Re. having it all: kids, the academy...

Una Smith una at
Wed Aug 26 10:51:31 EST 1998

nospamforsburg at writes:

> It's still structured on the idea of the macho scientist
>who doesn't take time off to be with his/her sick child or go 
>to the parent teacher conference or have to wait at home for the plumber
>or look after a sick parent or stay at home with a sick spouse.  
>So the real question is, how do we change the status quo in an entrenched 
>institution to reflect modern lives?

What status quo?  

I don't know a *single* male scientist who doesn't take time off
whenever he has a personal obligation.

I do know numerous male scientists who: (a) go home at lunchtime
to walk their dog, (b) spend several hours playing with their kid
every morning before dropping her off at daycare at 10 am (even
though daycare starts at 8), (c) stay at home whenever anyone in
the family is sick, (d) move to lower-rank schools to support a
wife's career, (e) etc.  And the male scientist who drops his kid
off at 10 says that his male colleagues are totally sympathetic 
to his family obligations and he gets no flack whatsoever about
his short work days.  And they are all in "high powered" careers.

If men can have showers at work (and this seems to be common), I
see no reason why women can't have a private place and a fridge
for pumping breast milk.  But there is no reason why any perks
should be supplied in the absence of demand.  What's the big deal
about asking for whatever you need?

	Una Smith		Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
        			Yale University
	una.smith at	New Haven, CT  06520-8106

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