I'm having one of those weeks. And it's only Wednesday.
A well-meaning former colleague sent me an ad for a faculty position in another city, at a school where I don't know anyone.
I said thank you. What's the point in explaining that I'm not going to waste my time and energy applying? I took it as a compliment that she seems to think I deserve a faculty position.
Okay, if that were the worst thing that happened all week, that would be fine. But it's death by a thousand pinpricks, so of course it wasn't the only thing.
Also, a evil former colleague has a paper coming out soon in Nature.
I knew this was coming, but it still pissed me off. Because it's the definition of incremental. Still, somehow the evil boys club got it accepted for publication in a top journal. I'm pretty sure some kind of voodoo sacrifices were involved.
There's also this hullabaloo going on about women in tech, which is just kind of pissing me off because somehow computer science gets to make a big deal about it, as if they invented the concept, while scientific workforce imbalances continue to languish in obscurity??
Thanks to people like this guy bitching about how women get more attention in tech, from the media and for funding.
Read a little about this, and you'll be smacked in the face with offensive accusations that women just "aren't interested" and the idea that it's too late to do anything about it with adult women coming from other careers. Instead, some women are proposing we have to go to the source and make sure little girls aren't playing with Barbies?
Which isn't exactly going to help those of us who did in fact choose other tech-related careers, only to find there are no jobs for us womenfolk once we're done giving ourselves concussions on the thick glass ceiling between postdoc and faculty position.
Anyway, that Techcrunch article ignited some backlash, which opened the discussion again, although nobody seems to have any new solutions. Echoes of Larry Summers, sort of.
Personally, I think this whole discussion is just a sign that tech is starting to suffer from the same thing academia has had for a long time: a bad case of too many wannabes and too little funding.
My compsci friends have been telling me for years that my field is unusually bad, that compsci doesn't see any of these kinds of backstabbing maneuvers, or discrimination, etc. And I wondered for a while if it was because compsci is newer, or because they don't need much money to do what they do.
I thought maybe it will take another couple hundred years for the tech sector to evolve to a higher level of backstabbiness?
But now I think they might be well on their way.
I don't know which is worse. The guys saying it's not their fault, or the women saying it's not a problem and nobody should rush to fix it.
Meanwhile, this post and several comments over at FSP further confirm that so-called "subtle" discrimination continues to hold back women at the faculty level by overwhelming them with heavy teaching loads, while limiting their access to influential committees.
FSP is nothing short of disappointing in her response that in FSP's case, everything turned out to be fine, as if that makes it okay that these kinds of occurrences are still rampant now . Or something.
I think this just illustrates that nobody who is content with their situation is going to be really active in changing the system. FSP seems to be the picture of peaceably complacent.
I've seen this same attitude all the time in lab. It's a kind of protectionist, "not in my backyard" denial. Like it's fine to have a radioactive spill... as long as it's not near my bench. It's fine that your experiments with the shared reagents are failing, as long as mine are still working (or I have my own stock! hahahaha!).
I think what we're going to need are a few good martyrs. Because there's no kindness in complacency.