What would you have done?

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Sat Feb 17 16:49:31 EST 1996

In article <4g3egq$9v at news.ecn.bgu.edu>,
>"DAWN C. GORDON" <I7BF at UNB.CA> wrote:
>> Anyway, near the end of the interview were the following three
>> questions from the said man:
>>       1) We see that your present surname does not match the surname
>> given on your publications.  Why is that?  Me: I am married, and
>> that is my maiden name on the publlications.
>>       side comment: is that what those rings are for

This "side comment" seems outrageous.  I'm not sure I would have been able
to keep my cool and at least would have been thinking "no, duh, moron.
Haven't you ever seen a wedding ring before?"  

It seems that you showed remarkable poise in the situation, overall.

>>       2) How do you propose to handle marriage and a career?
>> ME: It's not something we entered into lightly; it has been my plan
>> to go to grad school, and my husband supports me.

When I was applying to medical school (I later changed my mind, a decision
I do not regret), I was trying to coordinate with my then-fiancee (another
decision on which I changed my mind and do not regret, but anyway . . .).
I was asked in one of my interviews how I planned to balance marriage and
motherhood with being a doctor, and I began my response with "I hope you
would ask a man the same question."  The interviewer (male, in his 50's)
nodded.  I took that to mean "yes," he would.  But who knows what was
really on his mind. 

I then responded much the same way that you did.  I said that my fiancee
and I supported each other's careers and expected to share equally in
child raising duties (I found out later that this wasn't exactly "true"
a big reason that my fiancee became my ex-fiancee).  I did get into that
medical school, in any case.  It sounds like both stories had "happy
endings," in that a calm rational response and an alleged supportive 
spouse didn't hurt us for the things we were applying for, so the system
isn't completely screwy.

Finally, I realize this really isn't my business, as people have many 
reasons to make the choices that they do, but since you asked "what would
you have done?" my first thought upon reading this story was that if I had
been in your position, I would not have changed my surname in the first place.

We had a really interesting discussion about the issue of surname change
on this newsgroup about a year ago.  It brought up a number of 
different viewpoints and a lively discussion.


More information about the Womenbio mailing list