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Long hours

giner ginerNOgiSPAM at myremarq.com.invalid
Tue Apr 4 17:31:55 EST 2000

In article <38EA34AE.F04ACC7 at unm.edu>, Linnea Ista <
lkista at unm.edu> wrote:

>One thing that has puzzled me about this entire thread is why
it is considered
>such a bad thing for women to derive a sense of success and
accomplishment out of
>a successful career and we are instead constantly seeking to
define success on a
>much broader scale, usually having to do with our families and
>care-taking responsibilities. Has the right wing really made us
so paranoid that
>if we are truly successful in traditional male fields, we will
somehow lose some
>of our extremely narrowly defined femininity? We must we, and
not men, always have
>to add the cavaet of "and is a good mother/wife/community
member" to our
>professional success.

Linnea, I've always enjoyed your posts to this group but I'm not
sure where you are getting that we should feel badly about a
successful career.

When I started this thread I never mentioned feeling bad about a
successful career, just that I didn't want my career to be the
only thing in my life. I don't and will never have children, and
I don't do anything for my community quite frankly, but I do have
a husband and hobbies. I was contrasting that to some of the very
driven scientists I've known, and I'm basically rejecting their
lifestyle. And the perceived notion that in some circles that
lifestyle is required for 'success'. That is not my idea of

>I think for most of the women of my generation, we have no
choice but to work,
>based on economics.  We might as well do what we like to do.
Why is it such a
>crime to be GOOD at it? To derive some satisfaction and yes,
even a little ego,
>from doing it well and doing the work we need to do to get it

I don't think anyone here has implied we shouldn't be good at
what we do. My opinion is that we shouldn't buy into the idea
that the 'scientist as monk' syndrome, sacrificing everything for
science, is necessary for that success. Because that attitude
drives away many very bright, capable women from academia. Not
just because they feel a need to be the primary caretakers of
their children. I'm sure it has the same effect on many bright
men who want a life, too, but I don't have any person experience
with them.

Would it
>somehow be more noble if I were a social worker or elementary
school teacher or
>working retail where it was clear it was JUST a job and
something from which I,
>personally, would get no satisfaction and would probably end up
working just as
>many hours?

Well, quite frankly I find social workers and elementary school
teachers quite noble. And nurses and all those other 'pink
collar' workers.

>I am not saying that long hours are always necessary. I can
usually get what I
>need to get done in a 10 hour day or less, but occasionally,
when that grant just
>needs to get out, or if by staying 2 extra hours I  will be a
day ahead on a
>project, why yes, I will stay. I call my husband and let him
know. I sometimes
>have to cancel plans. Most of my friends understand. I realize
that I do not have
>to juggle daycare and all that, but the way our respective
schedules are now,
>Scott would be the one doing the picking up anyhow because he
works construction
>hours and can do much of his administrative stuff at home.

>From what I've seen, a 70 hour work week would be like a vacation
for most tenure-track profs. Granted, I'm working from a rather
small sample size. I also know that things vary greatly between
universities, and even from department to department. I guess I'm
talking about pretty extreme examples.


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