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I only wear skirts if I WANT my husband's attention. All my outfits as a lawyer when I worked are skirts too, mostly just above the knee with heels. All effective in making what is best of my body shape.

Being feminine doesn't mean frumpy, just as there are concerns about low waisted jeans there is a legitamite concern about high waisted pants or shoes that makes your ankles look fat. Even if you are covered, some styles make you look like all butt. Who wants to be all butt, when they are in presence of the Lord?


I found this quote interesting...

"4. There was a very interesting study done on female telemarketers and dress. The study involved three groups:

a. Women who wore pants to work.

b. Women who wore skirts or dresses.

c. A control group of women.

The study found that the women who wore skirts or dresses to work had a statistically significant higher rate of sales than the other two.

How could this be when the people being sold couldn't see the women telemarketers over the phone?

The answer they found was that the women wearing skirts and dresses felt more at ease, relaxed and "themselves" and that communicated itself over the telephone leading to more sales.

Why then does a skirt or dress make women feel more themselves? I'm not entirely sure.

Maybe it has something to do with the way the fabric flows and moves gracefully (unlike the either immodest or unsightly lines created when a woman wears pants which either way is jarring to the eye), or maybe it is the sense of mystery that is encoded in skirts and dresses (here obviously I'm excluding mini skirts), or maybe it is just the fact that in wearing a skirt/dress a woman is set apart, she is making a public signal that she is a WOMAN (Scottland excluded) and so she will be treated as one. "

I was reading when studying the Billings Ovulation Method, that woman are more "at ease" and "more themselves" and "comfortable" in bed and able to reach sexual climax! Maybe the skirts at whatever length made them more arroused in a sexual nature then masculine pants, hence a more feminine flirty voice and higher telemarketing sales.


"There are modest pants and immodest dresses..."

Amen to that. Not to mention that the modest skirts are precious hard to find. I find myself wearing pants more often than I'd like because finding nice skirts is so hard. You can either pay a bundle at one of those online "modest clothes" stores (not an option on our current budget) or learn to sew (I've tried, really I have. I can make quilts but clothes are just beyond me.)

And then there's the issue you raised of harsh New England winters that this little Southern flower can't quite get the hang of. (Last winter when I was pregnant was a notable exception. Baby B kept me toasty warm.)

It might be different if I could follow the sensible examples of our foremothers who wore long skirts with several layers of petticoats. But such are neither fashionable nor practical. (Though when I'm on my Louisa May Alcott kicks I sometimes harbor a faint nostalgia...)


"Who wants to be all butt, when they are in presence of the Lord?"

I'm dying, Renee! You kill me!!


"Why then does a skirt or dress make women feel more themselves? I'm not entirely sure."

Good grief! I like wearing a skirt. I know for a fact that I am most comfortable and feel most like myself when wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. And no shoes.

Jo Griffith

I work in a law office and I wear pants everyday. You have not lived until you get that nice flowing skirt caught in the wheels of your desk chair.

At church I wear pants because our choir faces the congregation and nothing looks more unmodest to me than facing the congregation wearing a skirt.

To remember femininity, I always choose blouses and sweaters carefully that add a feminine touch with embroidery, beading, ruffles, ect. that are modest and add to the outfit rather than making me stand out. I have always dressed this way because I am most comfortable this way. My pants are not tight or in any way immodest.


Last winter I was visiting my parents in Western Pennsylvania. I was getting ready for Mass. I was wearing a to-the-knee J.Jill dress, nothing at all tight, and dark tights. My *father* told me to go back upstairs and change into pants. I was an old married woman (at the time 33) and too old and too much of someone's mother to wear something like that to church.
At Mass I made note of what the older married (and widowed and divorced) mothers were wearing, meaning anyone over the age of 33. Now, it was winter, so it was cold and snowy, but all of the women in the church were wearing pants. Even the 80 year old daily Mass goers. Some chinos, some dress pants, some full-on pants suits. It left me wondering if THIS was the new modesty.

Liz Swift

I must admit that in the summertime I make an effort to wear skirts or dresses to church. I had about a month this summer when my leg was encased in an aircast that only fit into tie shoes, that I was back in pants. I wasn't pleased, but it really was superior to wearing knee socks and sneakers with a skirt! In the winter, however, skirts (other than the ones that come to mid calf worn with high boots) are simply not practical. It isn't just the weather outside, it's the temperature of the church inside. Most people don't even take their coats off because it's just too chilly.

It has often struck me that some of the men advocating dresses on women would never want to go anywhere in the winter with bermuda shorts and panty hose. Yet women even in knee length dresses are scarcely less subject to the elements than a man would be in bermuda shorts.

I wear jeans as a matter of course because my days often include such activities as bringing in wood, capturing a lamb that's gotten out of its pen, helping a ewe in labor, or weeding the garden. Most of those tasks are simply done more practically in not just pants, but jeans (I tried other kinds of pants in the barn and ended up ripping them on errant nails and such).

I love to dress up for Mass, and I do so as long as the weather allows. In every day life, however, I'm more often found in jeans with a feminine shirt or sweater.

My daughter says that she's having a hard time finding modest jeans these days, but so far Lee jeans are working for me.


When I first began nursing, the required uniform was a white dress. Some of the nurses in my hospital petitioned for permission to wear pants. They were refused. That is, until the day the Director of Nursing was taking some bigwigs for a tour and came upon a cardiac arrest on a cart in a hallway. The nurse who was doing the chest compressions, in order to reach, was straddling the patient with her skirt hiked up around her waist.
The next day, the order came down that we could wear pants. What constitutes modest dress frequently depends on the activity being performed.


Colleen Hammond has an excellent booklet on this subject called "Dressing with Dignity". (Forgive me for not having direct quotes but my mom is out of town and I borrowed the book from her)
After reading it, I was more aware of my dress in "public". That's the key... dressing up for outdoor chores is pointless. But anyways, she did TONS of research on this topic and the 2 things that struck me the most was the determination of the Free Masons during the 19th century to purposely infiltrate the fashion industry to "bring us down". They said something to the affect of "we will start with the ankles and elbows... then the knees and shoulders... etc. etc." Also, a major study was done that concluded the male's line of sight when a woman wears pants is actually more often at the crotch more than the butt. (both are appalling) SO... not only have I switched to more skirts this summer, I plan on wearing longer shirts or cardigan sweaters to cover my crotch/butt while I'm wearing jeans this winter. Oh, and Colleen also discovered she was treated more like a woman (men holding doors or saying "excuse me mam") in public places. I tried this and IT WORKS!! Just food for thought... I'm not condemning anyone's dress as long as it's modest. As for church I must say, I'll take a pair of pants on a Eucharistic Minister over the sweats and tennis shoes I've seen lately. ARG!


OK, I have an 'indoor job' (I teach college), and so I don't have to chop wood or capture errant pigs. I've also only worn trousers twice in my life - one pair when I was a child and one pair when I was a size 10! While I found the trousers comfortable, for example, when travelling by train, I didn't find them all that advantageous over skirts. This includes during cold weather. I moved from sunny California to central Europe three years ago, encountering snow and below-zero temperatures for the first time. I bought the second pair of trousers in my life then, with the idea that trousers would keep me warmer. To my surprise, my legs were colder when I wore trousers (with tights and long underwear) than when I wore skirts (with tights and without long underwear). This difference has been confirmed by women from this country: skirts are warmer than trousers, provided it's a longish skirt and not made of chiffon. I don't know how this is - but it is. Go figure.

I've worn skirts, then, most of my life (I've never set leg in a pair of jeans), and for everything from mixing concrete to walking 500KM across Spain backpacking, to walking in knee-deep snow along with just day-to-day life spent in skirts or dresses for over 40 years now. I have climbed fences in skirts. However, I think the time I rode a horse I wore trousers (no side-saddle available and no skirt wide enough to sit astride).

When I set off to walk across Spain with nothing but skirts and dresses in my wardrobe (and very little in my wallet), I figured, well, when women did this pilgrimage in the middle ages they wore dresses, so it can be done. And I did it. Also gardening, playing tennis and painting rooms. Our grandmothers did everything in skirts. Third-world women in some countries chop wood and chase pigs in skirts.

Anything my grandmother could have done in a skirt; anything any missionary nun in Africa did or does in a habit - I can do in a skirt. With 40-plus years of experience in skirts, I can say that yes, even doing CPR while straddling the patient can be done modestly in a skirt, provided the skirt is cut wide enough so you don't need to hike it up to your hips. And as for rolling the wheels of a chair over your skirt - wear a narrower skirt without so much volume (I used to roll my chair over my COAT when I had nowhere to hang it but the back of my chair, but never over my skirt, because I wasn't wearing a hugely flowing skirt. Simple.)

Maybe it's pure rationalization, but with my behind, I need all the rationalization I can get.

Why skirts? Well, I'm rarely a size ten. I'm used to it. I just always have worn skirts. There's no philosophy to it.

Why not trousers? I'm finally going to get a chance to say it in a public place: big, BIG, BUTTS on pretty much anyone who wears trousers and doesn't have the figure of a fence picket. Especially jeans (the heavy fabric makes even my skinny, twenty-something students look bulky). Especially low-ride jeans with wide belts, so that the eye is focused on the widest part of a woman's figure: the hips.

What woman-hater invented a fashion that will place a wide, horizontal stripe right at a woman's hips? And when will the fashion industry come out with a spate of articles about how ghastly this style is for your figure and how the latest thing is to emphasize a small waist? Because you know, we've been down the low-ride/wide load jeans road before and the fashion passed, and when it did, the fashion writers just blandly wrote that it was horrible for most figures - as though they hadn't inflicted it on women in the first place!

I've been keeping a private count of women who can wear low-ride jeans with a wide belt emphasizing their hips vs. women who can't. So far, I've seen 17 girls (not women) who can wear the outfit without looking like a WIDE LOAD going down the highway vs. 13,422 women who should have put on a skirt. (OK, so question my numbers - go ahead).

As for modest clothing that's comfortable and fits well: LANDS END has everything you need. And at decent prices. And the best service you will ever find. With a money-back guarantee for ANY or no reason, even if you've had the item for three years and thought it would wear for four. And this includes some clothes for children. Lands End should be where everyone concerned about modesty, price, comfort and value shops.

Gosh I've been waiting a long time to say this!


Thank you for this opportunity to comment on skirts vs. pants. I've worn skirts-only for about six or seven years now, maybe a little longer -- ever since I renewed my devotion to our Blessed Mother. In all things, including how I dress, I try to do what is most pleasing in her sight. She never wore pants, and in all of her appearances over CENTURIES, her style of dress has not changed. And if you look at the females she appeared to in all of her approved apparitions, neither did they ever wear anything but skirts or dresses.
The skirts I choose are always mid-calf to ankle length, but they do not tend to be flowing unless I am dressing for a special occasion. Otherwise, they are cut a bit more narrow, though still very easy to take a good stride in. (I also choose tops that are not form-fitting, never have a neckline that will be revealing, and which reach at least to my elbow.)
It is my understanding that Hollywood had a great deal to do with women beginning to wear pants, which was always a men's piece of clothing. I believe the credit has been given to Katherine Hepburn. The pants she wore in the 30's & 40's movies were not tight fitting either, but they started something. Frankly, as a Catholic woman, I'd rather not be following the example of Hollywood or a sad individual like Katherine Hepburn when it comes to ANYTHING. Nor do I want to dress after the fashion of men. Rather, there's a loving Mother in our life we ought to choose as our example for dressing.
I will admit that about once a year I will put on a pair of loose-fitting jeans (but only with a three-quarter length coat over them) -- and that is if our family goes out into the country for a hike or some such thing. Ever since my decision to live in skirts though, I've felt very awkward and uncomfortable doing this and can't wait to get home and change back into a skirt. Now, after reading the last post (Stella's?), I think I'll hang up those jeans for good -- maybe even give them to Good Will!
One last comment: I think one of the ugliest and most distracting things I've ever seen in church is a woman's behind encased in a pair of pants. And if I feel this way, imagine how distracting the woman's hehind is to a MAN standing behind her. You don't get this when women wear modest skirts and dresses. It's a fact, appropriate skirts and dresses are more modest and do lend themselves to a more dignified look.
God bless you all.


Just a reminder:
Men used to wear "dresses", and Monks still wear a kind of "dress".

As far as for me, I believe "pants"
to be more sensible than dresses for women to wear.


Hmmm. I have thought about the pants/skirt issue quite a bit. As a 22 year old, I've really only been aware of dressing modestly for about 2 years. And during that time my sense of modesty has changed a lot (example....2 years ago: wellllll this dress is strapless but, eh I have a small chest and there's no cleavage showing so it's all good. Currently: I won't wear strapless OR spaghetti straps.) It's funny for me to look at old pics and be shocked by the amount of skin but at the time, I thought I was making strides in modesty. That being said, I still wear pants. I definately feel MORE feminine in a skirt, and in the summer I wear them a lot. But when I pull on a pair of pants, I certainly don't feel like I've lost my womanhood. This summer's past fashion of the longer, slender shorts that reach the knees I LOVED to pair with heels and a pretty top and I felt just as feminine as I did in a skirt (and more comfortable). I don't know, I just don't think pants are such a big deal, as long as they're modestly cut and not too tight or whatever. You can find jeans that are cut more like trousers and aren't as form-fitting. I've asked my husband (of 3 months :)!!!) many times while we were dating to tell me if something I was wearing was distracting or immodest, and he's never complained about a regular pair of jeans or dress pants. The big determining question for me when I choose to wear either pants or a skirt is....How recently have I shaved my legs? I'm a bare-legs at-any-cost kind of girl....I HATE stockings, pantyhose, all that stuff. Spending most of your life in a ballet studio in leotard and tights will do that to a person :)


...and besides being more comfortable, if my jeans and sweatshirt allow me to more easily chase my five kids around and do the dirty work in the house--doesn't that allow me to be a more efficient mother? Isn't being domestic and maternal feminine? I don't define feminine as just being pretty. Wear your skirts everyday if you want to--I won't argue with you if you say that's how YOU feel most comfortable--but just don't insist that's what God's calling all of us to do.


Every woman, finds her style, eventually. I think the concern with materialism is giving into every marketed trend by the clothing industry. I read a good piece of fashion advice, 'if something fits well, buy it in three or four shades'. It might be boring, but you won't be a mockery of every seasonal trend. If you check out the Saint Vincent de Paul thrift stores, someone's impulsive waste can be just your thing.

We should note the lack of custom made/tailored clothing now a days, as everything is off the rack so it becomes a one size fits almost no one. Many women who devote and sacrifice much to their family, might not take the time to consider a nicer outfit that properly fits and just pick anything off at the discount store. In the long run, it is better to take your time and buy something that can last for years.

I think it was a "What Not to Wear" special, and they had six women all of various heights, weights, torso/hip lengths and widths who all calimed they wore a size 10. I recently cleaned out my closet and was happy to see how much I wanted to keep, especially since my size has gone up and down three times due to pregnancy in the past five years. My husband always asks me, why does a "size 6" mean? I have no idea.


I am a big fan of skirts - provided they're long. I don't even like wearing ones cut to just below the knee, I feel I'm showing too much leg. I don't like wearing shorts (I like not having to shave my legs/have hairy ones). The main problem for me is that skirts I'm comfortable in tend to make cycling difficult.

Because so many of my skirts are flowy (I take big steps, I'm not willing to slow myself down by wearing a skirt that won't let me walk), they can be cold if it's windy. If there's no wind the ones that aren't thin cotton are toasty warm. In the winter I'll wear trousers, including jeans. I'll also wear trousers to work - skirts don't fit into coveralls very well, so if I'm making a site visit I need to be a trousers.

I do agree though that almost anything that can be done in trousers can be done in skirts. My take on it has been that since I have to put up with the annoying parts of women's clothing (fashions changing, lack of decent trousers, heels, etc), I'll take advantage of being able to wear skirts.


Hey, just so you know, your postings are getting goofed up. (Or at least that's how it shows up on my computer right now.) I did not write the post that starts, "Every woman finds her style." I wrote the one above it.


Oh wait, I think it's just because of the postion of the gray line. It makes the "posted by" look like it belongs with the text below it. Sorry, I'm a graphic designer and sometimes only see in shapes. Nevermind!



Christ never wore pants either. Should we push for a return to robes as daily wear for men, especially if skirts are as all fired practical as some of you are suggesting?

After all, pants are a pretty recent peice of clothing, historically speaking. It just took the new fangled things a little longer to make their way to women. But all of your early male saints would have worn robes of one sort or another. The only people wearing anything resembling pants in the first century were asians of one stripe or another, and just as often women (pajamas, harem pants) as men.


I am always in a dress or jumper that is well below the knee, year round. I don't actually care what a women wears at home to do housework or yard work. But I often want to take pictures of women-of all ages-at Mass so they can see just where the fabric stays when they stand after sitting! Ugh! I can only imagine how distracting it is for men, and I have seen many men trying to keep their eyes averted. Please don't say "they don't have to look" as that is the same excuse people use when parents want certain things taken off the air or out of movies -" just turn the channel" If pants feel best on you, please wear something long to cover your rear - if you doubt me, sit down, stand up and have someone take a picture-try it several times.
I will also add, that I am very overweight and yet I
am treated with more kindness and respect by males of all ages-yes, even teens- and I believe it
is becasue of how I dress. Feminine without being frilly. And I also know that women in dresses and skirts often behave better, use less foul language,
smile more and sit in a more dignified manner and the right kind of men do notice and act accordingly.


The idea of dresses being 'feminine' and trousers being masculine is not really rooted in history, more in culture. As others have mentioned, in the east, women wore trousers. And men did wear robes (look at pictures of Jesus; it's where we get vestments for priests and monks, as has been noted). In the 1700s, men wore knee-breeches and tight-fitting stockings and the women used to go ga-ga over the men's legs. If you look at portraits of men from those times, if a man had 'good legs' you'd see him posed with a leg sticking forward ('making a leg') to show off his good legs. Women weren't considered to have 'good legs.' While men were still 'making a leg' to show off their best physical attributes, women were wearing 'empire waistlines' (under their bosoms, not emphasizing the waist) that didn't show their figures at all - not form-fitting. But they were low-cut with short sleeves, and 'racy' women dampened their underslips so that their dresses would cling to their legs. No one wanted to show off her belly or behind. So all these things change.

A professor of mine at Berkeley - who was admittedly a potty-mouthed creep - said that the reason dresses became standard for women was because they were easily lifted for sexual access (I hope I can say that on this site). If that's true, it would be just another example of fashions being created to make women sexual objects - including dresses! I don't know if that was true or not, but if so, it tells you something: there isn't an absolute in 'modest' fashion from place to place and time to time. There are probably cultures where his-and-her loincloths are the norm, and yet people look in shock at someone else's immodest loincloth.

If the Blessed Virgin is your standard, it should perhaps not be because in her time (and her apparitions) she wore dresses, but because she 'veiled her holiness' the same way the holy of holies in the Temple was veiled (I got this notion from Alice von Hildebrand, a woman worth listening to on the subject of modesty and reverence). When you look at it in principle, a woman can be modest wearing trousers as long as you can't read the label on her underwear they're so tight (to borrow from Garrison Keillor), and her tops are not form-fitting and don't attract lustful stares.

I suppose the bottom line (pardon the expression) is that if it's not likely to arouse lustful thoughts in a normal man, it's modest. We women are sometimes clueless about just what is likely to arouse lustful thoughts in a normal man, though! A simpler rule of thumb: if he's looking at your face and eyes, and not talking to your chest, you're probably dressed modestly.

The rest of it is common sense about how you look from behind and the side and when someone taller is looking down and can see down your blouse (including the priest giving out communion - give our priests a break!). Most people don't look either modest or their best in tight-fitting or belly- or butt-crack revealing clothes.

One little observation, though, that has subtly influenced my habit of wearing skirts and dresses. I have five older brothers. Their wives wear almost exclusively trousers. When they 'dress up' in trousers (to go out to dinner, for example), my brothers look at them and say, 'Ready to go?' When they dress up in dresses, though, I can see my brothers' eyes lingering on their wives with a proud look, and my brothers just seem to stand a little taller and act a little more attentive.

And off on a tangent... a 'secularly' dressed religious sister once told me that she kind of wished her order hadn't gone in for 'street clothes.' There was one sister who was handicapped, and her habit covered a brace, so she stuck to the old habit. "Sister Pantsuit" told me that "Sister Habit" always got specially reverential treatment from strangers: they seemed in awe just at the sight of a 'real nun' and considered it a privilege to help her. And this was in largely anti-Catholic England.

Oh, it's been bugging me: the person who wrote that she only wears skirts when she wants to get her husband's attention... Don't you ALWAYS want your husband's attention? Doesn't it worry you that when you're in trousers his attention will be on the women who are in dresses?

But it just illustrates a point: men do seem to pay more attention - of the kind we want - when we dress UNLIKE them. Opposites attract! And if you want to attract a man to YOURSELF, not to your body, it just makes sense to dress unlike men and unlike a tart.


"Oh, it's been bugging me: the person who wrote that she only wears skirts when she wants to get her husband's attention... Don't you ALWAYS want your husband's attention? Doesn't it worry you that when you're in trousers his attention will be on the women who are in dresses?"

Yes, I always want his attention. Before we started dating, I always wore skirts to work. That's how he noticed me to begin with. I've had discussions with other women, especially now I stay at home to sometimes make a special effort to look nice considering beforehand how the work we do to look nice for the professional work place to impress clients and such.


An added note: My Great-Uncle was a Priest
and he said there came a time where he avoided
presiding over weddings because of all the bare
shoulders and cleavage. If some brides can't figure out how to dress in The House Of God, what can we expect anywhere else? I have often
thought that churches should provide white capes
for the brides to wear during the Mass if they have too much skin showing. The capes would be
pretty, elegant, modest and give Priests "a break!"
But since a Priest wouldn't dare order it, it's up to women to set the rules!! Does anyone agree with me?


I would like to challenge all Catholic women to "give up" pants during Lent in 2007. This could be in a spirit of reparation or in experimentation or in identification with our womanliness and "wearing that identity" in a beautiful skirt. I think it would spark a needed trend, away from mindless fashion, to discovering that our way of being for others includes the way we dress. Clothes are for covering /veiling espicially if you think that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Clothes reveal our love and respect for other individuals whom God brings into our presence. Not to mention we are always in God's Presence and in the company of Angels. Clothes reveal the dignity of the different roles lived out to promote a healthy and balanced society. I would like to see Catholic women promote and experience fashion in a way that will restore Christian culture. The Litany of Status Quo Fashion "I'm cold, I'm hot, I'm uncomfortable, It's practical, I'm busy" denies the quagmire of indecency and outright disregard of male and female sensibilities we continually suffer. BY VIRTUE of how we are wired as men and women, I am convinced that if Christian women return to wearing modest dresses or skirts w/blouse all the time (with an exception to pants for necessity, in cases of extreme weather,certain occupations with heavy machinery ect...)we could weild a powerful force in winning the culture back for JESUS and the salvation of souls. If Jesus could suffer the horrific death of crucifixion, could we not suffer inconvience to restore a feminine standard of clothing that veils our crotch, buttox and thighs?! I think if this was done in a spirit of reparation for the sins of vanity, slothfulness, and impurity committed in the name of fashion, we would be renewed and empowered by restoring our invaluable and distinguished role as women to build up the Kingdom of God. It is up to us, men cannot wear the skirts. Let's give them back their pants too!

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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