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Gabriel Desjardins Sc'99, of San Francisco, CA, says there was nothing new in the cover story in our Spring 2011 issue, which dealt with women in the Faculty of Applied Science.
Re: “A wave of the future,” Issue #2-2011, p. 20
I was disappointed that this article trotted out the same tired sexist tropes that we've heard for decades to explain low female enrollment in engineering. We're told that engineering lacks "a visible connection . . . [to] helping people"; helping people – of course – “appeals to many women." Forget that engineering, as a career, clearly helps people – it's insulting to women to suggest that they are motivated solely by altruism, and it's insulting to men to suggest that they aren't.
Your writer's critique of engineering focused on its relationship to traditional gender roles, while simultaneously reinforcing these same roles herself.