“…like baseball players who’ve taken steroids.”

May 18, 2010

There’s really nothing else to say but “Discuss” for this comment.

I think people with a stay at home spouse should have an asterisk next to their name on their CVs and tenure documents, like baseball players who’ve taken steroids.

(You might want to also register a vote in Female Science Professor’s stay-at-home-spouse poll.)

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11 Responses to ““…like baseball players who’ve taken steroids.””

  1. miko Says:

    We both work, and have a very distracting cat. Double bonus points for remaining productive?

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  2. becca Says:

    If I’m in a polyamorous relationship with two spice, and they both stay home half time, do I get an asterisk? If they both stay home, do I get two? What about a live in grandma? Does Obama get an asterisk for having his MIL live in the white house?
    What if you have a stay at home spouse *and* take steroids? Or Ritalin, or whatever the academic parallel is.

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  3. whimple Says:

    The big-time academic steroids are when the spouse is an employee (usually super-doc or equivalent) in the lab. These people should get a double asterisk by their name.

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  4. JohnV Says:

    Do those of us w/o spouses or significant others at all get a gold star then? :p

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  5. The asshole who made that comment should get an asterisk next to their name because they probably will never get laid after making a comment like that.

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  6. Pen Says:

    What about people with travel-intensive, 24/7 careers and a spouse with something that, in terms of pay and interest, might be better classed as a ‘job’ than a ‘career’. A job which incidentally allows them to be home every evening and weekend when the kids are.

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  7. Katherine Says:

    Re the comment about asterisks: it might enable me to get paid the same as the men in my industry once I have a stay-at-home partner. Even though having the system set up this way (to favour people with stay at home spouses) is bad, at least recognising when it happens and when it doesn’t would be fairer than making assumptions about who does and doesn’t have a stay-at-home spouse. (And by “fairer” I mean “benefits me woop woop” because it obviously isn’t fair if you don’t count stay-at-home mothers-in-law, multiple partners and so on).

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  8. Anonymous Says:

    “I think people with a stay at home spouse should have an asterisk next to their name on their CVs and tenure documents, like baseball players who’ve taken steroids.”
    The problem with this comment, really (and not to make fun of) is that science is not a contest or a game, but a productive enterprise. It doesn’t really matter to the world why you generated more science (because you’re brilliant or you have a stay at home partner who takes care of the rest of your life or you like to work 20 hours a day and sleep for 4 or you lucked into an amazing discovery).

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  9. anonymous anonymous Says:

    “It doesn’t really matter to the world why you generated more science”
    But it does matter to the world HOW you generated more science !. It seems as though there are people who can enjoy and have a flair for helping other people to achieve great things by being behind the scenes (i.e., a stay at home spouse).
    All you need is LOVE and LEADERS. LOVE always upfront and LEADERS both in the scene and behind the scenes. And more and great science gets done!.

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  10. Cloud Says:

    I actually think this entire discussion is based on a flawed assumption that the time spent on household chores and the like necessarily siphons time you would spend doing science. If I didn’t have to do the dishes at night, I wouldn’t necessarily spend the time working. Honestly, I’d probably spend it watching the Daily Show. I miss the Daily Show.
    In all seriousness, it is my hobbies, not my work time, that have gone out the window as I’ve adjusted to the big increase in household chores that comes with having kids.
    And I’ve had several interesting work-related ideas during the downtime that my daughter’s bedtime routine forces on me every night. So it is not that simple.
    There is actually data (which I referenced in a comment on FSP’s post: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2010/JF/feat/schie.htm) that indicate that male and female scientists with partners are spending the same amount of time at work- about 55 hours a week, on average. The women are spending more time on housework, and also are outsourcing more of it to paid help.
    All of this implies to me that the dudes with the stay at home wives aren’t necessarily working harder than the rest of you. It seems that they have more free time.
    So the only conclusion I can confidently draw is that it is risky for a woman who wants a career to marry an academic scientist. On average, they aren’t pulling their weight around the house.
    But of course, you don’t marry the average. It all really boils down to choosing your partner carefully. Don’t worry about whether he brings you flowers. Does he clean the bathroom without being asked?

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  11. AnyEdge Says:

    “oes he clean the bathroom without being asked?”
    But…But….that’s the WOMAN’S job! (If you don’t get that I’m kidding, go get your temperature checked.).
    I have to honestly claim ignorance here: are people saying that a stay at home spouse helps the scientist enough to be a major contributor to the work? By doing what exactly? Keeping house? That’s a full time job all by itself if there are children.
    Second of all, a stay at home spouse very probably has no skills relevant to the assistance of the science. My wife does many lovely things very well, and I love her dearly (we have our problems, blah blah blah like anyone), and she’ll even proof read my papers. But nothing that deserves an asterisk. Of course, she also works 15 hours a week, so maybe she doesn’t count.

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