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student evaluation

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Mon Jul 15 23:06:31 EST 1996

JuneKK wrote:

>To my dismay,
> there were some graduate students who felt that some of their female
> professors who wore nice dresses, noticeable make-up, and had polished
> nails did NOT project a "serious", or professional image as others who
> were dressed less fashionably.  Comments?

   I don't have a problem with make-up or dresses.  I wear both of these
to work sometimes, and I like seeing other people take pride and care with
their appearances.  But I do have a problem taking people seriously (not
just in science, but in life) who regularly wear shoes that don't allow
them to walk properly and risk damaging their feet and spine.  
   One summer I worked in a city where a lot of businesswomen took the
subway to and from work.  I took the subway too and I used to watch them. 
The image of these immaculately dressed women in power suits, wearing
Reeboks while carrying their work shoes in a plastic bag, has always
stayed with me.  It seemed at the time, and still does, like the height of
absurdity to have to wear shoes at work that one wouldn't feel comfortable
walking to work in.  I'm really grateful that the "fashion standard" in
science allows for comfortable shoes.  For that reason, I wouldn't really
want to see the standards go "up" much, at least certainly not in the
direction of what women in business have to wear.


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