Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dinner Discussions

As I am busily preparing for quals, cooking and cleaning and pretty much everything that makes me a good housekeeper and to a certain extent a good Mom is going out the window. To that end we are ordering pizzas and going out to dinner a LOT.. more than my budget can really afford but it's the price of sanity.

The other night while out to dinner Boo observed that our server was a waitress because she was a girl. And if we had a boy it would be waiter. As I'm not one to point out differences between boys/girls I wanted to know what he thought about it. So I asked if he thought two names were ok for boy vs girl. To which he replied yeah that way one can tell them apart which is a boy which is a girl.

Ok, I guess I can see that. But I wanted to push a bit farther and asked why it mattered. He didn't know, just did. We have reached grade school logic levels.

My next question was if he thought boys/girls should be paid different for the same job and he looked at me like I was nuts.. "No that's not fair!" he blurted out. OK, at least he thinks they should be treated the same. I tried to find out why he thought it was important that they be labelled differently but all I got was a shrug and a topic change to the video game machine in the back of the restaurant.

As a woman in Academia I'm well aware of the challenges a woman faces vs. a man to be successful. It often feels like I have to work 100x harder than anyone else in the lab to overcome my challenges, aka having 2X chromosomes and an offspring. The first is not my fault. The second would not be held against an XY due to the perception that Mom's take care of kids. I'm well aware that I will probably get paid a lot less than my XY counterparts when I graduate despite the fact that we both can add Ph.D. to the end of our names.

It was actually really hard for me NOT to launch into a long winded lecture to my poor 7yo about separating job titles and differences between compensation. But I simply smiled and let him change the topic. At least he thinks compensation should be fair, we can work on the differing titles later.

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