The Network Newsletter
  Spring 2005  


In this Issue:

Women Today

Professional Development Awards Granted for the First Time!

Women Today
By Judy Sabalauskas, Undergraduate Advisor, University of Baltimore

The first step towards the solution of any problem is optimism.
-John Baines

In her article, Crashing the Top, Ann Douglas writes, “Women at elite universities may have broken the ivory ceiling, but they're still battling old-fashioned discrimination…. I did not understand that by choosing career over family I had exchanged the traditional feminine domestic plot for the quest story, a search for personal and even societal salvation usually reserved for men.”

The American Association of University Professors issued a statement of principles regarding families’ responsibilities and academic work. It concludes that, “The goal of every institution should be to create an academic community in which all members are treated equitably, families are supported, and family-care concerns are regarded as legitimate and important.”

Thirty years ago I thought women and men would be able to achieve equality. Today I realize a simple fact of life cannot be ignored. Men and women can never be equals because biology has assigned us unequal roles in the procreation of our species. Men can choose to raise children, but they cannot choose to become pregnant.

When my second child was born I became the primary care-giver and bread-winner for the family. I applied for a job similar to the one I am doing today and was turned down because I was “over-qualified.” I was told I could do the job with one arm tied behind my back. In reality, both arms are. I found employment that complimented my primary job as mother, and found it challenging to do both jobs well especially when one costs money and the other does not earn enough to support three people.

"Don't blame yourself if you feel you are serving many masters and pleasing none," says, Professor Joan Williams, co- director of the Gender, Work and Family Project at American University. "Your sense of inadequacy does not reflect personal failings, but a system in which the way we define the ideal worker conflicts with the way we define our ideals as parents."

Elizabeth Bauchner writes a weekly column, "Mothering Matters," for the Ithaca Journal. In her words, “We like to think that all women have choices today. But what kinds of choices do mothers really have? The choice to work our rear ends off in corporate jobs that refuse viable part-time positions or quit and stay home? The choice to go on welfare after a divorce and then be forced to work at Wal-Mart? The choice to never see our kids during daytime hours or never put our college degrees to work? Women who stay home to raise their children--the future taxpayers of America--unintentionally put themselves at financial risk.”

Policies and laws can be written but common sense needs to prevail. Values cannot be legislated, but they can be respected.

USM Women's Forum: Enhancing the Status of Women in the
University System of Maryland

 Close Window