women and men in science etc

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu
Sun Dec 3 14:33:18 EST 1995

In article <v01530500ace613bbd53e@[]>, cpatterson at WATSON.PRINCETON.EDU (Catherine Patterson) writes:
>jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu says:
>>Is it just me ...or does anyone else find it insulting that people on here
>>think that women are limited in science because they have husbands and
>>children....? And if we want to go to a conference, we have to ASK our
>>husbands if it's ok, if they'll watch the kids.....I think this is SO
>>self-defeating, a self inflicted bias....Do men think about their wives and
>>those advantages certainly are not dependant on GENDER. No wonder men aren't
>>taking us seriously as scientists...hearing the way you guys are talking...
>>I don't even take you very seriously!
>>Jen Coleman
>I feel this is a little aggressive, for no real reason.  The fact remains
>the _women_ are the half of the couple that become pregnant - there is no
>choice in that.  And, there are steps that need to be taken to protect the
>mother and fetus.
>It takes all kinds to make the world as it is.  Everyone's goals are
>different and no one person is necessarily right or wrong.  So relax, and
>feel good about yourself.
I wasn't denying the fact that we are the ones who get pregnant...of course
this is true and during later pregnancy or the early months of the child's life
mom is essential. Steps should be taken to make sure mom and others in the lab
are careful with radioactivity etc... of course this is true... What I am
concerned with is the excuses that go on after this period. I contend that this
is not gender specific at that point...both parents if scientists will have
some trouble with their careers if they have the majority of the burden of
child care. I am saying that women should not limit themselves because of what
they PERCEIVE to be obstacles such as marriage or children....we need to put
more responsiblity on the husbands and also push our institutions to provide
adequate on-site child care. Why should it be that we as women lose our freedom
to do what we want but men who are scientists will children do not. It seems we
want to label this as a problem of the "system" alone....and that some women
who are having trouble with their careers are using the kids and husband as an
excuse. I think we have to take alittle blame ourselves if our careers end due
 to children or marriage....we need to make sure our hubbies know that science
 is a priority in our lives...and yes we are willing to make some changes but
 not to the detriment of our science. I have no problem if having children and
staying at home is a priority for you...I think everyone should do what they
want....however I do think it is dangerous to overestimate the obstacles to
women in science. I think the old "well I am not getting as much done as you
but I have a LIFE" is WAY too common....what exactly does this mean? It means
that your science is suffering and you feel inferior but you want other people
to think that you are actually better off then them. I think that once the 9
months is over and nursing is done...a child is no longer an "obstacle" to a
mom's career but to a father's as well.  I am sure their are fathers out there
who take part in child care and may even be primary caregiver who experience
difficulties with their careers. I firmly believe that one of the most
effective way to overcome "gender" obstacles is to ignore them, be creative and
plow ahead...the out of my way mentality....if you think you can do, you can
...if you think you can't...guess what?

Sorry if I offended anyone...just trying to offer another opinion and stimulate
some debate

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