Which people can have families

Posted: July 7, 2011 by Jender in assumptions about mothers

I was asked to do casual lecturing while being short-listed for a tenure-track position in Philosophy at a R1 University. The male childless philosophy professor on the committee said in conversation to me afterwards that “having children makes no difference to some (ie the right) people”. His department contains only one tenured woman with children and I believe that those children may have been cared for entirely by grandparents (not an option for everyone). The only senior female Professor in the department is childless by choice. I find it odd that the men in the department can have families but the women cannot unless they have grandparents who act as surrogate parents.

I applied for an early career fellowship and was told by a trusted childless male mentor that the section where it is possible to list career interruptions such as maternity leave was known as the “excuses” section.

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