Women and amateur science

Last month, Reptile Channel’s Russ Case posted a blog entry on women and reptiles — specifically, on the growing presence of women in the amateur herpetocultural community. Whereas once reptiles were “usually considered a guy thing,” Case argues,

Somewhere along the way, things changed. The next time you’re at a reptile expo, pay attention and you’ll notice just as many women wandering the aisles and enthusiastically examining the reptiles on display as there are men. And they’re not just in the aisles — you’ll see plenty of women vendors selling reptiles and amphibians, too.

It’s something I’ve noticed as well — not the trend, because even after 11 years, I haven’t been in the community long enough, or paying attention to it enough, to be aware of the trend — but the presence of women in the herp community, wrangling frogs, snakes, and lizards with the best of them, and I was aware that it was counterintuitive insofar as common sense or received wisdom was concerned. I’ve also met women who were bolder and less afraid of snakes than their male partners (which I found very interesting).

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Make model trains pink, so girls will like them

A pink GG-1 The strangest example of what Matt calls “the ‘make it pink so girls like it!’ treatment” are a pair of pink O-scale train sets — a pink GG-1 and a pink steam train — from the Williams division of Bachmann Trains that we saw (and flinched at) in the latest Micro-Mark catalogue. I’m not sure what making a GG-1 pink does, other than maintain model railroading’s male and retrograde image. How long have these been in production? Decades?

Note: Entries prior to November 2003 did not have categories assigned to them, and are not included in category archives; please consult the monthly archives.