women and men in science etc

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu
Sun Dec 3 14:51:41 EST 1995

In article <1995Dec3.032018.12366 at galileo.cc.rochester.edu>, ldtr at uhura.cc.rochester.edu (Lisa M. Detora) writes:
>In <49o5of$scf at news.cuny.edu> jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu writ
> " we are not all born with the same advantages" ?!?!?! Well
>>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
>It's not just you, lots of women don't like facing the fact that women and
>men are never equal in a society which has been entirely run by men for
>hundreds of years.  That doesn't just go away.
>This doesn't have to do with ability or skill or talent.  it has to do with
>the sorts of things people expect, and the sorts of things we have all been
>educated to associate with respectability, and gender roles, expertise and
>And when we live in a country where as recently as the 1930's congress
>considered banning married women from paid work, I think we all need to face
>facts.  Women are not treated as equals in society and therefore have to
>deal with more of the responsibility for the private and all the "cleanup"
>that men don't want to do.
>Unfortunately this includes childrearing and housework.
I challenge whether this is a "fact"...is it that I don't like facing the
"fact" or that I refuse to accept the lie that men have been teaching us for
centuries? No it doesn't just go away...but if we play into it...it certainly
won't. I think it's a gross generalization to assume that all aspects of
society do not treat us as equals...I have been in many academic situations
since I started school 19 years ago (I'm 25) including graduating from your
institution the University of Rochester :-)... and not ONCE have I not been
treated equal...because I don't expect to be treated any other way, I present
as a confident and educated and competent individual and I am treated as
such....my male mentors know I spend alot of time in lab...I put alot of work
into my presentations and my papers...they expect good work from
me...regardless of the fact that I am a woman because I set the tone of what is
to be expected. Women can only be responsible for more of the housework and
childrearing if they are willing to take that role. I have to say that I am
lucky in this respect...of my husband and I ...he is the far more organized and
neat person..he likes cleaning up...and I don't ;-) But we share the housework
EQUALLY...if I cook, he does dishes..if he cooks I do dishes....we do laundry
together...and we grocery shop together too.... He knew that I was a
work-a-holic when he met me...he proposed to me in my lab at Rochester on
Christmas Eve *laugh* He expects that I will work late...and some nights we
will order out cause I get home too late to cook. We work it out...and I expect
we will continue to do so when we have kids...he loves kids and getting him to
help with the kids will be no problem. We don't have a problem because we know
what to expect from one another....it is very clear that I am committed to
science and to making this career work...I will not give it up, unless I am
proven not talented enough to make a contribution. 

UR alumna Class of 1992

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