Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Science for Girls & Other Smart People

Linnea Sinclair and Jacqueline Lichtenberg, science fiction extrordinaires both, headed up an interesting discussion over at http://aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com on Monday and Tuesday (5/21 & 5/22/07.) The main topic was the Intimate Adventure. Check out Jacqueline's website http://www.simegen.comfor an article providing a thorough explanation of Intimate Adventure in storytelling. The conversation moved into empowering women when Michelle Moran was mentioned concerning a story on her blog recently. http://michellemoran.blogspot.com

This all inspired today's commentary, Science for Girls & Other Smart People. The reason I love science, science fiction, and science fiction romance is because it empowers the reader. In magical stories, the reader might think, "Oh, I wish I could do that!" In science fiction, the reader can believe, "I WILL do that!" Yet, even today in this country girls are socialized away from pursuing education and careers in science and the mathematics. At about the Middle Grade level, the pressure is on to mold them into creatures solely for the selfish use of others. The human heart needs love. If a girl doesn't get a healthy love from family, friends, and mentors, she can fall prey.

There is something we can do. We can empower girls and young women all over the world with a strong belief in their own value and worth and rights as human beings. We can do that in many ways. One way is through science. (check out the book featured above)

Quick, can you name a science fiction novel with a 12 year old girl as the protagonist? Why do you suppose that is?

Women Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance authors sometimes puzzle over their small ranks. Here's my suggestion: band together and support an organization which encourages girls in science and math. Girls who love science love science fiction and grow up to love Science Fiction Romance. Yet, social pressure weeds them out before they ever get a chance to enjoy your novels. ;)

http://www.sallyridescience.com

4 comments:

Michelle Moran said...

That's a wonderful idea, Kimberley. As someone who is totally inept at all things left brained, I blame part of that on an education that focused heavily on the arts. Not that I'm complaining ;] But an earlier exposure to science would certainly have helped me in college, and might have turned me on science fiction , which I do see as being male-dominated, at least in its readership. Although what you write, science fiction romance, probably has a slightly different target market and a wider readership.

Kimber An said...

Hi, Michelle!

One debate I've often participated in as a Homeschool Mom is the value of teaching science at all in the elementary grades. It's unbelievable to me that this is debated, but it is. Some believe young children don't retain the facts well. Not only did I not believe that going in, but I've seen it proven wrong since then. Besides, even if a child doesn't retain the facts, she DOES retain the love of science and self-esteem discovery brings.

Another thing homeschoolers have figured out is that children who are taught science from the youngest age also scored higher in reading skills and just about everything else too.

LadyBronco said...

I think science and music should be mandatory for every child in every grade - the one compliments the other perfectly.

Kimber An said...

Very true, Lady B. Remember the Doctor and Seven singing together on Star Trek: Voyager? One of my little darlings adores music and she's also very mathematical. We've been setting the clock by her since she was born!

I think we mothers of sons can do our part too, by raising them to respect us first. We're the first women in our sons' lives. It's from us that they learn how to regard and respect all women.