A survey of 557 women scientists on gender bias →

…low numbers of women working in STEM fields isn’t solely due to a lack of candidates in the pipeline or even women who choose other careers that they feel will allow for better work-life balance. The results made it quite clear that there are five distinct issues that push women out of the field: Having to constantly prove competence, needing to be “feminine enough,” having their commitment questioned when they have children, encountering manufactured competition between women, and being socially isolated.

And, not surprisingly, women scientists of color have to also deal with specific biases linked to the combination of their race and gender.

John Spaceman and His Crewmember

16:06 PDT - April 16th, 2015

NOTE: This is unauthorized fan-fiction of Demetria’s Science fiction without the social justice.


John Spaceman leaned back in his floatchair. The condensers whirred as they picked up the shifting weight.

“You ever been a rocket ship as big and as throbbing red as one, Lieutenant… uh…”

“Astro-Draper. But you can call me Don.”

“Don Astro-Draper.”

“Yes.”

The walls of the ship throbbed exactly once. The ship was begging. Begging to leave this dusty, war-torn planet and plunge into the deep abyss of space. But first things first.

“Nice haircut, Don.”

The Lieutenant blushed. “It’s regulation, sir. Now that I have my discharge, I want to grow it long and rub grease all over it.”

Spaceman had his doubts about taking on a crew member so late into the plan. But, looking into his blue eyes and milky alabaster skin, he felt he could trust Don. He just looked safe. The kind of man that spoke your language and whom you knew would come to work on time every day. The kind of man you’d like to meet in a dark alley.

“I bet you’re gonna miss the war right? All those sweet explosions and fighter jets.”

“Yeah, war is pretty fun! I’m going to miss it.”

The loss of bone-shaking explosions in Don’s life has been hard, mmm yes, but something he was coming to grips with. What he needed now was a job with John Spaceman. Something he could get deep into and just work until his body no longer yearned for war.

Spaceman smiled and stood up. “Dude, you’re hired. But first, let’s get off this rocket ship and get some babes.”

Don heterosexually agreed.

Who Not to Photograph

17:57 PDT - March 24th, 2015

One of the things I’ve known for a long time about my photography is that I tend to shoot a lot of photos of the people I find beautiful. It’s a very subjective measure but I gravitate towards the kind of beauty that society-at-large values, whether it’s a slender woman with clear skin or a baby with a toothless grin.

While it can be a great motivator to take pictures, it’s an unflattering reflection of my own narrow-minded ideas of what sort of person is considered beautiful. More accurately, I’ve avoided photographing people that I consider “ugly” or “undesirable”.

It’s very personal who I consider ugly. Most often it’s people that remind me of the real or imagined things I hate about myself. I don’t want to relive the flaws I’ve overcome and I don’t want to confront the flaws I continue to live with. Once I see people as walking manifestations of these personal problems, I try as hard as I can to avoid staring too closely at them.

But, as part of my selfish journey to be less scornful of my own real (or perceived) flaws, I’m learning to accept others just as they are. In doing so, I’ve taken some great photos of friends that force me to look at them in a new light. I’m starting to grasp that their struggles are not mine and I don’t have a right to fault them for it. And I’m starting to grasp that I’m not the pile of human garbage that I previously thought myself to be.