Science toys– for boys AND girls!

A feminist friend was looking for science toys for her kids, and she found Curious Minds, an awesome online shop that very unfortunately used the tagline “Cool science gifts for big boys”. So she wrote to them. And what a great response she got!

Didn’t you see the trailing ‘& girls’? Probably not, i just added it, red-faced. We too detest the assumption that science is men only, I don’t know how that one got in.

BTW we were watching Curiosity landing this morning and were pleased to see several women in mission control. We ourselves met working for Hubble & Lucy was one of very few females there. We definitely want to encourage girls to become scientists, technicians & engineers!

Sally Ride’s partner

Amidst all the remembrances of Sally Ride’s accomplishments, one thing that was missed was the shoddy way her partner has been treated.

Unfortunately, Ride’s domestic partner of 27 years Tam O’Shaughnessy, under federal law, will not receive the survivor annuity, death benefits, or Social Security payments that are given to family members of heterosexual astronauts. 

There’s a petition you can sign here.  Obviously, the petition is too limited— it focuses just on Ride’s partner.  But presumably the hope is that calling attention to this case will change the law, thus helping others as well.

(Thanks Jender-Mom!)

The women changing Britain’s unions

But not in the way that Thatcher did.

Today, the average British trade unionist is a young, degree-educated, white woman working in the professions. Women outnumber men. In their prime in the 1970s, unions had more than 13 million members. Now, they have 6 million; only 28% of the working population is unionised – less than 20% in the private sector. Women have become vital to the survival of unions. In a yet more extraordinary change, this autumn, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) the umbrella body for 54 affiliated unions, will welcome Frances O’Grady, 52, its first female general secretary in 144 years. “We like to take our time,” she says.