female scientists

Leslie Kay lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu
Thu Jul 29 14:00:25 EST 1993

In article <2392vgINNqof at MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDU> smith-una at yale.edu (Una Smith) writes:
>On top of the other reasons mentioned, there is the issue of what you
>want to talk to them about.  I've heard a lot of conversations where
>younger women ask for stories about the bad old days.  I always found
>the stories interesting, but it did not occur to me until I was on the
>"older woman" side of the fence recently just what a burden is involved.

I too have found this a burden.  What I really want to do at a conference
or with colleagues in a professional situation is talk about my work or
about their work or about other scientific subjects.  It is only later 
when a sort of rapport is established, that I feel comfortable talking
about what it's like for women or my personal life.  


>The organizer answered that he'd done his best, and he had also tried to
>give all the session coordinating jobs to women.  Well, that *really*
>soured the experience for me.  I thought I'd been asked to do the job
>because he knew me and respected my social skills, *not* because he wanted
>to be politically correct for his students.

I also see that the
women researchers are overridden with women wanting to work or talk with
them because there are so few of them.  Or perhaps it is just better to
be approached for one's work, rather than because one is a woman.  In fact,
I know of a woman who turned down an opportunity to speak because she
was invited as a "woman in science" and not because the institution admired
her work.  

Leslie Kay
lmk2 at garnet.berkeley.edu

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