married/in grad school w/children

Leslie Kay lmk2 at
Mon Aug 15 22:59:28 EST 1994

In article <32p0rr$onr at darkstar.UCSC.EDU>,
Cathy Quinones <quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU> wrote:

stuff cut
>If I were reading these posts and were about to start grad school, without
>having had any previous exposure to it (from undergrad research or the
>such) I would imagine a veritable gauntlet a la Tailhook.  Is this *really*
>what other women have faced upon entering graduate school?  And if not,
>can someone else give a bit more balanced description?  I know there are
>women who read this newsgroup who are considering grad school or even starting
>next Fall, and I would hate to have them go into school with such a 
>hysterical/paranoiac vision.

A while back I posted about my experience in grad school (almost over....), and
said that my advisor (male) has been my biggest ally.  In fact, he suggested me
over himself to give a lecture at a prestigious conference, and they wrote back
saying "We would like someone who is a leader in the field, and I'm sure we
will find _him_" (underlining my advisor's).  They did indeed invite me, but
my advisor asked me if I thought it was worth it to battle the sexism.  I 
decided it was, and I'm going to make sure they know what a woman can know....

I have had many, many experiences with sexism in previous employment, and I
can say that I do not know a woman who hasn't.  Some have become radicalized
by sexist treatment, and almost all become bitter and angry (with good reason)
for a while after the incident (including myself).  None of us ever forgets
and rarely do we forgive such treatment, but we end up going on with things,
hoping to make it better for others.  I can completely identify with Cheryl's
anger, as I was at that point for a while, when I was driven out of a very
nice career position by sexual harassment.  (I was a whistle blower who was
not fired but made too uncomfortable to stay.)  So I do what I can to see that
things change in the future, like chiding and admonishing the male graduate
and undergraduate students in the lab where I work when I see them perpetuating
sexist attitudes.  Fortunately they are all good people and we are friends,
but they really have changed from my influence, and I have changed from theirs.
I am no longer so bitter and distrustful.  

Leslie Kay
lmk2 at

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