Hypocrisy Weakens The Cause, or, Women Hating Other Women
I was talking to a postdoc today who said she could never work for a woman.
This postdoc wants her own lab, but she doesn't realize the hypocrisy of expecting other people to work for her when she's obviously discriminating against all women PIs herself.
It's infuriating because my own mother always used to say, starting when I was little, all kinds of stuff about how women were always so nasty. She always said that men, in general, were nicer.
So I grew up thinking that working for a woman would be impossibly hard. But - and we've discussed this here before - it's a bit ridiculous to make these kinds of sweeping generalizations.
I've been pretty happy with my current advisor, all things considered. And none of my complaints about her have anything to do with her being female.
One thing my advisor said to me recently was that when funding is low (the last I heard, NIH was funding to the ~8% level), the women are the first to go.
She doesn't believe it's because the women aren't as good as the men are.
It seems pretty obvious, given the way grant review committees work, that the women are shut out when men close ranks. Women don't have analogous alliances to protect their interests.
So ladies, stick together out there. And think twice about whether you deserve to have your own lab, if you think no woman should be a PI. Because that's basically what you're saying when you say you'd never work for a woman.
If we don't believe in ourselves, we can't believe in each other. But it goes the other way, too. If you don't believe your female colleagues can be successful AND fair AND be good mentors, what does that say about your own self-hatred?
Labels: women in science