I saw a little girl today who was absolutely riveted by the life in the rotting seaweed around the harbour. I love seeing these little moments, because it takes me back to some of my first experiences as a ‘young naturalist’ of sorts.

I was nearby, photographing and identifying pollinators: I was just about to go over and ask her what she had found…

Both of us had our moments shattered, however, as her mother started screaming at her about getting her clothes dirty. Unfortunately, I also have memories of moments like these, where the female obligation to be decorative trumped my right to be fascinated and curious about the world around me.She immediately started crying when he parents took her by the arm and led her away.

For those of you who are parents or caregivers, think of what is means to prioritise a child’s appearance over her learning and interests. It’s not fair to socialise girls this way: it breeds self-consciousness, insecurity, and I’m absolutely sure has a direct link to why girls and women are under-represented in the sciences.   

I am finding it very interesting that over 1600+ people, presumably mostly women, have indicated over the past few hours that this experience resonates with them.

For those of you struggling to understand the connections I’ve made: this commercial actually lays it out quite well.

I am also finding it interesting that the only people objecting are young men (and this lone female anti-feminist blogger). Criticisms so far include: “are you sure that’s what you saw,” “you’re being dramatic,” “are you sure you’re not blinded by feminist bias,” “feminists say this to hurt boys,” “stop making everything into feminist propaganda,” “jesus christ not everything is social justice,” “this has nothing to do with gender,” and “this is economics.”

The thing is, I’m not pulling these connections out of thin air: I’m drawing on scholarship, my observations (data), and my own experiences,
in that order.

I am wondering what it would take for me to be taken at my word about my perception of reality, and my academic background. In order to be objective, should I have a male witness come with me at all times, and notarise my observations? Should I get a male co-author to peer-review my life? I’m half-joking here.

(If you sincerely need a man to vouch for my rationality, my legal partner oz7am – scientist, electrical engineer, radio amateur, and most importantly, male person – will be happy to provide you with assurances that I am not suffering from hysteria.)

In all seriousness, I’m a person who spends about a two hours a day photographing and doing some pretty detailed writing about plants. I took a break from regular programming to talk about this incident, because it took a long time for me to overcome some pretty noxious – and astonishingly similar – socialisation I received in my own upbringing, and really dive head first into applied science.

I’m not trying to have a conversation about laundry: I’m trying to talk about girlhood, because for many women, it was full of nebulous little moments of deprivation like these that are difficult to even see or comprehend when you haven’t lived them.

I don’t want young girls to have to overcome their stifling childhoods the way I did: I want their childhoods to be full of nature, adventure, play, and curiosity. I’m just trying to do my part to make a slightly better future.

# whenever people talk about tumblr being this horrible place where SJWs run amok 
I just think of stuff like this
  #    where a whole shitton of dudes yell at a woman who is literally talking about something she is an EXPERT IN 
#     and think ‘lol you have no idea what you’re talking about’ 
#    tumblr sure is full of hate but it ain’t the SJWs you need to complain about


Watch: Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai talk equality, her journey and the one thing U.S. politics needs.




Watch The Founder of Girls Who Code Perfectly School Trevor Noah On Why Culture Makes Or Breaks Women In Tech

On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah guest Reshma Saujani, an Indian-American lawyer and politician, discussed the initiative to encourage young women and girls to pursue studies and careers the booming tech field, where they are falling behind. But there are two moments in a girl’s life where we can reverse the trend.

Gifs: The Daily Show/





Emily Temple-Wood, a biology major at Loyola University, started WikiProject Women Scientists in 2012 in an attempt to combat the sweeping underrepresentation of women in the annals of scientific discovery.

The trolls soon descended, but instead of retaliating in kind, Temple-Wood and the followers she’s acquired write a biography on a woman who’s made a valuable contribution to science for every hateful message she receives. It turns out, her efforts are desperately needed.

Follow @the-future-now



Daisy Ridley (@daisyridley) responding to body shaming and Internet trolls on Instagram.