rolling merrily along
So this weekend I hung out with a bunch of women scientists and felt distinctly un-feminine. The emphasis on family and being naturally nurturing made my stomach churn. And the tendency to award scholarships to women with families also seems like a mis-step to me: how many hard-working, talented young women are out there who don't have children and don't want to? I felt like a minority.
But then I was flipping through a journal and saw that one of my colleagues - with whom I am likely to be competing for academic positions in the next year or two - published another Cell paper. And I started thinking, geez, if I hadn't had to waste so much time fighting the discrimination and general bullshit at my grad school and as a postdoc (directed primarily against women, and specifically ME), how much farther along would I be right now?
I guess I was thinking about it because my advisor is moving, and a couple of women confronted me this weekend to say how annoyed they were that she is abandoning them with very few female professors left in this department. It's not like there are many female professors where she is going, on the contrary, there are just as few. You just can't win.
And also, I was annoyed because a couple of the more successful, full-professor women sat on a panel and complained that not enough young women apply for faculty positions, and that's part of why there aren't more women faculty.
Like us not applying is the problem.
But when you think about it, our phones are not ringing off the hook with people letting us know about opening that haven't been advertised yet. Meanwhile I can name several young men I've seen sitting on career panels saying how their advisor's old drinking buddy called up and told them about a job that would be open for applications in a few months. Women are stuck searching for ads, and by the time the ad is out, you're already behind.
Needless to say, I'm going to send my CV and research proposal to those two professors and tell them to feel free to include me in any and all job searches they might know about. I'll be damned if they're going to accuse me of not applying!