Sometimes, this IS why there are so few women in STEM. Io9's commentariat is usually not so bad, but the article yesterday about stereotypes keeping women out of STEM is making me rage.
Tip for men in STEM: If a woman shares an anecdote to tell her story of why it is so hard to be a woman in STEM and you tell her "well it's not like that everywhere, sorry but you are just working with a bunch of idiots, so really sexism in STEM doesn't exist and there are fewer women because women aren't interested in STEM" then, congratulations, you are part of the problem! Also, if another woman tells you about women who are routinely ignored or talked over by male colleagues, or her experience with computer programmers who tell their friends that they are going to rape them and that this makes her feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, and unsafe, DON'T tell her that it's just boys being boys! Ugh!
I love my job so much (STEM outreach to kids, targeting girls and underrepresented minorities, especially African Americans), but I hate that it is necessary. And sometimes I hate that I got a graduate degree in education after doing a bachelor's in math, while talking about the problem of women not going into STEM. I saw working at a university and creating a positive environment for women in STEM as a better way for myself to contribute than getting a graduate degree in math or engineering and possibly burning out in a few years. But, at the same time, I feel like I directly contributed to the lack of female role models for young girls by deciding to get an advanced degree in education rather than math. It's hard for me to tell them that it will be okay for them to study and work in a STEM field when I saw so many reasons to get out of the game myself.
I know there are a bunch of scientists, mathematicians, and engineer commenters here who are awesome and deal with a bunch of crap daily. So- thanks for fighting the good fight, Jezzies!
ETA: I think I was ungreyed on io9 because of my comments on that thread yayyyy! At least one positive will come out of that conversation, rather than me just headdesking for the rest of the day! Now I can make as many "Omg I love this show so much Helena's 'tail dancing' was the best scene ever" comments as I want on Orphan Black posts and EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO READ THEM mwah ha ha ha!!!