SIG: Inclusion in Neuroscience - Post 13
Author: Ja'Lynn Harris
Undergraduate research assistant for the B-RAD Lab at the University of Alabama
This week in our SIG discussion, we catered our discussion towards gender inequality. B-RAD Lab interns Caleb Simon and Madeline Kirby chose the TED talk ‘“A seat at the table” isn’t the solution for gender equity’ by Lilly Singh. Our selectors this week chose this topic for DEI because we haven’t been able to talk much about this area in our SIG discussions this semester. Lilly’s segment outlined the obstacles and challenges she faced as an Asian woman, not only in her familial life but also in her professional life. In the TED talk, Lilly touched on several points that resonated with us! One of which is that women are often handed the workloads that men don’t want to handle. As a diverse discussion group, we all agreed that many times this is how it can appear to come across in a work setting. Lilly also talked about how in her family, her efforts went unnoticed because in her culture women don’t have a voice. So, she took us on a journey as she redesigned the narrative for women in her family and all over the world.
In her TED talk, Lilly stated that people often think women should be simply ‘grateful’ for the opportunities they receive. She argued that although women can be grateful for an opportunity, women can also know what positions they deserve. So where is the line between being grateful for opportunities and knowing what you deserve? In our SIG discussion, Joshua Hernandez brought up an interesting point – he stated that there shouldn’t be a line and that you can be grateful for an opportunity while also knowing what you deserve. More often than not, women experience this controversy in professional settings.
In our discussion session, we discussed how this type of gender bias is occasionally linked to the gender biases and norms we encounter in the world. It was brought up in our discussion that a lot of times people differentiate certain gender roles to women and to men. For example, Victoria Ward shared an example of her encounter with her car troubles. She stated how when a man sees her under the hood of her car, they make it a point to offer her help insinuating that it is a “man’s job”. It is also understood that though these instances could be an innocent offer of assistance, it can be taken like she is incapable of handling it on her own. This point also furthered our discussion of how there is a norm associated with what tasks women shouldn’t handle such as: taking out trash, fixing appliances, or working on cars.
In conclusion, the biggest take-away from this discussion is to ensure and promote the equality of all genders. Also, it is extremely important to educate ourselves on topics like this and to keep an open mind, so we don’t offend our peers. It is our job to uplift individuals like Lilly who wants to rise against the biases set by their culture and to educate as many people as we can.
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