Germany

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Fri Oct 10 10:05:23 EST 1997


In article <61kq76$2jc at zam201.zam.kfa-juelich.de>,
Sabine Dippel wrote:
>
>To those who had pretty bad experiences a while ago: things are getting slightly
>better. Meaning that there now are people (sort of ombudsman - is there a word
>like ombudswoman?) that officially are supposed to deal with this sort of thing
>if it occurs. Normally, every university department is supposed to have one. 
>Still, I assume that many women don't dare complain, because there is a big
>likelihood that nothing will happen, except making the woman concerned a 
>"troublemaker" in the eyes of her colleagues and superiors. 
>
This is the sort of thing I was thinking of when I said that it sounded like
German women were faced now with what American women were faced with 20 years
ago.  When I started graduate school, 10 years ago, I heard stories 
about male professors at U.S. institutions that were similar to the horror
stories described here--professors sleeping with students or throwing them
out of the lab for rejecting the professors' advances (and the ombudsman
doing essentially nothing constructive, the professor gets tenure and
the student is labeled a trouble maker).  I would like to hope that these are
isolated incidents at this point.

>Coming back to the problem women face in science in general -- that's one of 
>my pet peeves. As Karen mentioned already, yes, an extremely strong cultural 
>bias exists agains day-care. This has even greater consequences than it might
>seem at first sight. 

I believe it.  In Germany the store opening hours were also against
working women--there was never a store open in the evening or on weekends--
was it assumed that every household had a full-time stay-at-home
shopper, able to do marketing between 9 and 5 on weekdays?  But that
is changing too, I found when I visited Germany this year.

Karen




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