When Will We Get More Female Full Professors?

The first generation of women who will stop saying to each other “the day of your wedding is the most important day of your life” and will start saying “the day you get tenure / publish a book / start your own business / become a CEO / make a million bucks is the most important day of your life”, will be the generation with the same number of male and female Full Professors.

21 thoughts on “When Will We Get More Female Full Professors?

    1. ” at least ““the day you get “almost anything else than marriage” is the most important day of your life””

      – Good point. For now, marriage is the only road towards social acceptance by peers for a woman. This is how we end up with the statistics provided by that Slate article on women in academia. The road to Full professorship takes decades of very intense labor. If the social reward is low, many people don’t choose it.

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  1. Exactly! Marriage is not for everyone, and I’m not surprised that there are also women who feel the same way that I do. There are way more possibilities for women out there than having to settle down like that.

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    1. Marriage can be an enormous source of personal satisfaction (just like the single life). The problem begins when people use their private sphere as a substitute for the public sphere, or vice versa. A psychologically healthy individual is always the one who achieves balance in both spheres.

      What is sad is that when an individual sacrifices either one of the spheres, his or her relatives, co-workers and friends get to pay very dearly for such a choice.

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      1. // Marriage can be an enormous source of personal satisfaction (just like the single life).

        It’s true only for people, who would be perfectly happy without children or with being a single parent (which you don’t approve).

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        1. I’m sure there must be a reason you keep attributing to me some weird animosity towards single parents but I don’t know what it is. 🙂

          The people I despise are the ones who stay in miserable marriages “for the sake of the children.” Those folks are real bastards. People who choose to end such marriages have my every respect.

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      2. I meant women who decide to give birth as a single mother from the beginning. After not finding a suitable partner till age X.

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        1. As long as they ensure that the child has regular contact with the father and the father’s family, I’m all for them. The people I dislike are the ones who substitute the child’s interests with their own. Such people are equally likely to be married or single.

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  2. Aren’t there many men who view marriage or, even more importantly, becoming a father a more important day than becoming a CEO? Why is earning a million bucks or publishing a book (may be, not particularly good one) more inherently important than having a child?

    I am for having a career and understand some women buy too much into wedding propaganda, but around me I hardly see any housewives. Most women work and a lot.

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    1. “Aren’t there many men who view marriage or, even more importantly, becoming a father a more important day than becoming a CEO? Why is earning a million bucks or publishing a book (may be, not particularly good one) more inherently important than having a child?”

      – Because looking for realization through another person is an enormous tragedy for that other person. It’s a burden no child should bear. People should get born for their own sake, not to give their parents feelings of fulfillment and social achievement. A book and a million bucks are not human, so they can’t mind. 🙂

      “I am for having a career and understand some women buy too much into wedding propaganda, but around me I hardly see any housewives. Most women work and a lot.”

      – We are discussing this Slate article I linked to yesterday that shows how many women never progress from one stage of academic career to another. There is this concept called mid-career slump, and in the study I linked to this slump is attributed (in the case of female academics) to them having children. The study concludes that this happens because women with children are discriminated against in academia. I, however, argue that many women choose to stop developing professionally after they have the convenient excuse of a child.

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      1. The only approach to having a child that I can respect is “I want to give”, not “I want to take.” And the giving should be completely conditional on what the child actually asks for.

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    1. This is THE BEST. I just heard the other day the exact equivalent of the quote on silent gatherings with people’s heads stuck in their magazines (in today’s version, their cell phones). 🙂 🙂

      Lovely link.

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