choices

Una Smith una at mars.its.yale.edu
Thu May 4 05:17:51 EST 2000


woodka at spirit.sdsc.edu (Donna Woodka) writes:

>Everyone makes choices, I think the issue is what choices should
>anyone have to make in order to pursue a career.

I do not buy the argument that women (or anyone) in academia should
not have to make choices between career and family life or whatever.
And I wouldn't want to live in a world like that anyway, even if it
did offer/allow me fewer choices.  Choices == *freedom*.  Making
choices can be hard, but I prefer it to the only real alternative: 
having no choice.

Sure, you could give up all kinds of things you want throughout your
life, in hopes of being elected to the National Academy or winning
a Nobel Prize.  But do you really want to do that?  If you got those
honors, they might not make you happy and it won't be possible go
back and relive those lost opportunities to do all the things that
really do make you happy.  On the other hand, you might not receive
those honors despite your sacrifices.  Then you'd really be hosed.
Remember, honors are not a savings plan, they are a lottery.  If
you're into deferred gratification, why not get a better-paying,
more secure "regular" job and plan to retire early and/or wealthy? 
It's a better bet.

What's perhaps even worse than not having a choice is letting some
imaginary agent (society, the norm) choose for you, pretending you
have no choice.

-- 
	Una Smith		una.smith at yale.edu

	Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
	Yale University






More information about the Womenbio mailing list