Re: Re 5: Empowering the girl-child

Date: Wed Feb 02 2000 - 15:06:13 EST

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    Dear C. Brown:
    I am a retired (81 years old) professor who is not retired from the women's
    rights movement and is still active in AWIS (Association for Women in
    Science). Your statement that what she does is less important than how she
    looks is true and I have not yet found a way to reverse that importance.
    Her face and features, her physical shape make a difference in the extent
    to which obstacles confront her. That is, if she is "average" in physical
    attraction, what she does may in the long run count more. But if she is
    beautiful, what she does matters far less. And if she is not well endowed
    physically, her looks are a hindrance. However, there are exceptions: I
    met Rosalind Yalou many years ago. Even as a young woman, long before she
    won a Nobel Prize, she was unattractive and age and fame did not improve
    her appearance. Another person who achieved fame without being attractive
    is Betty Friedan. My conclusion is that a realist makes the most she can
    of her appearance and then forgets about it. An enthusiastic,
    well-groomed, self-assured girl will make others appreciate what she does
    even if she is plain-looking and overweight. Among my friends and former
    colleagues, I knew many such. The challenge is to convince the young girls
    that what they do, matters. Good luck. Sincerely, Anne Briscoe

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