The Tools of Ignorance?

The Tools of Ignorance?

Our guest blogger today is Tina Closser, an electrical engineer for the Navy who also is known as Paige Daniels, author of the “Non-Compliance” science fiction series. She lives in Indiana with her husband and two children and blogs at

Recently my daughter was watching a show on a popular kids’ television channel. In it, the older sister motioned to a hammer and screwdriver and told the younger sister, “If you’re lucky, you won’t have to learn how to use these.”

I’m an engineer, so this definitely grabbed my attention. The show is marketed to girls in the age range of 7-12. That’s the age when girls (and boys) are trying new things and figuring out who they want to be when they grow up.

Why in the world would we send a message to impressionable children that might limit their choices?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women oversee 80 percent of consumer spending. Yet women make up only 20 percent of the engineering workforce—the workforce that creates the items women spend their money on. Sounds to me like a huge potential for women to get involved.

If my daughter decides not to go into engineering or science, that’s fine with me. I know I’ve exposed her to the idea and equipped her to make well-informed decisions.

Let’s not limit our children, but expose them to a range of possibilities for their future.


Photo: Kiatying-Angsulee


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  • Arthur Conway

    I agree that choices should be a wide ranging as possible, but neither should we ignore social realities. We are a society that clings to the idea that those who are wealthy enough hire others to do the real work. Engineers do not build bridges, they design them. Everyone is encouraged to attend college, where hammers are not part of the tool set. Perhaps we should emphasize less what one does in deference to who they are.

  • Cynthia Schrage