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Innumerate Women

By Nicole Campbell

(Posted Dec 22, 2208)

Imagine the world the way it was four hundred years ago. Imagine that young men were encouraged to learn to read and write while women were not allowed. The woman's place was in the home and the mark of refinement was to know no skills of any value. This was a time when it was a shock if a woman knew how to read and write. Can you imagine such a thing in today's world? NO! Such ideas are backwards. If a woman were to admit to you that she didn't read well and her writing was awful, not because of a learning disorder, but because she just hated to do it and she has better things to do you would rightfully consider her idiotic. Why is it so accepted then, that women do not like to do math? Shouldn't innumeracy be considered just as egregious? It's supposed to be charming when a young woman behind a counter giggles and claims that she is no good with figures when she is attempting to count out your change. If this were to happen with a male, the reaction would be disgust. Flighty bimbos across the world have accepted the maxim that women use a different part of their brains than men, that they are good with language and art, and men are better with logic and math. Just like a century ago when African Americans were considered inferior in everything except music and dance. They didn't buy it then so why should we buy it now?

I have a degree in math. I took the hardest, most abstract math classes available and was often the only woman in the class. I usually did better than the men who were there as graduate students. I'm not advocating that everyone have an advanced education in math, but knowledge of at least algebra should be a given, just like reading and writing is a given. I have tutored women in mathematics through college and have seen them break down in tears because all of a sudden the cute "I'm helpless" routine won't cut it. They are convinced they just can't do math. Grow up. Dry your damn tears and apply yourself. If you can't work out basic percentages and make change in your head, you're innumerate. Do something about it.


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