objectification of women for men that appears to be presented by the magazine.

I like the style of photography and presentation of the magazine. There is a classiness to it as opposed to other more pornographic mens magazines. I am a big fan and greater admirer of some of the Pin-Up girl artists who have contributed to the magazine over the years (Alberto Vargas and Olivia De Berardinis). These artists speak of pure admiration and wonder at the beauty of the female form, and present their work in this way. No exploitation or degradation.

I also like the fact that when the…

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Time to celebrate WOMEN and ALL our achievements. I’ll be thinking of all the women in science, engineering, technology and mathematics and their determination, professionalism and accomplishments. WOMEN are AWESOME!

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Margaret Thatcher, a chemist, lawyer, politican and prime minister of Britain for 11 years, had strawberry blonde hair. So who says blondes are dumb and ditzy! I used to feel strange having long blonde hair and studying science. What did people think of me? I didn’t want to be seen as a ‘dumb blonde’. I been teased in high school about my hair colour and what that implied. I didn’t have that at uni thank god. When I was halfway through my PhD (I finished it as a MPhil – Master of Philosophy), I finally made the leap and died my hair red. I’d wanted to for a while – I liked the fiery and passionate nature it implied, my favourite actress Rita Hayworth had red hair (dyed) and I never thought being blonde was really me. And I was making a statement against all those who wanted to be blonde – I was blonde and didn’t want to be! So I have had red/strawberry blonde hair since and it suits me and its as though I should have been born a red-head with my colouring and passionate nature. I’m no longer blonde haired, but I still believe society should stop ridiculing blondes for being dumb. And isnt it rather strange and ironic that so many women want to be blonde and it is seen as a sexualised and pornographic ideal when blondes are ridiculed for being dumb, ditzy and incompetent?

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I’m a red lipstick wearing, pin-up girl loving alternative feminist, scientist and writer. I’m out and proud about my sexuality. I am engaged to my wonderful girlfriend of fours years. I love pin-up girls of the 1940’s & 1950’s, particularly the alluring mixture of beauty, subtle sexuality, femininity and confidence. I also admire burlesque (including retro style burlesque) and the Rockabilly culture. I like also the fashion and style of the 40’s & 50’s along with alternative fashion. I’m also a feminist who stands for many ideals including – equal rights, human & civil rights, animal rights, socialism, environmentalism & conservation, social justice, acceptance of all people, the end of war and violence and encouragement of scientific, health & medical research. Professionally I am a scientist and former research student (in medical/health research) and I aspire to become a fully fledged science, health and medical writer. My dream is to write about science for a female audience and specifically a lesbian/bisexual/queer/transgendered audience. In this blog I wish to explore being a lesbian scientist along with my other diverse interests.

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As an original and retro styled pin-up girl fan and a scientist, I think it would great to have scientist pin-up girls. Empowered, intelligent, lady scientists with retro styled fashion and make-up. Oh, red lipstick would look a treat with a crisp white lab coat and funky sneakers! As a sex positive feminist, lesbian and an empowered woman who is proud of her female and lesbian sexuality and her intellect and scientific abilities, I think this would be so fun, empowering and a chance to express science and sexuality. I’d promote this and join in. Maybe this would also help get a lesbian audience interested in science and the achievements of female scientists, all but in a kind of around about way. Bring on the retro styled lady scientist pin-ups!

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It’s a simple fact – sex sells and promotes. You pick up a lesbian magazine and there is a certain amount of ‘sex’ and sexy women (including real lesbians) used to promote and symbolize and ‘speak’ to a lesbian audience of an event, movie, book or sex toy. But i also think that young lesbian women view this in a certain way – from an empowered, feminist, sex positive, non-exploitative way. They recognise the sexiness of the woman, but also see her as a fellow woman, not just an object of sexual gratification. I do think there is fine line between objectification & trivialization and empowered sexuality in making science sexy (in the form of sexy female scientists) for a lesbian audience. But I believe it can be done and be used as a tool to encourage more women, and particularly lesbian women to be interested in science. Could an image or a number of images of sexy, intelligent, empowered young female (including lesbian and bisexual) scientists be all it takes? Female scientists in lab coats, latex gloves and closed in shoes (the slightly uunsexy stark reality of working in a lab)? As a lesbian scientist I’d have to say this would spark my interest and I’d want to read more.

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