Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Take That, Larry Summers!

Tufts University's Nerd Girls are in the vanguard of a campaign to establish, once and for all, that science and engineering are cool fields that welcome smart young women.

From a Newsweek article this week:

    The Nerd Girls may not look like your stereotypical pocket-protector-loving misfits—their adviser, Karen Panetta, has a thing for pink heels—but they're part of a growing breed of young women who are claiming the nerd label for themselves. In doing so, they're challenging the notion of what a geek should look like, either by intentionally sexing up their tech personas, or by simply finding no disconnect between their geeky pursuits and more traditionally girly interests such as fashion, makeup and high heels. In fact, calling them "nerd" is no insult at all—the Nerd Girls have T shirts emblazoned with the slogan. The crew includes Cristina Sanchez, a master's student in biomedical engineering (and a former cheerleader) who can talk for hours about aerodynamics. Caitrin Eaton, a freshman, asked her boyfriend for a soldering iron last Christmas. Juniors Courtney Mario and Perry Ross giggle when they talk about what fascinated them most about "No Country for Old Men": how did the assassin's air gun work?

    These girl geeks aren't social misfits; their identities don't hinge on outsider status. They may love all things sci-tech, but first and foremost they are girls—and they've made that part of their appeal.

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Blogger Author: Barbara Heffner said...

These nerd girls make my day. In my era at Penn State, being a girl math major was not an easy path. So happy to see these girls wearing their geekiness proudly and pinkly.

I want nerd girl t-shirts!!

June 19, 2008 3:38 AM  
Anonymous Steve Kane said...

hey scott, great post. but why the poke at poor maligned but honorable laudable larry summers? he was wrongly portrayed and attacked by people who didn't want to take the time to think about his position (go read the transcript of that speech!)

mr summers is extremely supportive of gender equality (duh!) and was misunderstood while raising the very issue of wrongful gender inequality and suggesting that maybe there should be some empirical research

June 19, 2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Scott Kirsner said...

Steve - sorry - it was a cheap headline.


June 19, 2008 2:59 PM  
Blogger Talal Mohamed said...


July 7, 2008 3:49 PM  
Blogger Falkor said...

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Do drop a word on what you feel abt my blog.

In good faith.


July 8, 2008 2:33 AM  

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