Harrogate Feminists

How many girls do A-level physics?

How many girls do A-level physics? This was the question I asked as we chose a secondary school for our daughters in the early eighties.  The best answer was “only three, but we’re working on it.”  Yes, that was the best answer!

I talked about this at the meeting on 21 March, and by coincidence the next morning it was a topic for discussion on Woman’s Hour.  The good news: everyone took it seriously.  The bad news: many of the problems that I encountered in the fifties, and then again in the eighties, were still there.

Maths seen as too difficult, teachers unsympathetic to problems, unfeminine image, very few role models or fellow-students.

As often happens in teaching, quite small changes can make a difference.  “Make sure the boys don’t hog the practical”, said one teacher.

Science education for girls and women?  Perhaps a future discussion topic?

– by Val Smith


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What makes me angry? Whitehall men bemoaning the lack of educational achievement in boys,advocating positive discrimination for them in the classroom and accusing women of now racing ahead and plucking the best jobs.
I want to shout’ Look around you- WHO has the power in our society (well, every society). WHO are the top earners?’
What else makes me angry (and sad)? Young women thinking that equality = drinking and fighting like the lads and freedom = displaying vast areas of flesh in public.
I must be getting old!!

Comment by Pat Ki

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