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"level playfields"

Dugald M. Carmichael CARMICHL at QUCDN.QueensU.CA
Sun Aug 8 22:10:40 EST 1993

In article <1993Aug5.234921.2099 at ohsu.edu>, nishir at ohsu.edu says:
>In article <9308050335.AA17349 at east...igo@biovx2.DNET.NASA.GOV(Rae Nishi)
>writes (in response to Megan Igo's misgivings about "affirmative action"):

>Yes, it's disheartening to know you were chosen just because of your gender,
>but I take the attitude that it's my duty to *enlighten* people with the idea
>that a competent scientist can be either gender...

I found out the hard way that this can be a sensitive issue.  Several years ago
our administration thought it ought to "do something", so it provided money for
women scientists in any field to visit Queen's for up to four weeks, give one
or more lectures, and participate in discussions with women students.  These
special visitors were to receive a cash stipend far above the going rate in the
earth sciences, and I thought this would be a great chance to get a visit from a
prominent east-coast marine geophysicist who was otherwise out of reach of our
paltry visiting-speakers budget.  So I phoned her up and explained all this.
She listened patiently, and then said, "Do you mean to say you want to invite
me BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN?  She was royally steamed!  I was totally floored and
could only mumble some kind of apology.  But I must say I look forward to
the happy day when her attitude will be prevalent!

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