[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain,

My question today is about academia and/or job opportunities and being single. I am a PhD candidate in a Very Good University in the US, and I will be on the academic job market in a year. I have a very good publication/presentation/committee/topic situation, so I should be doing fairly fine. However, my field is totally dominated by men, mostly from quite conservative countries/cultures. It’s even worse in industry (I have work experience pre-PhD and an internship).

Now, I am absolutely sure I don’t want to get married or have a cohabiting partner or “serious” relationship of any sort. If anything, I identify with relationship anarchy. I am happy like I’ve never been, and I feel like I’m thriving and my best self arises when I am alone and free. I do have many short and long romance stories with like-minded folks who are in the same line of thought, but I don’t have or want any “boyfriend” in the sense that other people seem to want me to have (focused on dating – getting engaged – moving in – marrying).

Usually, in academic conferences, in the informal networking events, or in my department, I get asked when I will be on the market, and if I prioritize going back to my country or staying in the US, this kind of things. I think it’s all fair game and I am thrilled some Big Names in the field show interest in me! But sometimes they ask things such as “will you have a 2-body problem?” or “well, eventually you’ll want to marry, right?” or “our school is in a city with plenty of young men!”. Or more bluntly “how come you are not married yet?” (my age – early 30s – is not a secret). I know those (mostly old, mostly men, mostly conservative) professors may just be trying to be nice(?), but I can tell by the way they look that I don’t fit in what they think is “a good woman” or “a normal person”.

I have told some (younger – some younger than me) professors in my department that I don’t want to marry and they all reply condescendingly “you’ll change your mind!” But they are not the ones who’ll make my hiring decisions (although they’ll write me letters of recommendation) and so I am not that much concerned. What about those from other schools who may want to hire or not hire me a year from now when I am on the market? When I have 5-minute interactions and they ask me topic/advisor/ideal placement/marital status. Should I tell them “I don’t want to marry” and out myself immediately as not-their-idea-of-good-woman? Should I tell them “oh I haven’t found anyone yet” and then lie (or risk that someone will try to set me up – it’s happened before!)? Should I just smile awkwardly and say “I don’t know!”? I also feel that, when I say I don’t want to marry, the person in front of me thinks I am lying. What if I tell them “no, I don’t want to marry, but I do want to have kids and I am very well informed about sperm banks and adoption agencies”. Will this kill forever all my job opportunities because of the single mother stigma?

It’s all a paradox, because they don’t like women because of the whole marriage and maternity thing, but they don’t like it either when women don’t conform to their standards of womanhood (wifehood?).

How can I navigate this? I do want to have a good academic placement but I want to know who won’t be supportive of my lifestyle to avoid their departments. But also, you know, academia is sometimes hard and there isn’t much choice of placement for a candidate. So at this point I mostly want to say something that won’t close all the doors but will make my point clear enough.

Any help will be welcome! Thanks so much!

Future Professor Badass

Dear Future Professor Badass,

As tempting as it would be to say a robotic “That is a sexist question” or give a long rambling Boring Baroque Response involving your theories of Relationship Anarchy whenever this comes up, here is the strategy I actually advise:

Them:Will you have a two-body problem?” (For people outside of academia, this means will you need the university that wants to recruit you to also factor in a job for your a fellow-professor spouse) or “But surely you intend to marry someday?” (Ugh) or “Good thing there are lots of young men here!

You:Thanks for asking. I’m lucky that I don’t have to consider that right now in my search and can just look for the best fit for my work.

Them:How come you are not married yet?” (This is a weird, rude question but I too have had older people from outside the US ask me this as if it’s a normal question. Then again, we in the US ask people what they do for a job right away, for this week’s Manners Are Relative reminder).

You: Smile awkwardly and say “I don’t know!“, as you suggest! Or, “It just hasn’t been a priority!” or “Search me!” or “I love being single” or “Has my grandmother been talking to you? It’s a question under much discussion in my family, believe me” or “Haven’t felt like it, I guess!

Whatever you say, keep it light and vague. The more you can answer calmly and confidently, without apology, the more people will take your cue in how they react.

 

 

I know all of this is sexist and invasive and weird and assumes heterosexuality when it should not but the individual people who ask you this think they are being kind and even helpful, especially if they are trying to recruit you to their campus. They want you to be happy and anticipate issues that they might have to work around so that you will want to stay forever at their school. They want to figure out if they have the budget to hire you and a spouse if they want you badly enough. They don’t want you to take the job and then leave in a year because it’s a romantic and sexual wasteland or because there’s no industry in the town except for the university and your (theoretical) partner can’t find work. It can be awkward attempt to mentor you, at least in some cases, so if you can find a way to be vague but positive and deal with the intentions (rather than the effects) of the question it will help you connect.

I wish it were not so, but right now you need a job so someday you can be the colleague who doesn’t ask newcomers these questions (or asks in a way that is actually helpful).

Answer with your vague positive statement, some version of “It’s not my biggest priority right now, which makes me feel very lucky! I have the luxury to just think about finding the right fit for the work I want to do. I know not everyone has that.

Then ask them questions about their lives.

  • “When you moved to [City Where University Is Located] what was it like to get your bearings?”
  • “Any advice for settling in in [City]? Where do the people who love it here shop/eat/hike/live?”
  • “Was it a difficult adjustment moving from [Country of Origin] to [City]? What was the biggest surprise?”
  • “What are the things about [City] that really make you feel at home?”
  • “Were you married when you moved here? How does your spouse like it here? What do they do?”
  • “How did you and your spouse meet?”
  • “Did you have to deal with a two-body problem? What was that like? How does the university generally deal with those?”
  • “What do you remember most from your first year of being a professor here?”

You can turn the conversation to their research or their teaching or questions about the students or the department, too. People like to be asked questions about things they are experts on, and in my experience professors like this even more than most people. Use their weird question as an opportunity to make a human connection and find out more about them as people and the place as a place to live and what you’re getting into. Be remembered as someone pleasant to talk to, focused on her work, and someone who asks good questions and is a good listener.

You’ve got this and you don’t need to make excuses for something that isn’t actually a problem. Good luck in your search.

 

 

 


Hotel

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:01 pm
[syndicated profile] businesscat_feed

Posted by Fonder

I’m taking this all the way to the supreme court.

This comic brought to you courtesy of my amazing patrons. Special thanks to:
Karen Carpenter, Julia, Dan Cunningham, Colin Dellow, ‘FOL’, Giz, Reece Hall, Yuliya Levina, Dawn Lim Yun Hui, Jonna Märijärvi, Coté Nicholas, and Chantal Rivest

[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Leigh Anderson

It’s awfully easy to get in touch with prominent people these days, isn’t it? A few clicks through social media or company bios, and you can fire off a message to your field’s newest rock star, the guy or gal who is creating and disrupting and re-inventing everything from buses to bodegas. You would like to meet this…

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The wonders of Google Translate

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:37 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

I have sung the praises of Google Translate (GT) before (e.g., "Google Translate is even better now" [9/27/16]), but this morning something happened with GT that really tickled my fancy.

One thing I use GT for is to compose texts in Chinese.  I find it to be a very powerful and easy to use input tool.

So I input the following:

shuō dìngle 說定了
xīngqítiān zhōngwǔ jiàn 星期天中午見

After I finished typing that, I glanced over to the box at the right where the automatic English translation appears.  I was just floored when I saw this:

That's a deal
See you at noon on Sunday

The GT translation is both idiomatic and natural.  Miraculously, it somehow even managed to catch the playful tone of what I wrote in Chinese.  Of course, when used irresponsibly by people who know no Chinese to check it or who try to get it to translate something that is literary / classical / topolectal when it is designed for Mandarin, it can produce Chinglish howlers.  But in this case (and in many other cases that I have experienced), GT is every bit as good as a human translator, and sometimes better than most.

[syndicated profile] universalhub_feed

Posted by adamg

The family of Kyzr Willis, who drowned while at a city-run summer program at Carson Beach last year, is suing Mayor Walsh, the city and individual workers at the program.

The family filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court, but the city quickly moved to have the suit heard in federal court because of the constitutional issues involved - the city is charged with violating the boy's 14th Amendment rights.

The suit also charges the city violated a state law known as Christian's Law, after a boy who drowned at a Sturbridge beach, that requires kids in waterfront programs be given wristbands if they can't swim and that all be offered life jackets.

According to the suit, Kyzr, 7, could not swim, and on July 26, 2016, asked one of the workers at the BCYF program for a life jacket.

On that day, Kyrr, who was wearing his fluorescent swim trunks ... expressed to camp counselor Jane Doe that he wanted a life jacket, but was told by Jane Doe that there were only pink ones for girls available, so he was never given a life jacket.

During that entire day, not a single lifeguard, not a single camp counselor, not a single camp supervisor or director made Kyzr wear a lifejacket as he played close to and in the ocean.

The family is asking for unspecified damages for the suffering Kyzr experienced during his death and for the suffering the family continues to suffer as a result of it.

Earlier this year, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office ruled that there was no foul play involved in his death.

Complete Willis complaint (2.2M PDF).

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:45 am
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[personal profile] alexseanchai
[personal profile] analise010 is doing a one-card draw to raise money to test as an actuary.
[syndicated profile] universalhub_feed

Posted by adamg

The T says it's gotten the track-repair equipment that gummed up the Red Line at Andrew off the tracks, but that the Orange Line is still having problems due to an Orange Line train that bought the farm earlier at Downtown Crossing.

[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Nick Douglas on Offspring, shared by Nick Douglas to Lifehacker

The typical American grade-school schedule is mixed up in the middle, according to a 2011 study recently resurfaced on Reddit. While most schools (over 95% as of 2006) hold lunch before recess, a nutritional study in Utah found that when recess was moved before lunch, grade-school students ate 54% more fruits and…

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[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Jillian Lucas on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

Zappos is basically a one-stop shoe destination already, but right now, they’re having an actual sale, marking down thousands of sandals for the end of the season. Heels, flats, thong, slides, all kinds of styles from brands like Tevas, Nike, Birkenstock, Sam Edelman, Keen, and more. Stock up for next season while you…

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Nominations Queries Post Three

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:16 pm
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 144 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 618. There are 2779 approved fandoms now in the tag set. We’re in the home stretch! (The not very fast home stretch.)


Please help us with the following issues:

2017 Oscars RPF / Academy Awards RPF - These were each submitted with the same character nominations: Andrew Garfield and Dev Patel. Nominators, do you have a strong preference as to what fandom label is used?

Chronicles of the Raven - James Barclay - Ry Darrick only seems to appear in the sequel trilogy; is that incorrect, or does this fandom label cover both trilogies? We’d also appreciate a little more information on the Unknown Warrior.

Dallas Stars (Hockey RPF) - Justin Courtnall does not appear to belong in this category; please comment, or we will either move him to another category (if an appropriate one exists) or reject him. It is not clear to us that Katie Hoaldridge is a celebrity in her own right; could the nominator please give their reasoning?

動物戦隊ジュウオウジャー | Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger - the character Insarn does not seem to belong here. Did you mean Naria?

Element of Fire - Martha Wells - this is nominated with the characters Giliead (Ile-Rien), Ilias (Ile-Rien), and Tremaine Valiarde. The characters don’t seem to match the fandom. Nominator, would you prefer to change the fandom or the characters?

Forgotten Realms - for Khelben Arunsun, is Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun or Khelben Arunsun the Younger meant, please?

Giant Robo - This is nominated with the characters Alberto (Giant Robo), Ginrei (Giant Robo), Hanzui (Giant Robo), Ivan (Giant Robo), Kenji Murasame (Giant Robo), Shokatsuryou Koumei, Sunny the Magician, Taisou (Giant Robo), Tetsugyu (Giant Robo), and Youshi (Giant Robo). As far as we can tell, this is a mix of 1960 and 1990s anime. Nominators, could you please confirm which media you want and if they should be separated out or sent through together?

合法ドラッグ | Gouhou Drug | Legal Drug - the character Watanuki Kimihiro doesn’t seem to belong here. Nominator, could you please clarify?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

Numbers (Anthropomorphic) - There are multiple sets of nominations for this fandom. Going by fandom spelling, respectively, the characters nominated are:
  • -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, Golden Ratio, Pi

  • -128, -i, 0.5, 12, 16, 256, i, sqrt(2)

  • 666, e, j, k

The last set in particular is confusing us. Do j and k together (without i?) refer to components of a unit vector? Or, if j and k refer to unrelated concepts, is j being used as notation for the square root of negative one, or something else, and what is k? Is this meant to denote 1000? Nominators, please elaborate on your thinking.

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared?

You Could Make a Life Series - Taylor Fitzpatrick - we can’t find the characters Mason Draper and Nate Wozniak. Could the nominator(s) give us pointers, please?



All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
  • Kino no Tabi | Kino's Journey - All Media Types, characters: Kino (Kino no Tabi)

  • Kurosagi - All Media Types, characters: Kashina Masaru, Katsuragi Toshio, Kurosaki (Kurosagi), Yoshikawa Tsurara

  • The Martian - All Media Types, characters: Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Mark Watney (The Martian - All Media Types)

  • Paint Your Wagon, characters: Ben Rumson, Elizabeth (Paint Your Wagon), Schermerhorn (Paint Your Wagon), Sylvester Newel. Did you want the movie or the musical, please?

  • Rookies - Morita Masanori & Related Fandoms , characters: Aniya Keiichi, Kawatou Kouichi, Mikoshiba Tooru, Shinjou Kei

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish

  • 屍者の帝国 | Shisha no Teikoku | Empire of Corpses - All Media Types, characters: Alexei Karamazov, Friday, John Watson (Shisha no Teikoku), Nikolai Krasotkin

  • XCOM (Video Games) & Related Fandoms, characters: Firebrand, Lily Shen (XCOM), The Commander (XCOM)



Ensemble characters
We will accept labels like “the Council” or “the hunters” for characters in cases where the ensemble does not have different distinct characters in it. For the following fandom, please either confirm that there are no distinct characters in the group, or pick a single character out of the group you’ve nominated:
  • Compendium of World Knowledge - John Hodgman - Hobos, possibly also Cryptozoologists (?)




If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

Hair

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:22 am
zhelana: (Marvel - Puny God)
[personal profile] zhelana
How do you do your hair/makeup? Why?

It's long and curly. I just brush it. I don't do makeup. Because I really couldn't give a flying fuck.

the rest )
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Even if the rest of the film were forgettable, Howard Hawks' Red River (1948) would be worth it for the climactic fight scene where Montgomery Clift and John Wayne are tragically and brutally and patriarchally beating one another's brains out and just as the audience, consisting in this case of me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, decides it cannot take another second of this senseless macho bullshit, Joanne Dru can't either and not only says as much, she holds both combatants at gunpoint until they cut the machismo and admit they love one another. It was a thing of beauty. ("You'd better marry that girl, Matt.") Factor in the gun-comparing scene between Clift and John Ireland and other not infrequent moments of no heterosexual explanation and the whole thing was a nice break from today's otherwise relentless grind of work, even if we weren't totally sure at the outset. It is not easy to watch a movie in the company of an active and presently tired and cranky eleven-month-old, but we managed. In other news, Fox these days is freestanding, fast-moving, can hang upside down by the knees if an adult holds them, and appears to be taking against the entire concept of pants. They like honeycake, though.

Autolycus is being heartbreakingly plaintive right now. He has a vet appointment early in the morning and it requires fasting, which is an impossible concept to explain to a cat. I let him graze all day and gave him a proper dinner at the absolute last moment, but he is attempting to convince me that, actually, in point of fact, he starved since then. We should find him some kind of special treat after the appointment, for being so brave and honest. Last night he and his sister shared in the Rosh Hashanah chicken. All cats are lunisolar.

In honor of the High Holidays, here is a post on Jewish superheroes and here is a brilliant riposte to the rather short-sighted question "How can you be Black and Jewish?"

Back to the relentless grind. At least it is almost autumn.

Surf's up

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:06 am
[syndicated profile] universalhub_feed

Posted by adamg

Hopeful Cynicist watched the waves crash in along Lynn Shore Drive today.

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