The Trials of a Female Science Major

Being a female science major isn’t easy, or at least that’s what the Daily Cal keeps telling me. Actually, it is pretty tough. There are very few girls in my classes, so I have few people to discuss things like fashion, hair, and menstruation with. The course material is also very biased toward men. You may think I’m exaggerating, but take a look at a sample problem from my last physics midterm:

Using your knowledge of electrical current, Ohm’s Law, power, and conservation of energy, explain why it is beneficial to use a Craftsman power drill for landscaping jobs while the Black & Decker model is more useful for household repairs.

If you think that’s bad, here are a few from last semester’s Chem 1A final:

While celebrating their victory over Cal, the Stanford football team poured ten gallons of Gatorade on their coach. If the air temperature was 325K, how long did it take for the Gatorade to evaporate? You are at a party trying to make time with a na+A>>ve freshman. If the girl weighs 115 pounds and has already had two beers, how much Rohypnol should you add to her next shot of tequila to ensure success?

Finally, here’s a question from a bio quiz I took just last week:

Explain in evolutionary terms why men are superior to women in every possible way.

The exams are very discouraging, but the labs can be even worse. For instance, last week in physics we were studying sound waves by recording our belches and analyzing them for pitch, tone, and volume. Needless to say I was at a severe disadvantage. The week before we were measuring trajectories of “loogies”, another area in which I am quite inexperienced. The worst, however, was this week’s o-chem lab, when we were asked to bring in our own semen samples for analysis. Since I didn’t have any I had to buy some from some guy on my floor, and that was just weird.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Being a female science major has its plus sides. Since all my GSI’s are lonely male science nerds, it isn’t very hard for me to raise my grades through “brownie points”, if you know what I mean. Plus, the few women that are in my class are very supportive. I’ve joined several all-girl study groups, but we usually just end up sitting around badmouthing our evil male oppressors and burning copies of the Heuristic Squelch instead of actually accomplishing anything. Plus, there are a lot of programs held by female graduate students and faculty members that help me understand what an incredible challenge I’m facing and how wonderful a person I am just for having come this far. I may only be first year, but the simple fact that I had the courage to put down physics as a possible major shows that I’m a superior human being. No, really! My mentor told me so.

Anyway, despite all the difficulties, I’m glad I chose a major in science, and someday I hope to rise above the pressures of American phallocracy and become one of the most influential females scientists of our time. Either that or marry a really rich guy. It’s really all up in the air at the moment.