women and men in science etc

Helen Hansma hhansma at physics.ucsb.edu
Sat Dec 9 14:19:18 EST 1995


I support you strongly, Robin, for choosing not to have kids.  
With 5 younger siblings, it sounds like you've already "had" 
them.  I also second the opinions of those who think childless 
"youngsters" would do better not to pass judgment on those with 
children for their concerns.

Regarding prejudice against women, which I have at least never 
experienced as badly as at Berkeley in the late '60s (I was 
told by the older grad students that the prof whose research 
interested me "didn't take women."  Having him as a prof for 
grad lab, I soon learned that no woman would want to work for 
one so sexist.  Asking an adviser about the advisability and 
usefulness of a Ph.D., I was told, "Well, NIH hires women," 
which seemed to be the sum of my job choices.)...

That sentence died.  The flip side of prejudice against women 
is that, as a good scientist who speaks well, I get lots of 
invitations to speak, some of which I fear are motivated by 
tokenism - the desire/need to have a woman in the program.  But 
it's fun and rewarding and hopefully helps other professional 
women as well.

If anyone is still reading - I forgot to say that all my male 
classmates at Berkeley got hit with the draft that year, so 
they didn't have an easy time either.




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