Laideez, it's okay, men have validated your position!

Mar 12 2012 Published by under LifeTrajectories

Hey guys, being a researcher and a parent is tough and The Scientist is on it! Today's "nutshell" article in The Scientist, entitled "Research is tough for Dads too" is fraught with fail. It may be a summary of the much more balanced article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, but manages to introduce more patriarchical bullshit in 150 words than I thought possible.

Let's start with the title. The implication is that this is news. Whereas part of me thinks "well, at least some Dads are getting involved enough to feel an effect" the rest of me thinks: A) well now that the survey shows men care, maybe something will get done about it, and B) tough compared to what?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not immune to complaining about the parent/science interface, my last post was just that. But when we, as men, think of having a tough time balancing children and careers, are we thinking of things like having to pump milk in a bathroom stall or closet? What about having to travel to meetings or work engagements with a child, because, ya know, they need to eat. Do guys consider having to go back to work before one's mind or body is ready after having a child as something they share? According to The Scientist " a large percentage of men felt the same stress, suggesting that the problem with research is not a “female problem,” but one that relates to workplace requirements."

Silly "female problems". Good thing it's not just one of those.

15 responses so far

  • Dr Becca says:

    I feel so EQUAL now!!!!!

  • Susan says:

    Mansplaining FTW.

  • Huh. I think the brief summary is reasonable. The author put "female problem" in quotes because she is reacting to how baby issues are often viewed as a female problem that can be ghettoized if an employer views the workforce as primarily male and would prefer to ignore issues affecting primarily women. I think she's highlighting how men and women can find common cause in family-related workplace issues.

    The slightly odd quote at the end is from Koster at the AWIS, which I can't bring myself to read as mansplaining on part of the author.

  • anon says:

    This is an article by a woman, quoting a woman, summarizing a study done by an organization of women, saying that the profession should stop viewing children as a problem for women alone. I'm not seeing the mansplaining here. I know that your consciousness has been raised of late, but if you raise it too high your false positive rate will start to go up. Leave the baseless kerfluffles to bloggers who are better at it, e.g. bloggers who bring amusing graphics to their baseless kerfluffle posts.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Okay, got it:
    1) Women are incapable of applying patriarchal influence in their writing on family issues.

    2) Without amusing graphics, this is all just baseless grousing.

  • anon says:

    Most discussions of family issues in the profession frame family as a women's issue. Involved fathers and women who want more involved fathers have good reason to want to move beyond that perception. So AWIS does a study and finds that things are changing. And a woman at The Scientist reports on it.

    I want shoe pictures in your post and I want them NOW!!!

  • proflikesubstance says:

    The study was interesting, but the summary at The Scientist sucks, IMO. As written above.

  • Susan says:

    The "female problems" and 'it's not a problem until men experience it as a problem' and 'but what about the poor men?' aspects of this coverage hit me over the head a bit hard.

    And yeah, that stuff can be perpetuated by womenz.

  • anon says:

    Good job, Krzysztof. There's a wrong way to do kerfluffle's, and then there's a fun way.

  • anon says:

    I would be genuinely interested in hearing what a good 150physics word summary would and wouldn't include. If men are mentioned we get the critique above. If men aren't mentioned the author is implying that only women need to care for kids. So, what sort of summary would not be objectionable? Or is this subject so complicated that any short summary will be objectionable?

  • anon says:

    I have no idea why my autocorrect inserted "physics" after 150.

  • Susan says:

    How about ... "New parents have trouble juggling the demands of academic careers and parenting" .. for starters?

    The Chronicle article was well balanced. The summary in Scientist, not so much.

  • The actual study summary is really interesting.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    How about "As men in science start to take on a more equal share of the parenting, they catch a glimpse of the struggles endured by their female colleagues and realize the system is as broken as it's ever been"

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