Monday, September 07, 2009

Shameless plug for FSP's latest post

I'm making it an unofficial woman professor day to celebrate this awesome post of FSP's. Go read what she wrote and all the thoughtful comments.

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6 Comments:

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,

I'm currently a young undergrad aspiring female scientist and have spent the last month or so reading through your blog. Can I just say, that I have really enjoyed it because this is the kind of information no one teaches you. I just started working as a student worker in a research lab this last summer, and it has been different than I thought it would be. My PI is very hands off, and though I've been working there for three months, I've done about five "practice" experiments total. He even said to me, after I kindly made snacks for a lab meeting (only after the male RA made snacks a week earlier) that "it was nice to have a woman around." ... Thanks.

Anyways, I learned a lot by reading your blog and really respect what you're doing. I only hope for science's sake you stay in the game, because from what I have read, you seem to be a good egg. I really hope everything ends up working out for you.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

Hey Anon, thanks for your encouragement. I appreciate comments like these, since that is what the blog is for- what nobody teaches you, but it absolutely needs to be said.

That story about your PI is horrible, and a classic.

Maybe time to find a better lab? You're young, don't waste your time on what I think I'll christen Stupid Male PIs (SMPs). He sounds like a bad teacher, first of all, but apparently also a sexist. So he's got nothing going for him, eh? Isn't there anyone else around who will actually let you do some experiments?

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aspiring scientist, DON'T BAKE COOKIES FOR THE LAB!!!! DO NOT DO IT. You are not their mother. You are not their maid or caterer or hostess. *headdesk* If there's some law of the SMP to bring food to the lab meeting, then you buy some cheap shit at the grocery store like the dudes do (because dudes are always busy thinking big thoughts, grrr, and haven't the foggiest of clues on how to make a cake from a box, certainly don't have time to preheat an oven or add an egg, that's girly shit). You get cheetos, pretzels, etc. When SMP brings cookies and cupcakes HIS WIFE MADE, you can tell him to thank HER for you.

Sadly, the comments on FSP are getting into the "what's privilege?" shit. Gee boys, it's invisible like Jedi master stuff. I have no idea why schmucks are drawn to FSP's or your blog, other than to exert their privilege and bask in the manly glow of telling women they are naive, find things to get upset about, blahblahfuckingblah same old "logical" shit recycled.
jc

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

See, I don't know about telling people not to bake. I am in favor of bringing food to lab. And if you find baking relaxing or otherwise fun, creative, fulfilling etc., then do it.

I don't like that we're supposed to stop wearing skirts or baking if we want to, just because the boys don't. To me, cutting off your hair and wearing pants all the time because you feel like you have to do it to fit in with the boys defeats the purpose.

I think you should vote with your feet. Choose a lab where you can bake if you want to without it being viewed as anything other than one of the many freedoms you choose to exercise. I'm glad we live in a country where women can wear what we want to work, pants or not, and bake if we want to or not.

But I don't think that putting people into boxes with comments alluding to "women's work" is something you should have to put up with.

Maybe what I should have said was that you could mention to these guys how it makes you uncomfortable when they extrapolate everything back to gender, and gently explain that while you like to bake it is not because you are female NOR is it true that all females like to bake (or are good at it, for that matter- you should see my attempts!).

But my guess is that they will treat you like you are crazy, until/unless another woman comes along and says the same thing. And another. And another.

 
At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MsPhD, I totes agree with you about being a magical lab where we can do whateverthefuckwewant. Aspriring's SMP was equating having baked snacks for a lab meeting with "having a woman around" - ugh. Her non-magical SMP lab is not a place to be catering to the boys. The products of baking for the sheer love of it don't have to be shared with SMP and lab. More cupcakes for YOU in that kind of environment. The next time lab food comes up: "I didn't bake cupcakes because I'm working hard on the paper. Cupcakes are a special reward for me, maybe next time I'll share some with you or maybe you make them next time."

This is very much like the different standpoints on showing family pictures on your desk. It really depends on if you are in a supportive environment where having a family will not do any career damage, or if you are in a place that throws women with kids under the bus. Or when men have pictures of their kids on the shelves. It can be seen as men flaunting their families by the women who didn't have as many kids as they wanted or can be seen as family forward. It depends on the local details.

Hey, we earned our crazy labels! jc

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Girl of Science said...

Well clearly I'm not going to bake ever again, since SMP abused the privilege! The snacks were actually more for a fellow lab member who I knew had been going through a hard time earlier in the week. But I didn't want to be rude and leave every one out.

Next time someone else can make lab meeting snacks!

(I was Anonymous, but now I've signed in)

 

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