Barb lewis wrote about DK's comments:
>(3) Finally, for many of us, NONE of your following statements are
>"the majority of the faculty in our area are female." "All of them are
>married and all of their husbands found jobs one way or the other in
>area within not a terrible length of time." "I don't even think I know
>>In other words: very few faculty in the departments I interact with are
>female. Of the married ones, only a minority of the husbands made
>changes so their wives could take the jobs here. One female faculty
>here in Chemistry left her tenured position because her husband could
>get a decent job here - she is now working elsewhere in industry, still
>science but not in academics any more. This is after she became the
>WOMAN EVER given tenure in that department! Also, the vast majority of
>male professors *do* have either housewives or at least wives with
>rather than "careers", and who often stayed home for awhile when the
>>So maybe in some areas of science, things now aren't too different from
>the way they were in the fifties for you and your colleagues?
I've been busy at the bench since my initial foray into what was
degenerating into a mudsling, but I was also beginning to think I had
been living on another planet. I'm in biology (a "woman-friendly"
science statistically) and yet in the 4 bio departments I've been
through from undergrad on, I've never seen a department with more than
20% female faculty, often less. And very few of THEM have husbands that
made career changes (I can think of 1). In Chemistry, Math, Physics and
Engineering its MUCH worse. So thanks Barb for reassuring me that I'm
not in some warped reality.
If DK's comments about her department (psychology I believe) are true,
it then brings up another question in my mind. What is different about
being a psychology professor that would make this true? Do
psychologists do post-docs? Are their "lab hours" more flexible? Are
the granting expectations different? Is the structure of the field
different (ie, are there older female faculty to mentor the "newly
minted" ones?) Is it more socially acceptable in our society for, say,
a male banker, to be married to a "psychologist" versus a "chemist"?
I raise these questions because
1) I don't know
2) When one system has desirable attributes (in this case, mobility and
ease of "2 job" faculty familes) and another doesn't, maybe a look at
what's different could give some clues as to how to change it.
The emphasis on discussing issues thoughtfully so we can each make a
difference in our corner of the world, which is so much a part of this
newsgroup and why I take time to participate, is something I hope the
recent use of not particularly thoughtful words like "stupid", "bitch"
and "grow up" will not diminish.
visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843