Mar 27, 2010
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I was really excited to see a "women in healthcare" forum here on SDN. However, I can't help but notice the paucity of discussion in this corner of the SDN... What's further alarming to me is the ratio of viewers to responses per thread. I haven't been on SDN long enough to say whether or not this is true for most of the other forums - and I'm sure there is a spread/some variation - but at least for my specialty forum, which is predominantly male - it's really active and hopping with comments made all the time. I went to the ob/gyn forums (which I presume to be mostly female) and noticed a similar situation to the one here - lots of views, very few responses per thread.

What's your take on this?

Looking back at all of the rotations I've done, and all the other work experiences I've had in my life, I've also noticed a pattern of guys being more willing than women to offer support to people (whether to other men or women). Has this been anyone else's experience too? If so, what do you think is holding women back from supporting each other more? If that's not been your experience, what kinds of experiences have you had and what do you think fostered that kind of camaraderie?

Let's get a good discussion going here.
 

dotdash

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Aug 28, 2008
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Grain of salt: I'm a PhD, not a clinician. But I would say that in my professional life I have seen a lot of what you describe: the failure of women to support the careers of other women. I wonder if there is not a little of "familiarity breeds contempt" in this?

A friend of mine noticed the same thing about her ethnic group. She described it as being in a bucket of crabs: if one crab starts to get out, the other crabs pull it back down into the bucket.

I think one has to make a conscious effort to support the careers of other women, to know that that is a worthwhile effort, and just get over the competitive stuff, or the low-self-esteem stuff, or the Stockholm-syndrome (identifying more with the dominant group) stuff.

Whatever you think of Nancy Pelosi's politics, it is a wondrous thing to see her push around a bunch of entitled white men. Before everyone jumps on me: I'm not saying that that should be everyone's goal, but pushy women should get to exercise their pushiness as much as pushy men do.

Re the paucity of true discussions on many threads: There are a lot of crass people on this forum who post extremely aggressive and angry responses. Discussions get to be rather bruising events and if you are thin-skinned, it's just not worth it.

I'm glad you have been posting here. Keep at it and maybe we'll generate some interest....
 

jinx520

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I've noticed the same lack of support among women, as well. I'm thinking that some of it has to do with the (perceived or real) lack of options for women, so if one woman gets promoted, then somehow that reduces other women's chances of being promoted.

But some of it is also due to the "sour grapes" phenomenon. If I see a hard-charging, go-get-'em woman out there doing her thing, it might make me feel bad because I may have a low self-esteem and think I could never achieve as much as she did, even though I secretly want to. So I will comment snarkily on her mustache and lack of boobs.

Although I'm just using that as a hypothetical situation, and even though I am very conscientious about keeping a positive mind-set and trying to look at other women who went before me for inspiration, I must admit I have had my moments when I find myself pointing out the large ass on another woman simply because I feel jealous of something she has and I need to make myself feel better at her expense (no, I don't say things like this to other people's faces. But I have to admit I think these thoughts, though I know better.)

I think part of THIS little bit of meanness might have something to do with the difference between how men and women deal with competitiveness. We humans are all competitive to a certain extent, some more than others. But boys generally are encouraged at a young age to compete openly, whereas girls are told that such behavior is unbecoming of a proper young lady. So then men grow up knowing how to compete in healthy ways (try to kill each other on the basketball court and then shake hands, for example) but women have to resort to passive-aggressive BS (Oh! She has my dream career! How nice! But I'm prettier.)

I know I have these tendencies in myself, but the best that I can do is to try to catch myself when I think like this and not indulge in the petty behavior, and to do my best to raise my daughters not to think this way.
 
Jun 30, 2010
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It's my first time on this forum and the first thread I read here. What is said in the previous posts make me kind of sad. I never do the things she described (like saying negative things about others because of jealousy). It's sad to think that there are other grown up people who do so. Kind to hard to believe this.

But yes I've noticed these things too and it has disturbed me but I never thought it is only among women.
 

Danae00

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It's my first time on this forum and the first thread I read here. What is said in the previous posts make me kind of sad. I never do the things she described (like saying negative things about others because of jealousy). It's sad to think that there are other grown up people who do so. Kind to hard to believe this.

But yes I've noticed these things too and it has disturbed me but I never thought it is only among women.
Women are by far the more "evil" of the sexes. And I'm female!

That may not be entirely fair but there is a reason for the saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". When men get angry with each other they may end up in a physical fight, but then they typically can leave it at that. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to try and systematically destroy their opponent's life. Someone once told me "You can tell when a guy wins a fight when he puts his rival in the hospital. You can tell when a women wins a fight when her rival puts herself in the hospital".

Yes, theses are sterotypes but I have to say in my experience there is definitely some truth to them.
 

dragonfly99

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May 15, 2008
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I don't really agree.
There are some b*tchy women but there are some sorry-a** men as well who try to keep down women.
I think honestly a lot of professional women are just busy busy busy...trying to keep all those balls in the air in terms of their personal life, including husbands and kids oftentimes. They honestly probably don't have time to spend mentoring people too much. I honestly don't take it personally. Most of the women I work with in cardiology I really admire...doing what they do is not easy and I hope that I can do it as well as they are, some day.

As far as this particular forum, I tend to stay off here because there are a lot of silly discussions (see "maintaining feminity", etc.). Also, there are honestly a few weird guys on here trolling and spilling misogynist hate which doesn't really add anything to these discussions. I'm pretty much busy just keeping in keepin' on, learning cardiology, and I don't have time for all the drama...
 
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Jan 15, 2010
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You've noticed the "paucity of discussion" and it worries you? Maybe nobody writes on here because they're busy being physicians. One of the dumbest things we do as a society is to single out groups of minorities in order to "recognize" their role in certain field, for the stated goal of encouraging their involvement. This is like shooting yourself in the foot to help yourself walk.

Generally I'd tell people this: if you want to be represented and treated equally within the medical profession, then STOP talking all the time about how you're a woman (or an african american, latino, haitian, autistic, etc.). Because before you opened your mouth I was just thinking of you as a "doctor."
 
May 18, 2014
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The lack of discussions in this corner may be a good sign that women are off doing better things for themselves or others (or else taking their discussions to different places online or offline). I think the thread's question is just too speculative. You'll find supportive men and supportive women if you look for them.