The inequality of our society is, quite often, drastically clear. But its source and its manifestation are also unquestionably nuanced. The actions of individuals, of groups, of entire societies against women are not acceptable, but they are a symptom, not the disease.
It’s hard if not impossible to point to the true culprit, when you walk in a classroom and it’s ninety-percent men. Where are the women, why aren’t they here? They are not here, and that is a fact, but is it because women just tend not to be interested in electrical engineering or quantum mechanics, or because it has been ingrained from a young age that their interests lie elsewhere, that their interests are supposed to lie elsewhere. Or is it becasue they had set out on that path only to be driven away by the treatment from those around them.
(My friend didn’t come to class today, or monday, or friday, because of the person who sits behind her. Honestly, it might be detrimental to her success. If her actions seem drastic, I can assure you they are not. They also should not be necessary.)
Women are trained to be passive, submissive, to slip quietly away instead of making a scene. They are trained not to cause trouble for others. When they do voice concerns, they are met with disbelief and dirision.
People always focus on treating the symptoms, because they are the most visible--they're the easiest to understand. But the symptoms don't ever really stop until the underlying problem does, and it's not going to stop on its own.