Long hours, families

Linnea Ista lkista at unm.edu
Wed Apr 12 16:17:02 EST 2000


Susan wrote


> It's also important that we remember that the issues
> affecting women in science go far beyond children.  There is a
> tendency on the part of everyone to reduce it to "well, it's
> difficult for her because she has a family", when that's only
> one of many reasons "she" finds it difficult.
>
> Not having children does not solve our problems.

I would agree with this statement. I do not have children, but still face
problems because I am female.  I sometimes wonder if the family thing is
emphasized in order to avoid some of the other issues, particuarly amongst
the popular press, or by men who wish to be viewed as enlightened but don't
really want to face their own privileges for what they are. I think *some*
(not all, not even the majority) women buy into this as well because
sometimes they get hero and/or martyr status because of both real and
perceived hardships that come from being committed to both science and their
children.

I am not saying that this is not an important issue, but it is not the only,
or even necessarily the most important issue facing women in science today.

I will also note that it seems to be the main one that younger women dwell
on. Not lack of credibility because they have two X chromosomes; not wage
gaps or differing expectations for performance and behavior, but this one
particular issue. I am not sure if this is a time of life issue or one that
is somehow impressed upon them frequently as being important. I will add that
most young men do not have the same concerns. Or perhaps it is simply they do
not discuss them?

Linnea






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