Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Pregnancy and Job Search

A feminist blogger writes:

My mom has actually told me stories about going for job interviews in her twenties and having the male interviewer ask if she was pregnant, or planned on getting pregnant.

I personally witnessed this question being asked of a female candidate in 2002 in Canada, so there hasn’t been as much progress as we would like to imagine. The female candidate in question had to offer humiliating reassurances that she wasn’t and wasn’t planning to. I was not on the search committee and if I witnessed this, it means the whole thing was done publicly.


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6 thoughts on “Pregnancy and Job Search

  1. I was on a search committee that did this.


    • I’m glad I finally found somebody who doesn’t disbelieve my story. For years I haven’t been able to convince anybody that it happened in front of my own eyes.


      • It used to be completely common, as in back when I was in graduate school.

        It is also discussed in search committee meetings, without knowledge of candidate.

        One would not have worn a wedding ring to the MLA, for instance. If waiting for calls to job interviews, you made sure it was your voice on the answering machine, not a man’s, and warned men to let the machine run to see who it was before picking up.


      • Most egregious case of this I have been part of was in 1990s. There were all sorts of colorful things said and done. Feminist women on the committee were collaborating. I said they were not feminists and they cried. They really did.


        • I would still be discriminated against at work and not even know it had it not been for the feminists of the older generation who stood up for me (without my knowledge!) and defeated the administration to defend me. Those are true feminists.


  2. I quit women’s studies after that. These people were using feminist analysis to get publications and to justify being too scared to act in real life. They were not really scared, just looking for excuses not to act on anyone else’s behalf. Total traitors if you ask me although from another POV they may have been crying because they had been pummeled in ways I did not know of and that it would have been unkind to me to reveal.


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