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Astro_Baby

She is an Astronomer.....

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What's wrong with "She is an Astronomer...." ?????

if it was a bloke then it would have been "He is an Astronomer...." ?????

Surely they are stating the obvious.

People read too much into things and seem to make it their right to be offended...of which, no-one has the right to be offended, unless the offence results in physical harm :)

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What's wrong with "She is an Astronomer...." ?????

if it was a bloke then it would have been "He is an Astronomer...." ?????

Surely they are stating the obvious.

People read too much into things and seem to make it their right to be offended...of which, no-one has the right to be offended, unless the offence results in physical harm :)

I agree. Femastro sounds like medication. :)

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Regarding another members view that women tend to observe within a group rather than as a solitary activity, I wonder if that's an indictment of modern society rather than a choice that an Astronomer whether male or female would necessarily prefer.

Because let's face it there are plenty of nutters out there and even as a male, I'm not sure I would be all that comfortable on my own in a dark site with valuable astro gear.

Paranoia ? perhaps, but it's not always a nice world out there.

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My daughter would love them. Then again, she'd be very happy to have a set of pink power tools, too.

James

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Like many of you have said, it was a love of Nature that led me to astronomy, I spend a lot of time outdoors with the dog & horse, so it was natural to start looking upwards and start to wonder what that star was i was looking at. However unlike others i was never into the sciences as a child and i find that I'am more interested in stargazing and observing rather than the astro physics side of astronomy, not sure if that to do with my lack of interest in science??:)

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I'm naturally quite interested in most things 'natural', I'm as happy foraging around on a beach for fossils, fieldwalking for historical bits and pieces or watching birds or spiders or clouds as I ever could be getting my hair done and I like my own company and peace and quiet so stargazing is ideal!

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Sorry I'm getting both excited and emotional :)
No apology needed. Impressed / touched too by:

Maggie Aderin-Pocock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The very idea that female scientists EXIST (in some fields. LOL) is always encouraging. If little else, and for selfish reasons, it relieves the (slightly predictable) "mono-culture". :)

Edited by Macavity

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I am trying to resist the impulse to let go with a feminist agenda...and I think I shall :)

Edited by Astro_Baby

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I should imagine it is much the same thing that draws both men and women to astronomy. Gender is after-all a social construct and has been proved in this thread, that with enlightened parents and others it does not need to shape individuals into girls like pink and boys like blue. (A very simple example I know but so as to avoid in depth discussions. Sexual orientation is different thing, I mention this purely to avoid confusing the two.

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Lol AB - one of the most enjoyable parts of astronomy for me is that my partner is interested too and we can stargaze together.

She isn't too interested in the "scope technical" part but she loves looking, and taking/processing photos. Fortunately we both enjoy caravanning too so it's a perfect partnership, astronomically speaking lol :)

(it was me wot got her into it)

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Why did I get into Astronomy? I did all the OU geology related courses and there was one "How the Earth Works" that included the planets. I am also interested in wildlife, flora, birdwatching etc so astronomy is just an extention of those! I use my Kowa birdwatching scope to look at the sky until my Explorer 200 PDS arrives!

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Gender is as much a social construct as gravity (to paraphrase Alan Sokal: come and try outside my office window, it's on the fifth floor). I agree that there are simple biological differences which by social convention are interpreted as meaning that women are better at certain things than men and vice-versa. These social conventions are the social construct, not gender itself. For example, it is a simple biological fact that men are physically bigger and stronger than women ON AVERAGE. This does not mean there exist many women who could take me to the cleaners in many feats of strength (and I am about 5'11" and fairly strongly built). The problem arises when people start attaching importance to this social construct. Any social construct that gets in the way of people doing fun things that cause no harm should be removed.

One biological fact which certainly affects my wife's appreciation of the stars is that she is FAR more sensitive to cold than I am (even in winter I still just wear a T-shirt). In my experience, I have met very few women who tolerate cold well (but I do not doubt there are many exceptions), but quite a number of men, which is odd, because the (generally) thinner layer of subcutaneous fat in men should provide less insulation.

I think tolerance to cold is NOT simply acquired through learning, because my eldest son is largely impervious to cold (like me) whereas the youngest is much more like my wife. The difference is really striking. I cannot say we raise them differently.

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I got into astronomy last year after dragging everyone outside to watch a meteor shower, it's something I have always been interested in but never got around to learning anything about (kids, work, horses taking up all my time) however i now find myself at home with a two year old all day and need to do something to keep the brain cells active after a day of watching cbeebies! So astronomy is a perfaect hobby for me, the little one is in bed and my lovely hubby bought me a fantastic scope for xmas, which he carries outside for me (these things are blumming enormous) and likes to set up as he likes the gagety side of it, and I show him all the cool stuff up there

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I got into astronomy last year after dragging everyone outside to watch a meteor shower, it's something I have always been interested in but never got around to learning anything about (kids, work, horses taking up all my time) however i now find myself at home with a two year old all day and need to do something to keep the brain cells active after a day of watching cbeebies! So astronomy is a perfaect hobby for me, the little one is in bed and my lovely hubby bought me a fantastic scope for xmas, which he carries outside for me (these things are blumming enormous) and likes to set up as he likes the gagety side of it, and I show him all the cool stuff up there

Neat partnership!

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Biological differences have nothing to do with gender. I know plenty of women who don't get cold. I might view myself as gender neutral.

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Biological differences have nothing to do with gender. I know plenty of women who don't get cold. I might view myself as gender neutral.

I suppose this is a matter of definition of "gender" (words are notorious ambiguous labels for the concepts behind them, depending on the social group you use them in).

Regarding tolerance to cold, maybe many men don't want to admit they are cold for fear of being called sissies :), and women (sensibly) have not been indoctrinated in this way

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Heather couper ring a bell? a female astronomer that was on TV quite abit in regards with atsronomy in the 80's.

my daughter is very interested in astronomy, and i've never really thought of it as a male hobby to be honest with you. Now she's only seven, so i can't actually say what's she's going to be interested in when she's an adult, but so far she's shown she's very interested, and luckily i'm able to help her with her continous questions.

She shocks me sometimes with how much information she actually knows at such a young age such as gravitational pull etc. It just shows you how much kids are willing to learn when they are interested in what they're getting taught.

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I have always been interested in how stuff works, maths, and logic problems etc, so perhaps I'm more 'male' brained, in the traditional sense. I chose to study science with the OU as a mature student and after finishing my degree I wasn't sure what I fancied studying next. My <male> best friend suggested I could try astronomy. I suppose I always felt it was so huge and distant/untouchable that I wouldn't enjoy it. As it happens a planetary science course has led to an astronomy course, a week residential and now I have a telescope to see some of the amazing things I've been learning about.

My mum is a maths brained lady so perhaps that's partly where it comes from- but she'd rather watch paint dry than study science or look at the stars! My partner came out for a peep at Saturn the other night- but was soon inside again. I think he's likely to enjoy looking a bit but there's no way he'll come out and join in.

I do get cold but I'm already planning to get some pocket warmers and a supply of brews to combat that!

So, in the end it was a male astronomy friend that persuaded me to give at least the courses a try. Maybe women just need to have the opportunity... (I know at least as many men who aren't interested as women!)

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I'm dismayed that somehow astronomy is seen as a male thing by many men and women. Very obviously not by all, let me stress! I can't for the life of me see why it should have any gender bias at all.

In another life I'm working on a children's book about astronomy and the central character is a girl who meets the night sky on holiday. That she be a girl is not something I worked out rationally, it just seemed right. Even inevitable.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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I don't think astronomy is seen as a male thing it just seems to attract more men than women. That being so one can't help wonder that there must be a psychological aspect to it, whether that be a socio/gender construct or some inherent aspect of human psychology is hard to say but it is interesting to note that a few of the women in this thread have indicated they were in a more gender neutral environment whilst growing up.

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I think unfortunately astronomy, as with most sciences is viewed as having quite a high 'geek' quota.

And in my experience girls on average seem to have a greater aversion to associating themselves with things that are perceived to be geeky. Unfortunately this includes me, of course :)

I would be interested to see some statistics actually. I'm sure it's more a sociological reason than anything else.

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I think I would be liked by feminists a lot for the fact that 'she' is an astronomer, jet pilot, car mechanic etc is really the last thing that crosses my mind... in fact had it not been mentioned by the OP I would have never even thought about that...

I'm a man, and I'm proud of thinking this way...

...Now, give me a medal :)

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Where's the female Brian Cox? | Alom Shaha | Science | guardian.co.uk Hmmm... :)

Or Maybe:

WISE - Women into Science, Engineering and Construction.

has the (more) practical answers.

The temptation is to cease to care. Especially if you're assumed to be a retro-sexual,

(on the general internet!) by accident of being from some... previous generation. :p

Edited by Macavity

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