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03/19/2017

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Maya M

In my country, of the STEM fields, men have an advantage in engineering and computer sciences. In fields such as biology, chemistry and medicine, there are so many and so well-prepared young women applying for university that there are gender quotes at the entrance exams to prevent full feminization of these fields. Maybe positively engaging high school students of both sexes, showing them that STEM is great, will be more efficient than telling girls that they must go to STEM to show off to those evil patriarchs.

(In the Russian novel "Children of the Arbat" by Rybakov, the main character Sasha Pankratov, an idealistic young communist, is naturally drawn to literature but goes to an engineering school instead, because the Party says that the country needs engineers. He ends up expelled from the university and exiled.)

John Pepple

Speaking of Parties, the first Chinese person I met -- that is, from mainland China and not from the Chinese diaspora -- was someone who had been on a collective farm until things loosened up a bit. He was interested in science, but when they asked him if he wanted to leave the farm to study political philosophy, he jumped at the chance.

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