Letter: Gender stereotyping in gift guide works against STEM effort

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Upon opening my copy of the Collegian today, I was happy to see a list of possible gift ideas; my fiance and I have been together for almost three years and I’ve started running out of ideas. However, I quickly became dismayed at your gender stereotyping. For girlfriends’ interests, you give “Adventure” and “Fashion and Beauty.” For boyfriends’ interests, you list “Sports and Outdoors” and “Science and Tech.” A university newspaper should hold itself to higher standards than a gendered, stereotypical list of men and women’s interests, especially given the negative effects of these stereotypes on students. A common concern in STEM departments (at K-State and other universities) is a lack of women; our departments are attempting to counter these beliefs that women cannot do science to increase the amount of women. The Collegian​’s choice to abide by such damaging stereotypes – that science and technology are for men – works against our university’s desire to make STEM more inclusive.

Best,

Margaret R. Borders

Term Instructor, English Department

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