A friend of mine (maybe YOU are that friend?) will be soon be leaving a job at Wackaloon Scientific Enterprises where said friend is supervised by sadistic micromanaging douchebags from hell with poor reading comprehension skills.
How best to spend the remaining time my friend must clock at WSE?
I suggest devoting large chunks of it to rearranging pipet tips in their boxes while singing some version of this song.
Oh it was sad,
Oh it was sad,
It was sad when the research went down to the journal.
All the postdocs and techs.
Little grad students lost their lives.
It was sad when the research went down.
Then when your time is up, shake off the dust under your feet, and blow out of Dodge.
A recent conversation with a friend reminded me of yet another of the “death by a thousand paper cuts**” craptastic things I used to hate dealing with in my days in the scientific workforce. You know what I’m talking about. Could be a retreat, a workshop, a seminar, a meeting, a program, maybe even just a discussion, but whatever it is, diversity is the subject, explicit or implicit. On one occasion it was a discussion about whether a tiny little space should be set aside for students of a certain group. On another it was a pizza party for women students. But ever and anon, at such occasions, you will hear the plaintive wail:
“Where is the [meeting/retreat/study room/pizza party/program] for white men?”
At K-State, where I was for a time director of the Women in Engineering and Science Program, I was asked not once but several times “Where is the program for men in engineering?” I had various answers. Sometimes, when I felt pissy, I would say, “That would be the whole College of Engineering.” Sometimes when I felt polemical, I would say, “You know, that’s a good question. It’s good for us to think about why we need a program for women in engineering. Women can do engineering work, but engineering is not as successful in attracting and keeping them as it is with men. So in a sense, the program is more for the college of engineering than it is for the women.” Sometimes, when I felt Socratic, I would say, “That’s a good question. What do you think men need that they aren’t getting, that a men in engineering program would provide?”
But all times, this is what I really wanted to say:
Jesus H. Christ! Every time I hear that “where is the whateverthefuck for white men” I want to say “seriously? Seriously? you think you are the first motherfucking white d00d in the whole motherfucking world to come up with that acid riposte in a diversity-related seminar/meeting/retreat/discussion? SERIOUSLY? Go away and come up with an ORIGINAL white d00d whine and we will think about giving you a diversity cookie. Until then, open up your motherfucking white d00d eyes and take a look around at how the whole entire world is plastered with signs that say ‘White D00ds ‘Specially Welcome Here!’ ‘K? Thx.”
**(The) Knight Higher Education Collaborative (September 2001). Gender Intelligence. Policy Perspectives, 10(2), 1-9.
We are a mere ten years into the 21st century. No jet packs for all yet, but things are moving at a lightning pace at Yale in the policy area.
After more than a quarter century of debate, Yale faculty members are now barred from sexual relationships with undergraduates–not just their own students, but any Yale undergrads.
Well you may ask: can we still nail grad students and postdocs?
Look: PI’s and/or faculty really should just satisfy their sexual needs elsewhere. Not with the students, not with the grad students, not with the postdocs. It is not good for anyone. I know, I know, you know a prof who screwed his grad student and they got married and it was a dreamfest. Spare me. You are completely unaware of all the collateral damage such relationships inflict, and the fact that even such “happy outcomes” are not without conflict and cost for the blissful Mrs.Biggy McSchwingerdick.
But oh, the humanity. What are we to do? Especially now that spring is upon us, and the sap is rising!
For god’s sake, just siphon off a little of that overhead money everyone contributes and give all the d00ds a Travel Jackmaster. At home, in the lab, in the car, the restroom after teaching class with all those horny coeds, whatever. Ladeez may choose from any of a wide selection of vibrators. The Original Venus Butterfly is pretty in pink and oh-so-discreet. Committee meetings will be ever so much more fun.
The other day, a male friend of mine was at the grocery store in the check out line. He was not feeling particularly happy, and, I guess, was frowning a little. A dude in line behind him tapped him on his shoulder to get his attention and when he turned around, the dude said, in a bright voice, “You dropped something,” and was pointing to the floor. My male friend looked down and said, “I don’t see anything.” The dude then told him, “You dropped your smile.” My male friend was not amused. He turned around going back to his business saying, “Oh, OK.” The man proceeded to walk away mumbling, “Don’t look so serious. It’s only the grocery store.”
That doesn’t sound right, does it?
No, because it really happened to a woman. There, that feels more…normal, doesn’t it?
Isis got a letter from a PhD student who was told in a teaching evaluation that she needs to smile more. Isis gave her some excellent advice but I want to address this whole “needs to smile more” issue from a different angle.