It's not as simple as we'd wish.
Today somebody sent me yet another article on why men and women are so different.
These things always irritate me, since I think it's not interesting to discuss. It's not a point worth making.
To me, gender is like choosing teams for playing a kids' game like Kick The Can. You know, people are randomly assigned to teams in the order you show up. Every other person gets a red shirt or a blue shirt. You end up being a girl or a boy just by the dumb luck of having arrived at a blue or red moment.
To me, this is essentially how biology does it. Okay, maybe some sperm swim faster than others, but really you're an egg until you get a second X... or a Y.
And let's just assume for the purposes of this argument that it doesn't matter what Mom ate that day or how old Dad was, that it's essentially a 50:50 chance which one you got.
That is how I feel most of the time. I play for the girls team because that's what card I drew. I don't feel any great loyalty to women. Just today at lunch I felt more in common with the guy sitting next to me, not saying much, than I did with the two girls who were yammering on about shopping for dresses.
But because I play for the girls team, and because of the way I've been treated because of it, because I wear the red shirt and that is all anyone can see, I do sometimes feel oppressed by the Male Majority, especially in science.
I say Male Majority because I find it's a provocative term. The other day I heard someone use the phrase White Majority in a meeting, and I found myself sit up very straight and ask, WHAT??
But nobody knows if you feel more black on the inside than you look on the outside, or if some days you feel totally asexual, like cerevisiae. And other days you think, well actually all yeast are female, we call them all mothers or daughters! So there!
So although the article I was reading today seems to think (and, case in point, show) that it's a pipe dream, I still do wish we could all just do what we do, and not talk so much about how men or women do it. Not worry so much about putting people in little boxes to make it simpler to understand why individuals have different interests, different strengths.
I've had a number of students work with me in the lab, and they had nothing in common. One was good with her hands, another was good at math, another was terrible at it but asked great questions about biology. I can honestly say that, except for the few who typify the stereotypes, most everyone I've ever worked with, at every level, was his or her own person. Whether it was a him or a her.