Women need to be beautiful

Every STEM field is still sexist. Women make less money, get fewer promotions and must look nice. If you want to know about the state of women in STEM fields. You can look at this executive summary from the U.S. department of commerce. Women are still behind the men. I’m going to take that aspect as a given for now.  I want to talk about beautiful female mathematicians.

Here is an interesting article on The New Inquiry shared by a colleague of mine from University of Minnesota. Basically the article makes the (accurate) point that men in mathematics can look like slobs and they are deemed “brilliant” but the brilliant women must also shower and look nice to be thought of as intelligent. Namely, if a woman doesn’t bathe, she is just a slob and not brilliant. So, in mathematics, such requirements (that a women must be, at some level, beautiful before she can be a mathematician) are going strong. This is a disappointing state of affairs.

My response to this particular article is, “Why can’t everyone just learn to bathe? Why are women demanding the right to not bathe when they could just be trying to demand that men do bathe?”  Perhaps the most efficient thing we can do as women in math is to peer pressure the men who are not trying. At the risk of sounding shallow: I’d rather that everyone showered regularly and the men picked up their slack than for the women to drop their clean/fashionable habits.

“The Great Bath in Bath.” By Steve Cadman, via Wikimedia Commons


About Samantha from SocialMath

Applied Mathematician and writer of socialmathematics.net.
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