You asked why you were brought into the conversation? Because you've said you are an ally. You have stated on your blog that you believe that gender equality in science is a good thing. Yet you rarely talk about some of the balancing issues or the parental issues. I have the link up that shows you think its important. Yet outside of that post originally done 2 years ago, you don't talk about fatherhood or balancing fatherhood and partnerhood with science.
Mr. SM stresses about child care, he stresses about balancing all his responsibilities, he stresses about making his career successful without costing him his wife/family. I am friends with male PI's who've just had kids that struggle with this. I have male grad student friends that struggle with this, but they don't always feel comfortable talking about it. The only male bloggers (that I know of) who have mentioned this stuff is PLS and PalMD. I don't think PLS does too much writing about balancing, but he does on occasion discuss the joys of daycare, sick child and travelling too much. PalMD has many posts about taking his daughter on rounds so they can spend time together and the women in his life. They make it OK to be dads, scientists and partners. This is important for everyone.
We live in a patriarchal society and until we change some of the "normative" ideals we will not achieve gender equity. You once wrote a post on shifting the window in regards to politics of extreme rightwingnutism. I can't find the link, but essentially it was how the extreme right is so extreme that it shifts what is palatable or acceptable to the right. If you blogged regularly about balancing your non-academic responsibilities or your kids( aka Dr.Freeride, Dr.Isis, DrdrA), you're reframing the problem not as a women in science issue but as a person in science.
Jim Austin is partly correct when he's says that alot of women have the majority of household responsibilities, but its not always true and I'm not sure its the majority of the time either. If I was to list out the household chores, I would be forced to admit that Mr.SM does more of them, they're just not critical to day to day life. I like to bug Mr.SM that he'd fall apart if I left because I cook and do the grocery shopping. We share the kid stuff and the dogs stuff. If he left I may have food, but I'd have no clean dishes, no clean laundry, a dirty house and a overgrown yard. This arrangement works for us, as it does for most working couples. Yet what he does it not seen a the normal thing an equal partner does. I'm supposed to be grateful that he pulls his own weight. I"m supposed to be happy, I'm so lucky. WTF? Partly this is because of the traditional culture I'm part of, but its also how science and society kinda works.
I left my original PhDlab for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reason was the inherent belief that kids were someone that your partner dealt with. When my PI was struggling to balance the needs of his scientist wife and his job, he was seen as being "whipped" and she was unreasonably selfish. When he had to write a grant with his kid on his lap, "where the fuck was his wife" was openly said.
You need to write about balancing your life with your science as you said yourself the The father/PI who is seriously concerned about gender equity in science will go out of his way to exhibit his status.
If the d00ds hear from d00ds, they're more likely to think about it. You're not going to change my inlaws or my parents, but you can shift the way the issue is viewed.
2 weeks ago