moosader — Here are my general thoughts on your main points.
(1) This is a problem all its own. It’s embarrassing how much we belittle math and its uses in society. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: those who are bad at math will forever be slave to those who are good at math. Those people will be endlessly manipulated because they cannot crunch the numbers.
(2) Cube Farm?
(3) This is true of all children. I certainly consider myself unique for obsessing over it in my own time. No one convinced me to go into software engineering. It was borderline genetic for me. I’m not sure how this helps your case, though. According to this, men shouldn’t be into computers either.
(4) Where have you seen/heard this? As far as I’m concerned, any treatment of this nature should be reported to HR. Regardless of where I work in the world, I will never tolerate this on any level. Granted, I am strongly religious, but everyone should maintain professional behavior in the work place. I did read the recent blog post from the disgruntled Apple employee, and it saddens me that people ever behave this way at work.
(5) I have two angles on this. First off, I do believe in gender roles. Personally, I find it ridiculous to ever suggest that men and women are the same. Men and women are drastically different both biologically and psychologically. Over the course of thousands of years, we have worked out an effective partnership where each gender takes on specific duties they excel at. The men march out, slay wild beasts, chop wood, etc. to provide for the family. The women manage the home, care for the children, etc. Currently, I live that stereotypical template: I go to work, and my wife stays home with our daughter. I’m not suggesting everyone else has to live this way. I am merely pointing out that it is normal and healthy for boys and girls to be raised differently.
With that said, I disagree with all your hard assumptions. My mother never had to take pink dolls away from me. My father never had to take trucks and LEGO away from my sister. My brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews were all naturally attracted to their “gender-specific toys”. If girls are being told they’re bad at math, I refer back to item #1. That’s a separate issue entirely, and I agree with fixing that. My sisters liked math and did quite well. Meanwhile, the boys all went into computer science, and the girls went into music/writing. What am I supposed to think of that? My parents forced them into that?
(6) It is? Obviously, I have a horrible sample size of colleges attended: one. So, I cannot really confirm or deny this. How are they based around competition? I think classes, homework, and grades are about as non-competitive as it gets. While I was at school, I gave precisely zero cares about how others were doing academically. I focused on myself. I did a lot worse than I could have done, but I just wanted to finish.
(7) Indeed. Work life balance in America sucks. We can improve in this area. However, this is another tangential issue. This discussion will quickly derail because I am not supportive of mothers who go through the bare minimum maternity leave, sign up for day care, and resume their careers as if nothing happened. Having a child is a big commitment, and that is why I prefer the single income (working father) model. Children should be raised by their actual parents. If the woman wants to continue her career… don’t have children? =/
(8) Why does this matter? Like, at all? I can’t help women being scared of appearing anti-social. Somehow, it didn’t stop men from getting into it. Are men anti-social? Or are just engineers anti-social? How does it work? I want people in engineering who genuinely WANT to be in engineering. I don’t have energy to spend on people who want to make a lot of money and still appear social.
(9) Ummm… see #8… and #4. I don’t know what else to say.
(10) Marissa Meyer! As for the rest, well, that’s just a consequence of so many men in engineering.
(11) OK. I don’t have a response to this one. I have three female engineers on my team at work. I like to think I never treat them in a sexist manner. I put talent above all else.