>OK, now I get it. I have been lucky, as a women in science, to not be personally affected (that I know of) by the gender discrimination. I was thinking of how lucky I was recently, reading the posts by Dr. Isis and drdrA. I was always willing to accept that gender discrimination happened in science...but since I never saw it I figured that it must be somewhere else. Somewhere less, well, "enlightened". But last night I was introduced full-steam to what I had been missing.
Backdrop: I am in a somewhat unique situation, as I have recently landed a tt asst prof job in the same city that I did (am doing) my postdoc. Postdoc Institute is a fantastic place to learn science. The atmosphere is collegial and collaborative, and I did pretty well. I was really excited to land a job at BigU down the street, in a great dept. with some super people. Many of the folks that I have known for many years as a postdoc are now prof-level colleagues. Some even have affiliate positions in my new Dept. So, I guess that the relationships I have with these people is changing some as a transition into my new independent place.
Which brings me, finally, to last night. I was at a dinner for an invited speaker. I had felt pretty good that the faculty that was arranging the event had thought to invite me. So, I'm sitting in this room full of older (all white) men, including my postdoc mentor, when all of the sudden a conversation about selecting students/postdocs starts up. All of the sudden I (the only female in the room, and maybe the only jr faculty) am sitting in the middle of a conversation about how women from families with divorced parents (actually the words used were "broken homes") are likely to have "daddy issues" and can be a real drag to have in the lab. The whole conversation was a big joke for them.
WTF? Are you kidding me? Seriously? I just sat there, silence. To his credit, my postdoc mentor looked pretty uncomfortable. But he didn't say anything, either.