slap in the face

I don’t actually consider myself that much of a “woman in science”. I HATE the idea that my application for fellowships or jobs may will be influenced by my second X chromosome and developed mammary glands.  I don’t ever want to win something or achieve something and have to look back and wonder “did I win this because I’m a girl?”.  I want to win on my own merits, get the job because I was legitimately the best candidate.  

I haven’t faced very much sexism in my science career.  I’ve worked with three exceptional scientists who graciously agreed to supervise me.  Two of them were women. All were at the top of their fields.  Their gender didn’t impact my choice of who to work with.  I have run into two instances of blatant sexism, and in both cases was completely blown away by the attitude.  I managed a quippy and very-clearly-unimpressed response the second time. The first time I just remained agog for a few minutes and then the person left the meeting.

Then the (arguably) pre-eminent journal in all of science, not just my corner of it, saw fit to publish this commentary yesterday.  It’s very short, and leaves no room for benefit of the doubt.  It says women have babies, so they aren’t as successful or important scientists.  The journal issued an apology for printing the commentary today.  I’m furious with the journal editors. There are misogynistic ass-hats in the world.  They don’t need time on the world stage.

It makes me think I should/must swallow my sour grapes at the thought of being a diversity hire, or accepted to meet a quota, and just make the absolute best out of any opportunity I have.  Not to pave the way for future generations of ladies, but because there IS still an inherent bias, and much as I would prefer it go and die the lonely death of the unloved and neglected, that doesn’t seem to be likely in the near future.

I have always operated on the assumption that I could do anything I wanted in life.  I’m going to continue with that.  I’m also going to consider carefully when next submitting to this journal or their subsidiaries (as this is not the first time they have mishandled women’s rights issues in a deeply disturbing fashion).

lab book update: 4 dpo, temps still up, uterus crampy.  Biologically, there can be no reason for this beyond a reaction to progesterone, as my egg is still wandering down the fallopian tube (hopefully.  Assuming it found the tube in the first place and is not instead wandering around aimlessly amongst my viscera.  Human biology skeezes me right out.)


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