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family expectations (was (none))

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Wed Nov 3 18:20:31 EST 1993

In article <199311031520.AA09749 at ns.umb.edu>, 4700gbera at UMBSKY.CC.UMB.EDU writes:
> I find this particularly interesting. I certainly agree that women are
> frequently discrimated against in the sciences. (About five years ago
> I saw an posting for a conference that said "Faculty are encouraged to bring
> their wives". (Honest!!)) 

Or the conferences that offer "family options" including such all-time
favorite male pastimes as shopping for clothes...  Or conferences with
no provisions for child care... or conferences in older buildings with
no women's restrooms...

>   So I guess the moral of the story is that alittle encouragement at the right
> time can go a long way in reversing the damage done by discouragment. Either 
> that or I've just been very lucky. 

I'll agree with that.  I think if you ask many women of my generation
what their experiences have been during grad school, you'll find that
what we heard from our advisors pretty much matched what you
heard from your family.  ("Find a rich husband so you don't have to
worry your little head ever again..."  "What will your husband do for 
his supper if you do field research for months?"   "It's even more important 
for women to get a good education so they don't go bonkers when they're
home with the kids.")   Some days you laugh to keep from crying.

>  Has anyone else out there had similar situations with their family? Do they 
> still feel like the "strange one" at family gatherings??

Oh yes, it sounds all too familiar... now that I've finally convinced
them that I'm strange, was always strange, and always will be strange,
they just accept it...  ;-)    On the other hand, there are a few who
ask, "Well, what wierd and wonderful things are we going to do this
weekend?  We always do something *really different with you."  [You 
mean most folks don't go out to the dump to talk to the landfill manager
and find out if the new laws have had any effect on the amount going
to the dump each day?????  ;-) ]

Kay Klier   Biology Dept   UNI

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