spouses & mobility

Bharathi Jagadeesh bjag at nih.gov
Mon Jun 23 10:20:33 EST 1997


Hmm, I'm posting via the www.bio.net server (as suggested by Susan 
Forsburg) and it seems that there are messages here that I don't 
see in my newsreader -- which is intriguing. 

Bharathi Jagadeesh (bjag at nih.gov) writes
> complexity this adds to planning one's life. A famous female scientist I
> know advises young people that you should find your tenure-track position
> first, and then find your life's mate. This advice is amusing, but not
> very helpful.
> 

Vineeta Pal <vp25+ at andrew.cmu.edu> writes
> why? maybe for someone who seriously wants to put her career before
> anything else, this is not amusing and maybe helpful?

Well, I wrote without seriously considering, but the main reason 
that I suggested that it's not very helpful is most peple, these 
days, get tenure-track positions at the age of 30-35. It is possible 
to delay starting a committed relationship until then (or as is more 
common, engage in a series of semi-committed relationships that end
with moves). But doing  so entails significant sacrifices, and must 
involve an acceptance of the possibility of never marrying, and 
certainly of never having children, at least for women.

I should not have been so facetious about this advice, because it 
certainly is a choice that women (and men) can make, but if this is
the requirement for a tenure-track position, I can see that it
would drive people out in droves (and more women than men).
Incidentally,
making that choice imposes a pretty big burden on men, as well. I
know a few men who have chosen this path (of waiting for
the tenure-track job) to marry, and it's not easy for anyone.

Luckily have a committed relationship doesn't make getting a
tenure-track
position impossible, even though considering someone else in your
choices does impose limits.



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