Sexism

Feds Give University of Michigan $500,000 to Watch for Male Students Committing Microaggressions

Is sexism driving away female engineers? Can this study possibly tell?

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Engineer
Dreamstime

The University of Michigan is conducting a study on male engineering students to determine whether their unconscious biases—microaggressions—are driving women out of the field. The study is funded via the National Science Foundation, which means taxpayers coughed up more than $500,000 for it. 

Men are more likely than women to go into engineering, and researchers want to know if sexism plays a role in that. This study involves male engineering students being recorded while they interact with their female counterparts. Researchers will then watch the tapes and make a note of any microaggressions. 

From the abstract, courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon's Elizabeth Harrington

The goal of Study One is to identify the specific types of microaggressions (e.g., ignoring women's contributions or assigning women to less important tasks) occurring in videotaped laboratory-based engineering teams. Researchers will develop a reliable microaggressions assessment procedure, and will analyze effects on engineering outcomes (learning, performance, and persistence). In Study Two, the lab-based data will be supplemented with qualitative data reported by students who previously participated in an engineering student group project, via student focus groups. Study Three will examine the influence of microaggressions occurring in class-based teams on engineering outcomes over time. 

The issue that I see is this: microaggressions are inherently subjective. Something that offends one person might not bother another at all. Furthermore, how will researchers be able to tell whether a woman is being assigned a "less important task" because she is a woman and the male engineer a sexist? I'm sure that happens—there are sexist engineers, certainly—but it's probably sometimes the case that a person is assigned a less important task because she—or he—is best qualified for that task. 

[Related: This University of Oregon Study on Feminizing Glaciers Might Make You Root for Trump] 

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  1. This.

    This is not good.

    1. Agreed. The article didn’t mention Trumpo once.

      1. Damn this lack of an edit button!

        1. It’s ok, Derp. We won’t judge you too much for this travesty.
          *pats back*

        2. *judges harshly*

          YOU HAVE BEEN WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE, AND FOUND WANTING!
          YOUR PENALTY IS….to remain part of the commentariat here!

          *waits for condemned’s tears*

        3. Is Trumpo the fifth Marx Brother?

          1. He’s the Social Scientist of the bunch.

    2. They could have saved $ 499,500 by funding a nanoagression watch instead.

  2. Wake me up when they fund half million dollar studies to figure out if unconscious bias is what keeps men out of teaching and other chick-heavy degree programs.

    1. Sure it is – men don’t get the luxury of waiting around to get their MRS degrees, so they have to get into more successful careers earlier.

      And a male teacher will automatically be regarded as a possible child molester, even though chick teachers have sex with their students just as often.

      You can make that check out to lulztopian…that’s L-U-L-Z….

      1. Sure it is – men don’t get the luxury of waiting around to get their MRS degrees, so they have to get into more successful careers earlier.

        Talk about lulz. Are you suggesting that a union-dominated profession that has extracted big bucks from states for part-time work is not a successful career?

    2. I bet it’s the lack of scholarships specifically dedicated to “Men in Teaching”.

    3. Pretty sure my degree program was mostly chicks (international relations). The dudes in the program were akin to the squishy SJW Occupy nowadays. Except for the foreign dudes. They all just got their degrees for show, and then went to work in daddy’s bank or export business.

  3. Men are more likely than women to go into engineering, and researchers want to know if sexism plays a role in that.

    The answer is no.

    Give me the $500,000.

    1. That’s not the answer they are looking for.

      1. Yes. Can I get the cash now?

        1. First you have to come up with some BS pseudo scientific bullshit study to “prove” it. Then you can take the grant money, blow it all on hookers and blackjack, and then make some shit up when it comes time to report your “findings”. Isn’t that the scientific process?

          1. If I can get a consensus on the answer will that suffice for scientific modeling?

  4. Is she taking money out of an ATM to go shopping?

    1. No, that expression is a classic “I have no idea what I’m doing” nervous smile.

    2. ATM, taxpayer. Tomayto, tomahto.

    3. That’s a science machine, damn you. She’s sciencing.

      1. She is sciencing the shit out of that machine!

        1. I have it on good authority that “she” identifies as male, you Cis-Lords.

          (Of course, now the female students who identify as female who share classes with “her” can report “her” for microaggressions whenever “she” outperforms them/gets better assignments.)

          1. Xe fucking loves science!

        2. I wouldn’t mind giving her a bit of my science…

          1. Hath she blinded you, forsooth, with Science?

            1. You really shouldn’t point that at your face

  5. We simply know that women are not good engineers. What could sexism possibly have anything to do with that?

      1. “Give me a smile, Baby!”

    1. Is the “problem” that women are leaving engineering once they’re in? If not, then what could this study possibly show?

      Out of my ChemE class, there were five women and about 25 men (the highest ratio in the school). The women all chose to do research during the summers, rather than internships in dirty factories and industrial plants. None-the-less, they still got high-paying offers, despite mediocre grades. I was told by one company that they wanted to hire women because the mechanics would do whatever the women asked. Is that the discrimination they’re talking about?

      1. My wife, an Aerospace Engineering major, was once offered an entry level job for an Electrical Engineering position involving a large amount of coding as well when she first graduated. There was a dude who was a EE/ Comp Sci double major who interviewed for the same job and didn’t get it. She turned the job down, and asked the HR rep she was talking to point blank: “Why did you offer me this job? I don’t even have the right degree for it, when [dude’s name here] has the ideal degrees for this.” The HR rep actually admitted that they only offered the job because they needed a woman and assumed they could train her.

        Also, she had a job lined up in less than a month post graduation despite having a slightly less then 3.0 GPA. I knew some guys who had GPA’s above 3.0 who took 6+ months to get their first job offers.

        Yeah, womyn are totally discriminated against.

        1. You know, anecdotes are totally as valid as data. I once used an anecdote to prove a point, and it turned out I was right!

          1. Yes, it was just an anecdote you fucking dolt. I never said or even implied it “proved” anything. Now run along and play hide and go fuck yourself. Shithead..

            1. how many anecdotes does it take to confirm a theory? one, two, three, we have at least two here and I’m sure their are more. Sounds like a confirmed theory to me since it does make up a consensus of the commenters here. What more could be needed?

              1. None other than Nobel Prize Laureate Krugnuts said enough anecdote = data. Therefore it’s true at the 95% confidence level plus/minus 1% bitches!

                1. Bullshit. Using that criteria, the worlds religions are all true. All their evidence is anecdotal in nature.

  6. Do you guys still refer to male and female plugs?

    1. All the plugs are called Beverly.

    2. No, they’ve introduced a spectrum of connectors, now nothing hooks up with anything else.

      1. An asexual plug is just a wire with nothing at the end.

        1. Stop othering the lab equipment!!!

        2. wouldn’t that make it a ring or are both ends infinitely far apart?

      2. Hermaphroditic plugs. That way no one gets triggered.

    3. I don’t think engineers ever deal with mundane devices like plugs.

      They do have master-slave flip-flops though. Or at least they did recently. Can’t imagine that lasting much longer.

      1. “I don’t think engineers ever deal with mundane devices like plugs.”

        Well, pardon *me,* Your Majesty!

        1. I’ll have to tell the electrical engineers, they didn’t get that memo.

          1. Like fucking spark chasers even count. /AE snob

    4. In my field (electronics), the plug is always male. The female is the receptacle. Just saying.

      1. “Cis-hetero shitlordism in Engineering Education and its Intersection with Workplace Heteronormativity”

    5. Palin’s Buttplug is a male receptacle.

  7. The study is funded via the National Science Foundation

    Those poindexter-crats can burn on a pyre of university press books.

    1. The National Science Foundation, proving once and for all that no organization is immune to emotional manipulation.

      “We don’t think 500,000 dollars is necessary to determine if women have thin skin.”
      “What the fuck did you just say, you sexist?”
      “I mean, well shit ladies, these dudes in these labs, they are often very socially isolated. They are going to be blunt, crass, rude, or even mean, and definitely that way to each other. We need their research; and more importantly, we need their minds.”
      “Fuck you, you patriarchal shitlord. You, the National Science Foundation, are the reason women are oppressed.”
      “But, they really aren’t; not here in America, surely?”
      “Don’t make me get on Twitter.”
      “Fine. We’ll play your gambit. What if the study is inconclusive or opposite what you expect?”
      “It can’t be. The study would have probably then been done incorrectly.”
      “I see.”

      1. The NSF did just give me girlfriend a fellowship for her biochemistry PhD, with her acceptance letter largely talking about her volunteering with girls in STEM events.

        1. If only they had given me a fellowship in English! Or EDIT BUTTON

          1. I just assumed you typing in a cockney accent:

            e.g.: “The NSF did just give me girlfriend a fellowship, gov’ner!”

            1. I read it that way too. It helps to imagine Auric’s girlfriend as a red-haired Scottish lass.

              1. Aye, laddie!

      2. The NSF paid for the gender-glacier-ice study thingie form a couple weeks ago.

  8. Engineer me a sandwich.

    1. You just made 10 women switch from engineering to stripping. I hope you’re happy.

      1. Whether or not Idle is happy, Crusty sure is!

    2. In 1984, women accounted for like 40 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computer science, now it’s less than 20 percent.

      So, if they do the study and find a causal link between sexism and female participation in STEM fields, do we bring back the rampant sexism of the 80s in order to get the numbers up?

      Hopefully we could get back to a place where a woman in a male-dominated field is kinda asking for it.

    3. Engineer me a sandwich

      I hate to go all Nikki here but the noun as used here is more properly expressed as “sammich”.

      Pro Tip: For computer engineers use “Sudo make me a sammich”.

      You’re welcome.

      1. Sudo me an education.

      2. For computer engineers use “Sudo make me a sammich”

        Without a Makefile defining targets “me”, “a”, and “sammich”, you won’t be getting anything at all.

        1. Nerd.

          /secretly sad that kbolino knows how do chat up the chicks better

        2. Wrong, you’ll get an error message:

          make: Fatal error: Don’t know how to make target `me’

          1. Funny, I get

            make: *** No rule to make target `me’. Stop.

            1. “I am sorry Mr. Drew, I am afraid I can’t do that.”

              /HAL9000

              1. It should be “SAL9000”.*

                *In the “2010” book SAL is a counterpart to HAL that Dr. Chandra tests to figure out what might have happened to HAL before you going on the Discovery recovery mission.

  9. Why is it not a microaggression against federal taxpayers for wasting $500 K of their money on this crap?

    1. … their money…

      Ah. I think I see the problem.

      1. Crap.

        You don’t think male engineers are the reason women don’t go into STEM? What makes you think that?

        1. “Government be shoppin'” is what I was actually going for but yeah, this sounds fun too.

          I am entirely in favor of discovering why women don’t go into STEM, and think it not only reasonable but eminently logical that the best way to do this is not to ask the women, but to study men.

          1. … but to study men.

            Tonio’s already on the job, and we don’t need to pay him $500,000 since he’s doing it pro bono.

            1. Heh heh…you said bono.

              1. Not just “bono”, but pro bono!

                *somewhere Tonio blushes with pride*

    2. That’s just a regular aggression…

  10. Just a wild speculation, but my guess is that most female engineers are used to & prepared for life in a male-dominated workplace and are too focused on, you know, engineering, to worry about social fucking justice.

    1. Depends on why they are doing it. The girls who went in because they are good at math and like solving problems don’t care, but the girls that are doing it because daddy wants them to grow up to be just like him are much more likely to exploit the gender ratios to get someone else to do their homework.

      1. You are truly a sage, Tulpy-Poo. How do you not have an advice column called “Dear Shitstain”?

        1. What is the Illocust=Tulpa theory?

          1. I apparently made some posts that sounded off a month back or so. OMWC decided this fit a pattern with Tulpa getting bored with his socks. I’ve been getting called Tulpa ever since.

            1. Same thing happened to me with another commenter accusing me of being Tulpa. He apparently didn’t realize I’ve been posting here for about ten years under this same name.

              Tulpa’s the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Reason forums. Whenever a slightly unpopular opinion is expressed, it must be Tulpa to blame. If anyone says they’re not Tulpa, they’re definitely Tulpa.

              1. Oh, I realize that. There is a reason I don’t respond to the accusations, but do respond to questions about it. Pretty much everyone has figured out it’s ridiculous by now, but it’ll be a couple months before the new Tulpa is ‘discovered’.

                1. Smart way to handle it. If someone’s persistent and annoying about it, I might tell them to go fuck themselves with their tin-foil hat, but it’s probably not a better approach than yours.

            1. Chrysalis or tulpa.

      2. exploit the gender ratios to get someone else to do their homework

        That’s . . . abstract.

        1. My sarc meter is broken beyond repair. Are you serious?

          1. That’s been going around. “These masturbation euphemisms are getting really abstract.” You might have missed it.

            1. Ah gotcha, yep I missed that new meme.

      3. “the girls that are doing it because daddy wants them to grow up to be just like him are much more likely to exploit the gender ratios to get someone else to do their homework.”

        I seriously doubt these people exist in large enough numbers for it to matter. I knew multiple female engineering students in college and 0 were as you describe.

        1. Just leave it alone, Irish. In Tulpa’s mind, that’s the premise of a porno.

          1. “Oh, who are you?”

            “I’m here to engineer the photocopier.”

            “Did your daddy send you?”

            “He sure did. He sent me for sex.”

            “I can calculate pi the nearest sex. Take off your pants and science coat.”

          2. If you try to go into any decent engineering program without being good at it or having an interest in it, you’ll wash out pretty quickly. I was a roommate with several engineers and they spent a lot more time studying than I did. Even if you had someone doing your homework for you, you’d fail all the tests.

            1. Once out of the first two years, a good portion of your grade becomes project dependent. Get great scores on homework and projects and your test scores can be bottom barrel but you’ll still get by. Yes, a lot of this is school dependent. Different schools will be more or less exploitable.

              1. This is not true at any ABET-accredited program I know of. I don’t know any school where exams don’t dominate the grades and, therefore, where the posers aren’t gone by the middle of sophomore year.

                But part of the issue might be what we are calling “engineers.”

                1. I went to George Washington University. These girls exist and they graduate.

                2. I don’t know any school where exams don’t dominate the grades and, therefore, where the posers aren’t gone by the middle of sophomore year.

                  I’ll say that there are ethnic exceptions. There were a couple ethnicities that tended to stay in insular groups and tended to also have advance knowledge of what was going to be on the exam (from the TA of similar ethnicity). Typically their abysmal understanding of the actual concepts would catch up with them, but they certainly had an advantage walking into the exam room.

                  The highest achieving foreign students were the ones who broke out of their ethnic enclave and made friends with everybody else. They were forced to actually learn the concepts rather than just group draft the homework and cheat on the exams. They were the ones who ended up in grad school.

            2. Lol not really.

              I was a physics major and spent more time on IRC than doing homework and still pulled a 3.65 GPA, and 3.8 in my major. Had I actually been studying something easy like EE I’d have slept my way to a 3.95 GPA.

              Engineering is hard but it isn’t that hard

              *Note, I didn’t go straight to college out of High School, I did a tour in the Air Force as an avionics tech and grew up in a family that owned a small electronics company, I literally started assembling PC boards by hand for money when I was 10 years old and by the time I went to college had close to a decades experience working in the electronics field along with roughly an ASEE’s worth of education from the AF

        2. You probably didn’t look like an easy enough target to catch their attention. They are annoying as hell. Don’t understand why skipping straight to the answers without the work is going to fuck them over long term, and for some god awful reason they tend to be the types convinced that all women are BFF’s based on gender alone. The only saving grace is they seem to tend towards non-engineering jobs after graduation, so once out in the real world you don’t have to deal with them anymore.

          1. The only saving grace is they seem to tend towards non-engineering jobs after graduation

            IOW, a lot of them end up going into Project Management or finance. After they’ve had time to forget what little engineering knowledge made it into their thick skulls during college. Not that that will stop them from reminding everyone that they “have an engineering degree too, so don’t you fucking tell me that these requirements are impossible to meet!”

          2. You probably didn’t look like an easy enough target to catch their attention.

            I once walked in at the end of a women in engineering meeting to meet with a friend. Can you say meat market?? Holy female gaze, Batman!

            Don’t understand why skipping straight to the answers without the work is going to fuck them over long term, and for some god awful reason they tend to be the types convinced that all women are BFF’s based on gender alone.

            My experience is that most of those types washed out during freshman year. The way Purdue had it set up, most of the weed-out classes were freshman year before you had to choose your actual major, and they were almost entirely exam based. The “coasters” simply didn’t make the GPA cutoff to get into their major, or they decided they were too close to the cutoff to spend 3 years as a bottom feeder.

            I can think of one glaring exception, and she was notorious for getting nerds’ V-cards. I don’t think she explicitly set up a sex-for-homework scheme, but I know that she never had to worry about getting her homework done.

    2. There are two ironies at play that the people backing this study will go to great lengths to deny.

      First – the peak of women in STEM was during the 1980s, then third wave feminism came along and the numbers dropped as the complaining rose.

      Second – There are higher rates of women in STEM in very partiarchical societies (ie iran, india) than in the west. There is, in fact, an inverse relationship between the economic freedom to choose and the number of women in STEM. ie, if they don’t have to do it to make enough money to get by, they opt out.

      These correlations are just that, but both of them say that it’s not the male engineers driving the women out.

      On an anecdotal level, having gone to a tech school, engineering students are the least likely to want to drive women off, due to their rarity.

      1. Probably helps that engineering has a right and wrong answer that’s verifiable by everyone in the room. Your solution is either the best option or it isn’t, your popularity won’t affect that. Good place to go in a society that doesn’t give you much social power in the work place.

        1. Yeah, the self-esteem movement – otherwise known as third-wave feminism – in K-12 pretty much shits all over STEM. Add in Common Core’s idiotic approach to what used to be simple mathematics and we’re basically doing everything we can to discourage kids from STEM.

      2. Ack! Refresh.

      3. Undergrad would have been insufferable if my school didn’t also have a large nursing program.

      4. When I was in college a rather pretty underclasswoman came into our engineering society student chapter meeting on officer election day. She got nominated and and elected an officer because nearly every guy in The room wanted to make sure she came to future meetings.

        Though, as I recall, the office she was elected to was “Secretary”. Was that bad?

        1. the office she was elected to was “Secretary”. Was that bad?

          Yes. Every one of you cis-hetero shitlords will burn in proggie hell for that.

        2. Though, as I recall, the office she was elected to was “Secretary”. Was that bad?

          That’s hot.

      5. “On an anecdotal level, having gone to a tech school, engineering students are the least likely to want to drive women off, due to their rarity.”

        There is a distinct possibility that the engineering students least likely to *want* to drive women off are actually driving women off with microagressions like pandering and supplication.

    3. This is purely anecdotal, but that’s been my observation. I’ve been in the software industry for 30 years, and I’ve worked with female engineers, including having them as bosses up to the VP level. The successful ones were, as you say, focused on engineering and really didn’t give a flying fuck about “microaggression”. They were able to both dish it out and take it.

      Interestingly, they did all this without sacrificing their femininity. They don’t have to be butch assholes to succeed; they just have to be good at their jobs. Oddly, that’s how it works for men too. How ’bout that social justice?

      1. they just have to be good at their jobs. Oddly, that’s how it works for men too.

        Yup. I worked with female savants, female journeymenwomyn, and female slackers when I did software. By and large, they were treated very similarly to the male savants, male journeymen, and male slackers, except by HR. The women would be first in line for voluntary retirement and last in line for required layoffs. Inside the actual engineering teams, there was really no difference.

        Law is so different. Every firm wants their diversity statistics for their new incoming class to be just perfect. However, when the rubber meets the road (partnership consideration), you see the interest in diversity fly out the door. Well over half of the associates I work with are female or non-white. Less than 10% of the partners are anything but white males.

        1. That’s because diversity is a great thing to which to pay lip service, because it makes the leadership seem sensitive and caring. Until the decision-making lip servicers get their own compensation endangered, then it’s a threat.

          Personally all I ever cared about in my workplace is that you’re rewarded for the quality and quantity of work you produce, and removed if you contribute neither.

  11. when is it time to engineer the laundry?

    check your pants. if there’s a male plug, then it’s not time.

    1. My squeeze left a pair of boxers on my floor, then left for a multi-week road trip.

      Guess where the boxers are now? *cough*landfill*cough*

  12. Will the students know they are being taped? Will they be able to opt out of the experiment? If they do know they are being taped won’t that alter their behavior, making the study useless?

    1. +1 quantum engineer

    2. That assumes a level of usefulness to start with.

      1. Yep, I doubt the usefulness of the study changes based on that factor.

  13. Next time I bump into our 40-year-old vice president of engineering, I’ll have to ask how she overcame the constant microaggressions in the engineering work place.

    1. Yeah, say hit to Marshal Petain for me.

      False-consciousness-having woman.

      /sarc

      1. Yeah. Why not Full President, and Rick Heineberger, in a small font, in Jokerman font, Viss President?

      2. She’s been VP for less than a year. I figure she’ll be CEO by time I retire.

    2. Well, that’s sounds way microaggressive.

      1. I know. I am almost afraid to speak to her.

  14. I have two female cousins who went into engineering and I don’t think either of them would even recognize a microagression, much less be offended by it

    1. They could look in their microscopes.

      1. Microscopes can only see things that are real.

      2. Digital calipers for measuring microaggressions.

        *rushes to patent office*

        1. wouldn’t that just be, like, normal digital calipers? or are they Plankian in dimension?

    2. have two female cousins who went into engineering and I don’t think either of them would even recognize a microagression, much less be offended by it

      You have not gotten nearly enough praise for getting pregnant and continuing that family line.

  15. The outcome of the study is baked into its premise.

    What a load of horseshit.

    1. “And, hey, sweetheart, speaking of baking, could you bring some of your famous apple pie to the next departmental picnic?”

      “Pssst…sir…the cameras are still on…”

      “Uh, uh, ‘apple pie’ is just internal technical jargon for, like, superconductors, or something.”

      1. ‘apple pi’ is the estimated value of pi used in the iPhone.

        1. It’s Apple’s version of the Raspberry Pi. Sleek, elegant, six times as expensive, and locked down.

    2. They couldn’t get into the school of engineering on brains, so they’re using brawn.

  16. Lemme tell ya, it was fuckin great being the only dude in my college art class!

    And I ain’t not no faggot either.

    1. You talk like a faggot, and your shit’s all retarded.

      1. Why are my balls sore all of a sudden?

    2. You’re not gay but your boyfriend is.

  17. The University of Michigan is conducting a study on male engineering students to determine whether their unconscious biases?microaggressions?are driving women out of the field.

    I @*#$&!@*($ LOVE Science

    “the men are using their unconscious brains to oppress womens!! ITS A STUDY!!”

  18. Remember, it’s wrong to blame the victim for acts of microagression. Even if she was quite, said she didn’t care if she created the powerpoint slides, and didn’t volunteer for any other duties related to the engineering project.

    1. It would be funny to see what these guys would think of my senior design project. Me and the other guy just did labor while most the design work and programming was done by the third member of our team. He knew what he was doing, so I wasn’t going to object (though I did make sure to get a full understanding of what he was doing. Guy had a nasty habit of getting sick for a month at the end of the semester and leaving his team high and dry).

      1. Guy had a nasty habit of getting sick for a month at the end of the semester

        Sounds like he was putting too much on his plate.

        1. I think he had some sort of immune system issue. The crap he’d come down with is stuff like vomiting blood and getting hospitalized. Once I figured it out, I just made sure to get copies of everything he was doing and had a game plan for finishing everything if he up and disappeared (he was also uncontactable whenever this stuff happened).

          He more than made up for it when he was there, though. He was a great guy and one of the smartest people in the room.

    2. I worked on a team with another male and two female engineers for my senior project. I have nothing against the two ladies at all but the role breakdown was pretty damn stereotypical. The guys did 95% of the technical calculations and the girls did 80+% of the supplemental work like report writing and hazard mitigation.

  19. Idiots. They should count the “microaggressions” men hurl (well, that’s not dramatic enough) at men.

    Men deal with dominance hierarchies, men attack each other, they are rude, they reconcile. It doesn’t quite work that way with women. (Will add references to Joyce Benenson, later.)

    1. Micro?

      If you wrote down all the things my coworkers and I say to each other during a given day, you’d think we hated each other. It’s at least 50% insults, even the work-related stuff.

      1. I told my boss that when her water broke “her vagina puked all over the office floor.”

        1. I told my boss that when her water broke “her vagina puked all over the office floor.”

          A five-year old couldn’t have done that better. Well, unless he wasn’t hit on the head recently.

    2. My theory:

      [Warning: gross generalizations follow. The presence of individual exceptions is acknowledged.]

      Men are better at compartmentalizing. They don’t take work stuff nearly as personally as women do. When men lose an argument at work, they are better at moving on. Women tend to view it as a personal issue, and hang onto it much longer.

      1. It used to be common sense that men were goal oriented and women were relationship oriented (obvious caveats apply here). It stirs up a shitstorm to say such things these days.

      2. yeah I’ve run into this at work. Shoot down a woman’s software change proposal and I’m on her shit list – mortal enemy territory. Do the same to a guy and he just shrugs it off. “Well it was just an idea”

        1. Well, it might help if you didn’t say “Hush now, men are talking”

          1. You mean it’s not okay to tell her to “go run your widdle sowftware on your femputer.”??? Now I understand patriarchy!

        2. Do you follow up with an exasperate sigh and ask a male colleague when the secretaries got so uppity?

          Apparently, they don’t like that…

          1. Hey, I’m just sayin’ is all.

            True facts:

            I’ve had more chicks than dudes for bosses. My worst bosses have been dudes. My two best bosses were one each.

            I’ve fired, by a narrow margin, more dudes than chicks.

      1. Lack of nuance due to time-constraints, and mood.

  20. Researchers will develop a reliable microaggressions assessment procedure

    i.e. preconceived judgements about behavior…

    and will analyze effects on engineering outcomes (learning, performance, and persistence).

    …and then impose a facile correlation!

    “Why didn’t she score higher on the test?””
    “” DID YOU SEE HOW JIMMY WAS LOOKING AT HER?? UGH”

    Something that offends one person might not bother another at all.

    Ugh. Educate yourself, Robby!!

  21. When I was in engineering school we gladly would have welcomed more women. That nerd desperation might have been enough to drive the women away.

    1. Ooh, that smell
      Can’t you smell that smell?
      Ooh, that smell
      The smell of death surrounds you, yeah

  22. Is sexism driving away female engineers?

    No, it’s the fact that you have to be good at higher math and science. Real science, which has nothing to do with how much one “Fucking Loves Science.” /sexist

    1. You’re saying that this “real science” of which you speak doesn’t consist solely of looking at pretty pictures of cute animals on a blog?

      That’s heresy.

  23. Researchers will then watch the tapes and make a note of any microaggressions.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. And strangely, my proposal to videotape every action of female college students, then closely review the videos, was rejected….

      1. For the sake of science, I can’t let the women know that I’ll be filming them. And in order to acquire a more honest portrayal of their behavior, we’ll need to study them in a controlled environment where the subjects will be less inhibited by the knowledge that they’re being observed, like bathroom stalls and dressing rooms. I could probably pull this study off with about $500,000 and a subscription to Brazzers.

        1. I’m ashamed at how hard I laughed at that. Or would be, if I was capable of feeling shame…

          1. Then my work here is done.

            *rides off into sunset*

  24. I love how nobody ever suggests that perhaps, relative to men, fewer women desire to be engineers.

    The modern version of the nursing profession is composed of over 90% women, and has been for decades. Where’s the grant money to study how and why women are keeping men out of the profession with microaggressions and sexism and stuff?

    1. fewer women desire to be engineers

      If so, it’s only because of structural misogyny and false consciousness.

      /someone who never studied engineering

      1. If so, it’s only because of structural misogyny…

        Is that the one about buildings?

        (ducks…runs from room)

        1. Hey, be civil. There’s no need to go nuclear.

  25. This study involves male engineering students being recorded while they interact with their female counterparts. Researchers will then watch the tapes and make a note of any microaggressions.

    Is this being done with the consent of the male engineering students? Because I know there’s no fucking way I’d consent to being videoed and then having some SJW asswipe pick over every word, every muscle twitch, micro expression, for proof that I’m a sexist, because newsflash: they’ll find something, no matter how seemingly innocuous.

    The goal of Study One is to identify the specific types of microaggressions (e.g., ignoring women’s contributions or assigning women to less important tasks) occurring in videotaped laboratory-based engineering teams. Researchers will develop a reliable microaggressions assessment procedure, and will analyze effects on engineering outcomes (learning, performance, and persistence). In Study Two, the lab-based data will be supplemented with qualitative data reported by students who previously participated in an engineering student group project, via student focus groups. Study Three will examine the influence of microaggressions occurring in class-based teams on engineering outcomes over time.

    Emphasis added. Sounds like a really scientifically rigorous methodology there… *rolls eyes*

    1. Is this being done with the consent of the male engineering students? Because I know there’s no fucking way I’d consent to being videoed and then having some SJW asswipe pick over every word, every muscle twitch, micro expression, for proof that I’m a sexist, because newsflash: they’ll find something, no matter how seemingly innocuous.

      It’s becoming more and more mandatory to participate in these studies. Want to get your liberal arts requirements done? You have to take a class with a study participation requirement.

      1. Want to get your liberal arts requirements done? You have to take a class with a study participation requirement.

        Thank God I graduated in the dark ages of 2001 from a University that was pretty much exclusively and Engineering college then. I didn’t have to do any of that shit. My liberal arts courses were all pretty much fluff.

        1. I had to do 2 or 3 studies. One of them was the “scary black people faces” study where they flash a word up on the screen and force you to click on a face as quickly as possible.

          1. I avoided that in undergrad, but in grad school I did have to do one proving that I associated men with technical competence and women with emotional nurturing and shit.

            There were two sections, one where I was supposed to rapidly pair the technical stuff with men and emotional housewifey stuff with women and one where I was supposed to do the opposite, and they were obviously steering it towards proving that people were slower to associate technical competence with women.

            When I saw it steering me in that direction I, without cheating on the first section, focused hard on picturing those female engineers and male housewives, and managed to prove that I subconsciously associated women with technical competence and men with warmth and comfort.

            It was my favorite thing that happened in that class.

            1. They probably threw your results out as an “outlier”.

          2. I did a lot of studies in college. At NIH. For money. They pay really well.

    2. Researchers will then watch the tapes and make a note of any microaggressions.

      Yeah, that’s totally sciency & unbiased & stuff! It’s exactly the same type of research they do at CERN and Fermilab!

  26. The study is funded via the National Science Foundation, which means taxpayers coughed up more than $500,000 for it.

    Well, if it’s science, then this must be legitimate. You can’t argue with science. It’s science for God’s sake. I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE!!!1!!!1!1111!!!!

  27. Sometimes Ann Coulter can troll with the best of ’em. Co-opting SJW verbiage & ideology. Nice.

    Ann Coulter: Author Says Donald Trump Will Protect US From ‘Latin American Rape Culture’

  28. “The University of Michigan is conducting a study on male engineering students to determine whether their unconscious biases?microaggressions?are driving women out of the field.”

    And of course the researchers engaged in this study could not possibly have unconscious biases that might impact the results of their research.

    1. Pure Michigan.

  29. Something that offends one person might not bother another at all.

    It’s almost as if the independent variable here is the person offended.

    1. wait, was that sexist?

      1. Are you dude? Then probably, yes. And if you’re white, then it was racist as well.

  30. Maybe the reason there are fewer male nurses is because women are bigots.

    I demand a study.

    1. I think the actual answer to that is that it’s partially due to men being jerks. The few male nursing students I knew were either gay or got picked on by other dudes for doing nursing. I suspect if there’s any bias related issue with women in engineering, it would likely be self imposed as well.

      1. OMG Auric, it’s like you haven’t read a single comment. Socialization doesn’t exist, and everyone freely chooses a profession based on innate talents and interests, and nothing else.

        1. Reductio ad absurdum is indeed an effective way to dismiss legitimate criticism

          1. I had to read all the way to the third comment to get to “the answer is no.” I had to read all the way down to the fourth to see someone ask if the stock photo of a woman scientist was a woman about to go shopping. No reductio needed.

            1. None of those comments you mention claim that “Socialization doesn’t exist”., which is something you seem to have invented out of thin air.

              You seem more interested in trying to accuse everyone here of making absurd blanket-claims rather than actually defend the study from specific criticisms actually being made.

              e.g. Studying *people already studying engineering* to try and determine why some people choose NOT to study engineering… seems a misguided approach at best. Then there’s the whole attempt to correlate some subjective perception of ‘male unconscious behaviors’ with other people’s test scores. Its stupidity piled on top of presumption.

              Of course its a lot simpler just to claim that “everyone is denying any human socialization exists at all” than actually try and make a reasoned defense of this particular study.

              1. She’s just upset at having to make sammiches. Or it’s that time of the month…

              2. Of course its a lot simpler just to claim that “everyone is denying any human socialization exists at all” than actually try and make a reasoned defense of this particular study.

                I don’t know why you would think I wanted to defend this particular study. Is that the only way I’m allowed to criticize commenters who act like sexist assholes?

                1. Barbie agrees with the commentariat Math class is tough

                2. You didn’t claim everyone was being sexist assholes. You said that everyone was claiming “Socialization doesn’t exist”. Which is directly related to the claims being made by the study.

      2. My (male) boss majored in ballet in college and had a gymnastics scholarship. All the dudebros made fun of him, relentlessly.

        Guess who was getting hot ballerina/gymnast tail every night of the week?

        1. One of my roommates was a gymnast in college. The only time he lost a fight was when four guys jumped him at once. Even then, he gave out almost as much punishment as he received.

          I have nothing but respect for the guys who stick with gymnastics and ballet through high school and college.

          1. I thought male gymnasts were pussies, until I tried to do an iron cross on a set of rings once. Didn’t even get close.

  31. I might have gotten my master’s at Michigan if their application timeline wasn’t so messed up/that I had already moved into my apartment at Cornell before Michigan even stopped accepting applications. Also, one of my friends is a professor in the engineering school there. She’s a woman.

    Now, onto the main topic: all the women in engineering roles I have dealt with have had it great. A bunch of specific scholarships, better/more job offers than the guys with equivalent grades/experience, and if anything the treatment they received from the guys was friendlier. Plus socially they got to spend all their time at school or work around potential dates (now that I think about it, I haven’t met a lesbian engineer. Odd).

    This money should be spent instead on seeing if microagrressions explains the discrepancy between the likelihood of alt-text in pictures of males vs females.

    1. now that I think about it, I haven’t met a lesbian engineer. Odd

      Your homophobia is likely to blame

      1. I personally know four — “know” as in “I have met their girlfriends/wives”, not “she wears suspiciously comfortable shoes, must be a lesbian”. Where I work it is common enough that it isn’t even remarkable, which is exactly how it should be.

    1. Next years $500,000 study will involve trying to turn lead into gold.

  32. Mark Carey approves!

  33. Men are more likely than women to go into engineering, and researchers want to know if sexism plays a role in that. This study involves male engineering students being recorded while they interact with their female counterparts.

    If “Men are more likely than women to go into engineering”, then aren’t they studying after the fact here?

    1. It’s a dumb study for a number of reasons. I absolutely believe the way men and women are raised could impact why more men go into sciences. But to look into that, you’d have to look at how people are being *raised* not looking out for microaggressions in engineering classrooms.

      If a girl can’t handle ‘microaggressions’ I don’t think she can handle the stress caused by high level mathematics exams. This is actually kind of sexist since it assumes women don’t go into science because…their feelings got hurt and they got sad and had a cry about it? Then dropped out because feels? Come on.

      1. If a girl can’t handle ‘microaggressions’ I don’t think she can handle the stress caused by high level mathematics exams. This is actually kind of sexist since it assumes women don’t go into science because…their feelings got hurt and they got sad and had a cry about it?

        I knew a girl in some of my engineering classes who would come out of the hard exams bawling. It was just her way of processing the stress of the situation and moving on. I can’t say I blame her. I’m not much of a cryer, but I got pretty close after a few bad exams.

        1. My Control Systems professor’s last name was Kahn. I remember after the final exam walking away, feeling despondent because I thought sure I had failed, and would therefore have to retake the class when I was supposed to be graduating that semester (I actually passed – barely) – hearing someone else in the distance screaming “KAAAAAHHHHHHNNNNNN!!!!1!!!!!!!” like Kirk in ST2. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t do well.

          1. Awesome.

            I had to bite my tongue when dealing with the Pakistan Army liaison to my Task Force n Afghanistan…yeah, Colonel Khan.

            1. Was his a superior intellect?

      2. If a girl can’t handle ‘microaggressions’ I don’t think she can handle the stress caused by high level mathematics exams.

        I wouldn’t assume a relationship between the stress of socializing and the stress of a math test.

        1. Even so, it’s awfully offensive to women to think the reason they aren’t in high paying jobs is because they can’t handle their feelings getting hurt.

          That actually sounds like something a misogynist might say.

          1. Yes, it’s definitely sexist to link social sensitivity to gender.

            1. Technically, linking it to sex would be sexist. As far as gender is concerned, that’s a standard element of femininity. Whether you make “femininity” a gender is a matter of free choice. You may be only be criticized for failing to acknowledge whatever the currently right number and kinds of other genders are.

              Back to sexism, the term’s been so inflated, it’s largely (…) useless. I’m suggesting taking back the sexism. Whatever to call it, I do link sex and sensitivity.

              1. “You may [] only be criticized for failing (…)” Bah.

      3. I absolutely believe the way men and women are raised could impact why more men go into sciences. But to look into that, you’d have to look at how people are being *raised* not looking out for microaggressions in engineering classrooms.

        See? Nikki was right. You are claiming socialization doesn’t exist. If you criticize this study it means you hate women.

        1. Oh Jesus Christ, she raises legitimate concerns, provides a much-needed counterpoint, and “at worst” uses hyperbole – and stark contrast – for her side of things as most of us do. It may be a sexist view, but I don’t see her as a blinded zealot.

          1. Oh no, she’s the worst.

          2. Oh Jesus Christ, she raises legitimate concerns, provides a much-needed counterpoint, and “at worst” uses hyperbole – and stark contrast

            In this case, she claimed something that wasn’t even remotely true. That’s one toke over the line past “hyperbole”. Forgive me for pointing it out.

    2. Hey, they’re proggies. The laws of time and space mean nothing to them.

  34. It’s good they didn’t put me in charge of spending this money for this purpose. I would have hired 300 creepy looking homeless guys at minimum wage and tasked them with choosing random students each day to follow around for 8 hours and watch for microaggressions, and occasionally shout “MICROAGGRESSION!” at them.

    Believe me, EVERYONE would be more aware of microaggressions after MY campaign.

  35. Is Calculus II a micro-aggression? My daughter is in an Engineering program and doing fine, but several of her female friends are considering other majors rather than face more Calc.

    (I personally couldn’t pass Calc I so I can sympathize with them,)

    1. ZOMG calculus.

      it’s just doing normal algebra repeatedly, get over it.

      1. Up yours, friendo!

        *ran into calc, face first, then left microbiology program*

    2. Most students think Calculus III is easier than Calc II. In the usual sequence, much of Calc II is given over to techniques of integration, which seems to students like a big bag of tricks with no coherent theme, mostly because that’s what it is. Multivariable calculus is highly geometric and comes more easily to students, for the most part.

      1. Then DiffEq is a return to the stuff that you supposedly “learned” in Calc II. That class was a beating.

        1. Yeah, up to a point. When I’m teaching DE, I don’t spend a lot of time on all the various special kinds of equations that can require obscure techniques and tricky substitutions you’ll never see anywhere else. I try to focus on the *structure* of solutions (e.g. linear, exact equations, transient and steady state solutions), and on lots of applications (i.e. word problems). On the other hand, you can’t do Laplace transforms without a fair amount of partial fraction decompositions, so there’s not much getting around that.

      2. Never sure which of the calcs contains vectors, but they are the devil. Give me 10 differential equations, but I cry when ever the vectors come to play.

  36. So, if I get snippy with a chick and say “I’ve your macro-aggression right here” while tugging at my crotch, would that be a micro-aggression that would count in the study, or a macro-aggression that wouldn’t count?

    1. It would be a capital crime, that’s what it would be.

      Even the leftists who were against executing Ted Bundy would want to execute you.

      1. What if what RC Dean was gabbing was a large penis? Isn’t that what all women and effete leftist men really want, a big penis inside of them? And what if RC Dean was willing to give it to them, then what?
        (I took a class at the Andrew Napolitano School of Rhetoric)

  37. My solution: mandate that all computer equipment, construction equipment, and steel should be painted pink.

  38. Asians are also over-represented in engineering relative to the population as a whole. So how about a study of how racist microaggressing Asians are driving out all the white males from engineering? Oh right, I forgot… fuck white males. They’re probably too busy microaggressing against Asians, women, browns, blacks, reds, yellows and transgender double-amputees in law schools, where white males are over-represented.

    1. If we’re talking about education, it’s a sin to acknowledge the existence of Asians.

      1. It’s a delicate balancing act…you have to discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act and the internment of the Japanese-Americans, to show how racisty racist the USA really is, but then you have to transition gradually into the part where Asians became white, like the Irish.

    2. I thought Asians were white now? At least in academia?

    3. Law school aint white males anymore, my good man. Check your figures.

      Wonder who gets the blame next?
      Asians?

      1. Let’s consult the random blame generator…

        well, what do you know, it’s the Jews’ fault *again!*

      2. Well shit. Is there no place left for me to oppress every conceivable group of non-white males? The world is going to shit.

  39. Engineers are pretty much oblivious to the feelings of others generally. Women just take it harder.

    1. “Women just take it harder.”

      I see what you did there.

      1. I had a feeling somebody was going to see that and post some sort of immature, juvenile, snarky response.
        This is what makes life worthwhile.

    2. That wasn’t abstract at all. Admit it, you have no idea how this euphemism game is played.

      1. Horse shaped comes to mind…

  40. Here’s an idea: we ban women from getting degrees in Grievance Studies, and that will force more women to get STEM degrees instead!

    1. You, Sir, are a monster.

    2. It’ll never work. You are a dreamer

  41. Oh, and I forgot to add: would.

  42. Part of the issue is what we call “engineering.” I reserve the term strictly for folk who use practical, mathematical, models of physics and, in particular, materials, to select and size solutions. So, for me and the many I represent, programming, for example, isn’t engineering. Maybe there are substantial, innate reasons why women love project management and programming ad industrial “engineering” but suck at kinematics (they do and they do, I assure you).

    So it might be that women enjoy some things that others call engineering; but, in my vast experience, women do not enjoy engineering per se. And that is a huge shame, in no small part due to the billions of engineering mistakes that have been the sole province of men for two centuries. Think of all the safer, subtler, and more elegant solutions that women might have tried (while men continued to bull through with traditional solutions).

    I would love to see more (capable) women in engineering, but I am not holding my breath.

  43. Researchers will then watch the tapes and make a note of any microaggressions.

    This makes no sense for two reason:

    1) “Microagressions” are defined by the people who invented the term to be completely about how the “agressed” upon person feels. By definition it can’t be observed by a third party

    2) Even if it could be observed by a third party, “microagressions” are defined by the people who invented the term to be completely subjective, so even in principle no two observers will be able to measure “microagressions” in the same way.

    I don’t see how this study could even be internally self-consistent.

    1. ^This is just the sort of male cis-het thinking that feeds structural, colonialist, intersectional oppression, you fascist.

      1. “What’s the sentence?”

        Give him a Caitlyn Jenner…

  44. Women engineers? Are you crazy? They can barely drive cars, and you want them to drive trains?

    1. At least with trains they don’t have to be counted on to steer since it just goes where the tracks go, as opposed to, say, straight into a tree.

      1. “Driving by train
        High on cocaine
        Katie Jones you’d better
        Watch your speed

        Trouble ahead
        Trouble behind
        And you know that notion
        Just crossed my mind”

  45. OK, guys, good job rebutting the idea of sexism in engineering, you can stop helping now!

  46. Do the male students know they are being recorded. Will in the future we all be recorded under the guies of a study

  47. There are PLENTY of Middle Eastern and Indian women in engineering fields. Probably 80% of the women in my Comp Sci classes wore hijab. If women from those cultures are not put off by the traditional gender roles of their societies, then I hardly doubt that American women would be put off by our relatively lesser gender roles, unless American girls are inherently lesser than Middle Eastern girls.

  48. Science and Math don’t really care about one’s opinion. You either did it right or did it wrong.

    Basically, they are ultimate microaggression.

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  50. Wouldn’t this study measure after the fact?

    If they’re already in college, they’ve probably made up their mind whether or not to study science or engineering.

    But, we all know that society is driven by micro aggressions. We’re just waiting for social science to catch up, as it often does.

    Social science: the science that confirms what you already know, every time. Because it’s so sciency that way.

  51. As a female engineer graduating way back in the 80’s, I can say that yes, there definitely was sexism present then. Did it drive me out? No.

    There was sexism when I wasn’t allowed to take shop and had to take Home Ec. There was sexism when I had to agree to do the secretarial work to be allowed to be on the AV crew. There was sexism when the rocketry club threatened to disband rather than have a girl in it.

    There was sexism when I did casual labor. There was sexism when I was an installer for Western Electric, from both sides. Guys that didn’t want to work with me and women pissed that I was making them “look bad.”

    For the most part there was one solution. Do the job the best I could. In most cases the sexism directed at me subsided fairly rapidly when I proved myself. My favorite was the guy who said no woman could ever beat him at chess … so I did. He never came out of the basement again until I was off that location.

    So there were some battles I lost, most I won, and a few I just sidestepped. The days when a woman didn’t even have a chance to get a toe in the door were past even before my day and, for the rest, you do what you have to do to get where you want to go. These days it’s not hard to get totally inside the door from the start and, from there on out all you have to do is prove yourself. Every time I hear people whining about what residual sexism, racism or whatever -isms are left just make me shake my head and think “You really have no idea …”

    1. Great post. My grandmother had a very similar story about becoming the first female pharmacist in the state of Kansas (she got the record score on the certification exam, which was never beaten). She knew that there were always going to be people who assumed that a woman couldn’t do what men could in terms of work, but rather than complain about it she realized that the key to overcoming it was to be better than them and eventually the quality of her work would prove them wrong. Took her about a month to change the boss’ mind and get him to pay her the same as the men, after she unloaded the shipping trucks by herself (one of his rationales for paying less being that she couldn’t do manual labor). She ended up having a very long career in that field, was a community leader for decades, and never let anyone tell her that she couldn’t do whatever she wanted just because she was a woman.

      If she were alive today, she’d shake her head in disgust at the victim mentalities.

    2. I’ll second UCrawford. Warms my heart to hear stories about succeeding despite numerous obstacles and doing so without major complaint. Your story and others like it cannot be retold often enough.

      In the end, these are some of the very basic keys to success, not just in the economic since, but all of life. Things such as persistence, hard work, and determination.

      Seeing the current tends of thought on college campuses and in broader society, you’d think all the traits you used for success are now liabilities.

      They’ve been replaced. Persistence replaced with indifference, hard work with rent seeking, and determination with acquiescence.

      In fact the Obama-type society it’s all about the collective, being in the right group with the right opinions.

      But I digress, main point, thank you for the great story. Appreciate the reminder that some people still get it.

      1. I will caveat that by saying that my grandmother was a lifelong overachiever and it helped that she married a man every bit her equal who supported and pushed her to excel and to raise their kids to excel. My grandparents were about as close to the perfect couple as you’re ever going to find…atypically so because my mom struggled for awhile with accepting that nobody had a marriage as solid as my grandparents did. She and my father had a very strong marriage until she passed, but she thought something was wrong with hers because my grandparents never fought and were insanely happy and successful, whereas my parents loved each other but still argued and sometimes struggled, like most couples do. A marriage counselor finally explained to her that my grandparents simply weren’t the standard. 🙂

  52. Dude do you have any idea how that works?

    http://www.Web-Privacy.tk

  53. Let me get this straight. The study will watch the males students interacting with female students with the same major. Sounds like an extremely small study group. Then they will listen to anecdotal stories from the females. Then they’ll combine the data for their conclusion. I already don’t like the setup. It seems geared to find evidence for a predetermined conclusion.

  54. Re: “Men are more likely than women to go into engineering, and researchers want to know if sexism plays a role in that.”

    That’s bad enough, but to do this without also wanting to determine if sexism plays a role in women being more likely to go into healthcare and other female-dominated fields is to commit an even greater sexism — and a great stupidity.

    This stupidity was influenced by Obama’s war on men.

    “What Does President Obama Mean For Men?” at Male Matters USA https://archive.is/Rmeuo

    “Does Obamacare About Men? Three takes on Obamacare’s discrimination against men” at Male Matters USA https://archive.is/ZVUtE

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