Pachyderms anyone?

May 18, 2009 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 14 Comments

According to this article in the Toronto Globe and Mail, girls are now outnumbering boys in science fairs in Canada.  According to the article,

“Five years ago, boys made up 55 per cent of the competitors at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair, a national competition where youth in grades 7 to 12 compete against other regional representatives. After a steady decline, this year boys are in the minority at 44 per cent. “

Not only that,

“Girls are also claiming the lion’s share of prize money available each year: Eight of the last nine overall winners have been female.”

Time and time again, when girls start to actually excel, and, heaven forefend, surpass boys, there are those who insist that there MUST be a problem with the education system.  I’ve heard excuses like “feminization” of the education system, and even,  

“Carole Charlebois, executive director of Quebec’s provincial branch of YSC, says she suspects the pendulum has swung too far in the girls’ direction and boys are being left out and left behind. “We’re seeing a real decrease in interest and good marks from the boys.”

Of course, at least a couple of the girls kicking their asses, have a somewhat different theory,

“If I were to say [why] — I know this might sound a bit sexist — but most of the time, the girls are more persistent in the work,” said Ronan Lefol, a Grade 12 student from Saskatoon, who started competing in science fairs in Grade 1 and has gone on to win thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Megan Hawse, 13, said many of her male peers in Mount Pearl, Nfld., would rather play sports than spend the hours she logged on evenings and weekends for her experiment on whether algae could be a sufficient source of Omega 3 for humans.  

Yes, there are now a few scholarships specifically designed to encourage women to go into the sciences, but I doubt that is a barrier to 12-year-old males participating in science fairs.

Far be it for anyone to point out the elephant in the room – could it be, perhaps, rather than an education system that favors girls, and disadvantages boys, it’s just that when the barriers are removed, and girls are actually encouraged to participate in science and math, they actually ARE better at it than the guys?

Wouldn’t THAT be a terrifying thought for the men…. 

 

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June 13-14 – Relationship skills weekend for men

May 13, 2009 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | No Comments

Pat Craven, creator and founder of The Freedom Programme, is running a free “Men’s Weekend” workshop on June 13/14 in Essex (in the UK).  According to Pat’s site, she calls her courses, ” ‘awareness raising’ programmes and they are open to any man who wishes to improve his relationship skills or simply to find out more information.”

Note that if you are in a relationship, in order to attend a Men’s weekend, your partner must have previously attended/completed the Freedom Programme. 

Find out more about this weekend workshop at The Freedom Programme Website.

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I want this shirt….

May 7, 2009 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Popculture, Random Silliness, The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

And then Buffy Staked Edward. The End.

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Knuckle-dragging in the Ruby community

May 5, 2009 | Filed Under Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way, Work | 2 Comments

Thanks, Michael. Thanks for getting me more pissed off than I have been in ages. Thanks for ruining my day.

Ok. So it’s not his fault, and I DO appreciate being made aware, even if it does invoke my burning IRE.  (I’m forwarding the link to Instigatrix just because fury loves company.)

Michael sent me a link to a blog posting entitled, “A Tipping Point for Women in Tech? Here’s hoping.” at Blogher.com.  

It seems that Matt Aimonetti thought it would be funny, nay, even APPROPRIATE, to intersperse images of women in porn poses in his presentation at the latest Ruby on Rails conference.  Apparently even the creator of Ruby himself thought this was OK.

Seriously.

What. The. Fuck. is WRONG with these people?  Virginia Debolt’s article at blogher is a brilliant discussion and dissection of the uproar that (rightly) arose from this incident. I strongly suggest you read the whole article, and the articles she references. 

Aimonetti plans to attend a panel about Women in Rails at an O’Reilly Rails Conference taking place today. Apparently the speakers at this panel discussion are all women. God, what I wouldn’t give to be THERE right now.

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More comments from the readership

May 3, 2009 | Filed Under Fan Mail, Reader Responses | No Comments

From: “Jacq”
Subject: COMMENTS – thanks for a great site

Dear HBI,

I found your site today, bouncing in on a random blog weblink, and have just had a joyous few hours of reading some of the most hugely entertaining & thought-prodding pages i’ve read anywhere for a long while.

So thankyou. Really. I was cruising the magazine aisles at the supermarket again today, flicking through sci-fi titles & a ‘customise your PC’ mag (for once with no curious guys wondering if I’d got lost looking for the women’s aisles) and I couldn’t resist trawling the women’s titles. Ngh, yes I know, but done in the spirit of enquiry to test if any of them (oh god please, any) had anything remotely interesting to say.

Admittedly that’s an exercise a bit like going back to sample your own ear wax – never any good the first time and repeated testing won’t make the experience any more palatable. However I do like to keep my rile-quotient up and this is a good way to achieve that (naturally *the* best way being to read internet comments, there’s so much anger in cyberspace i’m amazed it doesn’t just explode in a volcano of worldwide vented spleen and cover half the world in abandoned apostrophes and a petrified layer of ‘teh’s).

Of course the offending items (sic) were all full of diets, body-hating mantras, celeb-watching-body-hating, celeb-diet-secrets, celeb-baby-routines, secret-body-hating-celeb-baby-exercise-diet-watching. Er, did I miss out a buzzword in any of those combinations? I suspect they’re written by random-phrase generating subroutines, hell if it works for mission-statements it’s going to be sufficient for the limited range of concepts allowed  anywhere near one of those glossy ana-adverts.

I keep threatening to take some pre-written post-it notes and slap on a few salient comments in a non-permanent protest against the overwhelming tide of pap. A sort of futile one-woman Wake Up Call attempt to prod some schmuck addicted to the promise of A Better Life If You Look Like This!’ to question if they really, really are happy reading the same laxative-induced anal leakage week after week?

See how a simple thankyou so easily turn rantwards?

You’re corrupting me with your insidious HB philosophy that life is supposed to be fun. Shhhh! Don’t make me laugh so much at your acerbic asides to the utter twonks whose email excerpts you share; don’t make me use my brain to distinguish fine subtleties in behaviour that differentiate emotionally abusive behaviour from the healthy relationships we’d like to aim for; certainly don’t make me question my own behaviours when some are mirrored and mentioned and shown up to be not quite as healthy as I would have liked to think. Well, you just went and did all of that. So for that you can just be roundly applauded, so there. Tough cheesy wotsits.

And, not content with beginning a sentence with a conjunction (see? I even need the Grammar Fairy), I’ve bookmarked your site and intend to come back and have a thoroughly enjoyable read again very soon. Not an ‘effin diet in sight, unless it’s how to bake flakey pastry made from the fat harvested from celeb cosmetic surgery. Mmmm. Would love to get that article into the glossy weeklies. Sense of humour my non-lipo’d buttcheeks :P

Mackette The Knife

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“Standards” or “unrealistic expectations”?

May 3, 2009 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 5 Comments

I’m all for people having standards in a potential mate.  Believe me, I don’t think anyone should ever feel like they have to “settle” for less than the right person.   But by “standards”, I mean things like, he/she has a job, is not a drug addict, has no history of violence, takes care of him/herself (i.e. is not a slob), has some life experience, shares the same values, etc…

But, as per the above list,  I think “standards” should apply to those things another person has CONTROL over. However, some people extend “standards” for a suitor to apply to all kinds of superficial things that another person has no control over, like height, appearance, hair colour, family background, race, etc.  These people do themselves a disservice by excluding plenty of wonderful people via those exclusionary rules, and when questioned about the validity of such rules, they try to justify their biases by calling them “standards”, or worse, claiming they have no control over what turns them on.

I just don’t buy the whole, “I can’t change what/who I’m attracted to” line. Especially after reading Dr. Doidge’s “The Brain That Changes Itself“.  We very much DO have the capacity to change what we believe, what we think, how we react, and what/who we are attracted to. We just have to have the WILL to want to change.

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