I was watching This Week in Tech episode 274 today. They were talking about some list of the most influential people. Leo Laporte threw it over to Xeni Jardin to give her opinion of the list. At first she just blew the list off as unimportant and then she started commenting about the female representation on the list. She was disputing why the female representation on the list were Sarah Palin and Lady Gaga. I agree with her to that point. There are tons of women that are better influences than them, but just as the panel talked about earlier in the episode it isn't about being a good or positive influence, just most influential.
The thing that struck me was that Xeni made this comment, "Why can't we have one woman that wears pants to the office and does something interesting with science and technology."
Why does a woman have to wear pants, as opposed to a dress, to be influential. I agree that there needs to be more to a woman than her body, but wearing a dress does not make a woman less competent, nor does wearing a dress have to be flaunting. There are plenty of women wearing pants who try to use their femininity rather than their talent to advance themselves.
Why does a woman have to go to the office to be influential? I think Mother Teresa wore a dress and did not go to the office and is often referred to as one of the more important women ever. Women do more influential and important thing when they don't have to go to the office and chase power and money all day long and work for the interests of some corporation.
Why does working in science and technology make a woman more influential than other pursuits?