Friday, June 27, 2008

Nothing good.

I've got nothing good to say today. Had bad dreams last night, have been in a bad mood all morning, and it's not going away.

One of the books I'm reading talks about how men tend to think the world is their oyster, while women tend to think (regardless of culture or career success) that you can't get blood from a turnip- you should make do with what you have.

I think a lot of my problems lately stem from this clash between what society assumes about women and that I don't fit with that stereotype.

I had a discussion yesterday with MrPhD about how most people think it's okay that there are not many women constructions workers, because they assume women don't want to be construction workers.

I would have liked to be a construction worker. But I was always told I'm too female, and partly because of that I'm not physically built to argue the point.

But in most ways, contrary to what you might think from this blog, I was always an oyster person. My mom is funny, she thinks I got that from watching too much Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street as a kid, where you can always be anything you want to be.

But the things I have experienced since I started grad school have turned me into a turnip person. You can squeeze a lot of beets, as it were, but you're never going to get anything other than beet juice.



At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pessimism is the layman's term for thinking critically.

personally, i think dreams don't mean very much. don't worry about them. they are a byproduct of your stress during wakefulness.

you really need a change of venue. wouldn't it be nice to join a group that encourages women and their career choices?

i've never heard of the phrase "blood from a turnip." freaky.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger tnk0001 said...

I go back and forth between being a turnip person and being an oyster person. Today was a turnip day, but give me the right music and one or two actual compliments about my work and suddenly I'm ambitious and have dreams of grandeur and success. The rest of the time I think about dropping out of gradschool and becoming a waitress..... which, funny enough, I could never be because the only skills I have require a lab bench and a pipette, though there was that brief stint in cake decoration, but that really is similar to a lab bench and a pipette....but I digress.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

I always see a lot of female construction workers in Thailand.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

My sister is a construction worker. She's only 5'4" and wears high heels, fancy clothes, and big earrings -- very feminine -- when she's not working.

Stereotypes are for jackasses. Sorry you didn't get to be want you wanted.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, love your blog :) and i'd have to agree... i was never the most die-hard oyster person, but now, 6 months until i graduate with my PhD, i'm oozing turnip juice from every pore.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Becca said...

Your comment about not fitting sterotypes reminded me of a comment I saw on scienceblogs about some gender study or another...
"Yet another study proving I'm not really female!". I really like that phrase.
Instead of arguing with sterotypes (which is exhusting) it can be more fun to say "ah-ha! more proof I'm not a girl!".
I also see construction work as somewhat appealing. I think that attitude is more common in girls than some would imagine. Just read the Ramona books- she's in love with Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel. Those big machines are facinating to a lot of kids, girls as well as boys. I'm pretty sure the reason few girls become construction workers is mostly because of socialization (after all, it doesn't matter how strong you are if you're driving a dump truck rather than heaving a shovel by hand).

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous science cog said...

So sorry to hear you are not feeling good. I was an independent graduate student and frequently disregarded my advisor's view and for that matter many other senior professors' advice. On one hand I carved out my own path and brought some new approaches to the field. On the other I made my life much harder by not taking advice. I had a really tough decision to make the last couple of weeks and this time went with long-suffering advisor's view - not a frequent thing. I lost some of my confidence over the last year and figured I'll just follow advice.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger JaneB said...

Sorry to hear you're having another rough patch. I am too so not much useful to say...

but if those beet are sugarbeet, boil up the juice and you'll get a useful and economically significant product! (which you could use to sweeten the lemonade from the life-donated lemons...)

Yeah, I'm losing the ability to make any kind of sense here

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Samia said...

I am an oyster person most of the time. I am also an undergrad. :)

I love your blog, YFS. Is the book you're reading "Women Don't Ask?"

At 3:38 PM, Anonymous MoonSinger said...

I was always an oyster person. My mom is funny, she thinks I got that from watching too much Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street as a kid, where you can always be anything you want to be.

Years ago, a Science friend of mine was telling me that her son said to her one day that he wished he was a girl.

"Why?" she asked.

"Because then I could be anything I want to be!" he answered.

She said that she thought he got that from watching Sesame Street. They kept emphasizing how girls could be anything they wanted to be. To my friend, it balanced out the messages of the world. To her son, without those messages, it overbalanced things.


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