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My feelings about some of the major issues women face in science, wrapped up in one spoken word poem.

Would love to hear your interpretation of this, too.

Written August 27th, 2014

We need more voices in science
to step up in defiance for those characters
that get erased from our stories; accolades and glories granted to counterparts
as though we didn’t have the smarts to achieve
the impossible, believe in the improbable
and create the unthinkable.
It’s unthinkable to me that our hindsight is so blinded.
Turning the cheek too many times makes me think you’re shaking your head:
no, no, no.

"Hey - you look good in that dress today."
Pay no mind to the mess that comment made
of my self-confidence. It seems pretty obvious
the words they think are innocuous are noxious,
breeding doubt and insecurity, feeding bouts of fury in me
as I hear the same phrases repeated to the women in my classes,
our lab mates and the masses of budding genius minds
that yearn to focus on their hypotheses and methods
but instead they’re distracted by those words left unretracted:
"you look good in that dress today."

If you tell her that she’s pretty before you tell her that she’s smart,
don’t be startled when she starts to parcel out and pull apart
her individuality. Trading physics books for glossy magazines.
Instead of figuring fifty ways to solve differentials she’s counting up
fifty ways to potentially please her partner,
wondering - is this what is appealing? this feeling of cheapening my intelligence
because we’re terrified to be marginalized for tying to have it all,
all the while face burning, yearning tears not to drip drop while your stomach flip flops
at being called out for a love of learning.

Just between us, from one woman to another
it’ll take a while to recover while we wonder without ignorance
why there are so many instances of being told to be a mother
before we’re told to be discoverers.
And I hope in twenty years or maybe less
we’ll be blessed with plenty of reassurances that our work
is recognized for its significance, and the difference is
we’ll be standing up for our accomplishments - not alone but with accomplices within our fields.
Our fields.
And it won’t be such a novelty to be so proudly standing up for our beliefs
and our discoveries.
We need more voices in science, and not those that just say, hey-
You look good in that dress today.
------------
@ehmee
ehmeegee.tumblr.com
We need more voices in science 
to step up in defiance for those characters 
that get erased from our stories; their accolades and glories granted to counterparts 
as though they didn’t have the smarts to achieve 
the impossible, believe in the improbable 
and create the unthinkable. 
It’s unthinkable to me that our hindsight is so blinded. 
Turning the cheek too many times makes me think you’re shaking your head: 
no, no, no. 

"Hey - you look good in that dress today." 
Pay no mind to the mess that comment made 
of my self-confidence. It seems pretty obvious 
the words they think are innocuous are noxious, 
breeding doubt and insecurity, feeding bouts of fury in me 
as I hear the same phrases repeated to the women in our classes, 
our lab mates and the masses of budding genius minds 
that yearn to focus on their hypotheses and methods 
but instead they’re distracted by the words left unretracted: 
"Hey - you look good in that dress today." 

If you tell her that she’s pretty before you tell her that she’s smart, 
don’t be startled when she starts to parcel out and pull apart 
her individuality. Trading physics books for glossy magazines. 
Instead of figuring fifty ways to solve differentials, she’s puzzling out 
fifty ways to potentially please her partner, 
wondering - is this what is appealing? this feeling of cheapening my intelligence, 
because we’re terrified to be marginalized for trying to have it all, 
all the while face burning, yearning tears not to drip drop while your stomach flip flops 
at being called out for a love of learning?

Just between us, from one woman to another 
it’ll take a while to recover while we wonder without ignorance 
why there are so many instances of being told to be mothers 
before we’re told to be discoverers. 
And I hope in twenty years or maybe less 
we’ll be blessed with plenty of reassurances that our work 
is recognized for its significance, and the difference is 
we’ll be standing up for our accomplishments - not alone, but with accomplices within our fields.
Our fields. 
And it won’t be such a novelty to be so proudly standing up for our beliefs 
and our discoveries. 
We need more voices in science, and not just those that say, "Hey - 
You look good in that dress today."