I recently came across a very passionate blog post by Tanya Clement that should be brought to everyone’s attention. I follow Tanya and I have come to notice that she doesn’t Tweet or blog very often, but when she does, it is definitely something you should look at. The recent post I am referring to is titled I am a woman and I am a mother and I do DH. (Here is the link: http://tanyaclement.org/2012/03/27/i-am-a-woman-and-i-am-a-mother-and-i-do-dh/ ). From her title alone you may be able to tell that she has faced prejudices in her career. She gives a brief background about herself and her school years while growing up. She was ridiculed in school for being the smart girl who took advanced classes and for being accepted to Harvard. If you think this judgment stopped after high school you are wrong. In her professional career she has faced many snarky comments and judgments from men, and even women, about her being in DH and having three children. She has been told not to go on the tenure track because she has young children at home. She was also told that a job she was applying for was not the kind of job where you can go home at night and kiss your kids to sleep. It is comments such as theses that make mothers with careers feel like second rate citizens.
I feel for Tanya and I am glad she has pushed through and overcome the speed bumps in her career because she is a woman and is a mother. I know I may face similar situations in my future because of my career choice and I know other girls will too. I am a female attempting to get my degree in a predominantly male field, physics. Here at St. Norbert I don’t feel ridiculed or less important, but that may also be because there is only one other physics major in my graduating class. Other places in my future may not be as welcoming and may be more judgmental, but I am already aware of this. I may not have faced as much judgment as Tanya has, but I definitely can relate to some of the things she has felt. I have a part time job waitressing and when customers ask me what I am going to school for, I frequently recieve shocked looks when I tell them I am a physics major. I get reactions from “Gross, why would you ever do that!?” to “Seriously?” I know that a lot of the shocked reactions come from the fact that physics is not a first choice for many people, but I can’t help to think that some of their shock comes from the fact that I am a girl.
This blog may not relate much to our discussions in class but I still thought it was important enough to bring to everyone’s attention. I think digital humanities, along with many other fields, have a different perception of men and women in that field. I enjoyed the fact that Tanya spoke her mind and shared her story. I think many female students will face gender biases as well as other judgments if they plan on being a working mother one day.