Saturday, September 22, 2012

Life's hard all over

I'm eligible for a sabbatical next year, which at RU means either a semester at full pay or a year at half. At some point over the summer, it became clear that this was a no-brainer: of course I'd be applying for the full year.

This is an option that--at least in my particular financial circumstances--is only possible because I have a partner with a full-time job who makes an equivalent salary. Even then it'll be a stretch, budget-wise. On the other hand, it's also the only way that I can both keep my job and live with my partner (albeit temporarily).

And I've gotta say, I'm not thrilled by the mildly resentful reactions I've gotten from a handful of male academics (not all at RU, but generally all with kids and/or spouses who don't work full time) when I've mentioned that I'm applying for the full year. "Must be nice!" They say. Or, "Boy, wish I could do that--but someone's gotta pay the bills!"

Look. I want to say. I'm lucky to be part of a couple with two solidly middle-class incomes, in an affordable part of the country, and no dependents. But you get to live with your spouse year-round, every year; you only have to pay for one household; and you get to choose whether to have kids. I don't live with my spouse full-time. We have two households, in two different cities, plus significant commuting expenses. And you have no idea whether we want kids, because they aren't an option as our lives are currently structured.

Are there perks to this arrangement, financial and otherwise? Sure. And you'd better believe I'm going to take advantage of them. But there are downsides, too, and it makes me wild when people make casually thoughtless remarks about how hard their own lives are without considering who they're talking to (like the older man telling his reluctantly single and childless female colleague, "Oh, I can't make it to that talk tonight--I'd like to actually see my family for a change").

But this post isn't about the thoughtlessness or unexamined privilege of men who benefit from traditional domestic structures, or at least I'd like for it not to be just about that. I'm sure I don't fully recognize the stressors that afflict such men--or indeed the stressors of any of my colleagues whose personal and domestic lives are notably unlike my own. I don't know what it's like to bear the burden of being the sole breadwinner, or of trying to juggle parenthood and a career. I can imagine, but have only the briefest of experiences, being unwillingly single in a place with a limited dating pool. I don't know what it's like to be a racial or sexual minority trying to find a partner in a culturally homogeneous area. I don't know how embittering it is to live or teach somewhere that I despise, or where I feel personally thwarted.

Not all hardships are equivalent, of course: some are ultimately unsustainable, and others come with compensatory advantages (having someone to lean on emotionally is tremendous, but having someone to split household chores with is also pretty tremendous). But most domestic and personal arrangements have some upsides along with their downsides.

So I'll tell you what: I'll try harder to imagine and sympathize with your hardships if you try harder to imagine mine.


life_of_a_fool said...

A useful reminder. I must say, I do envy your ability to take a full year sabbatical. But I don't resent you for it -- because you recognize the privileges that allow this to be possible for you.

Absolutely you should take advantage of the positives of your situation, and try to mitigate the negatives, **and** be aware that you are doing so and that others have different constellations of positives and negatives. I think *you* do this, but many others are too busy resenting what they don't have and the idea that someone else might have more.

In my ideal world, people would be better at recognizing their privilege and step away from the oppression olympics. And people would empathize, or sympathize, more with others and own their own choices that shape the positives and negatives of their lives. Most of us have to make tough choices, but they're choices all the same.

Flavia said...


Absolutely, regarding both privilege and "choices." There seems to be this weird idea that professional women who are single or in long-distance relationships or childless must have "chosen" that--and so presumably they prefer it! And hey, look at all the advantages those things give them! They can devote SO MUCH TIME to work as a result! (And they can travel, and spend money on themselves, and do other "selfish" things.)

And, sure, I'm okay saying that I chose to be in an LDR, and to prioritize my job over living in the same place as my spouse NO MATTER WHAT, and over having kids, etc. I did it because for me it's preferable to the alternative, though there are real costs.

But men who marry women who are mobile and/or less ambitious, or who suspend or slow-track their careers to stay home and raise children, have ALSO made choices--and those choices carry actual material career advantages. That's not saying their lives are easy, or even in all cases easier, but because they've made the normative decision, it's harder for them and many of those around them to recognize what they have as privilege.

Dr. Crazy said...

"And, sure, I'm okay saying that I chose to be in an LDR, and to prioritize my job over living in the same place as my spouse NO MATTER WHAT, and over having kids, etc. I did it because for me it's preferable to the alternative, though there are real costs."

And, it's worth noting, Cosimo has made those SAME choices, except most people wouldn't necessarily react in the same way to his choosing to prioritize his job over living in the same place with his spouse, and over having kids, as anywhere near as radical or problematic. He "should" make those choices, whereas you, as the female half of the equation, should make others. These sorts of things get figured as *women's* choices to make, and if you make choices that go against following your spouse, or having kids, or whatever, and if you realize any advantages because of that, somehow you should have to "pay" or feel guilty. Which is super-duper bogus.

For what it's worth, I think anybody who can take a full year should take it, and I tell EVERYBODY I KNOW that they should do that if they can make it happen, regardless of the challenges to doing that. In part because I wish I'd have had a full year when I got my first sabbatical. When I'm next eligible for sabbatical, I fully intend to apply for a boatload of grants to try to make a full year possible (assuming my financial picture stays the same, this would be the only way for me to swing it without putting myself in a very risky place in terms of money) - and I wouldn't think twice about taking the full year if I had a partner bringing in money that could compensate for the loss of some of my salary. Further, for the dudes who are (if only implicitly) criticizing your ability to do that... um, they could be busting their butts to apply for grants to make up for the loss of income, too. As could a woman who was the primary breadwinner, as could *anybody*. Now, maybe one wouldn't get any of those grants, and that might force a change of plans, but acting as if the only way to take a year-long sabbatical is to have a partner willing/able to foot the bill is just incorrect. Does a partner also bringing in an income make it easier? Sure. But partners in general make a lot of things easier, and they also make a lot of things more difficult. It seems to me it's a wash.

life_of_a_fool said...

My favorite are those who think that everyone else has made exactly the choices they wanted, to have exactly the life they wanted and which is obviously super easy, while they are OPPRESSED for whatever their lives are (with the implication that they made no such choices, while the rest of us have made no sacrifices or really constrained, difficult choices). No, some of us just don't make our problems your problem.

(In at least some cases, I think this is a matter of blaming individuals for structural problems. Also, the people around me who are the most vocal about how bad they have it aren't the married men. Though I know plenty of them who don't recognize their own privilege).

Flavia said...

These sorts of things get figured as *women's* choices to make, and if you make choices that go against following your spouse, or having kids, or whatever, and if you realize any advantages because of that, somehow you should have to "pay" or feel guilty. Which is super-duper bogus.

Well-put. I think that's right. Men who are single or childless may be "workaholics" or "crazy productive"--but don't receive the weird resentment/hostility, or get imagined as having unfair advantages, in the way that very productive women can be.

And re: the ability of any complainers/resenters to apply for grants to make up their lost income: Word up. Got more to say about that. Maybe coming soon, at an MLA bar near you.

Flavia said...


Amen to that, too. And I certainly don't want to seem to be picking on just heterosexual married men in normative domestic relationships! The ability to think that everyone else has it easier, and that you're the only one who's had to make tough choices, is widely distributed among the general population (though perhaps specially concentrated among academics). I know I'm prey to it too.

i said...

It is ridiculous for other people to do your accounting for you, whether it's life accounting or just financial accounting. I do think having a child makes it harder to do certain things, like taking a fellowship elsewhere, for example, but I also have a suspicion that some people who would not really be flexible anyway use children as an excuse to continue staying in one place, following a certain route, etc. I'm not saying that decision wouldn't make sense -- I just moved to another continent with a newborn to take up a fellowship, so I am obviously insane -- but there are ways to make things work with families and kids, even if they involve stress.

But I wonder if there isn't a positive way to twist this? My colleagues and I did not talk much about the accounting of how to make the full year at half pay work, but one or two frank conversations revealed that some people made it work not because they were swimming in funds, but because there were policy things they were able to take advantage of. We've started to share fellowship application materials, and lists of fellowships... I guess what I'm saying is that one way to respond to this might be to work towards a mutually supportive departmental culture.

i said...

Dr. Crazy and Flavia,

A side note -- I've never quite understood why people don't apply for every grant in sight anyway, but that's just me. Actually, I think this is one of the areas where sometimes having lots of funds can be a disadvantage in the long run, since the lack of necessity keeps many scholars from putting in the serious amount of time it takes to do grant applications. Problem is, doing grant writing is an important skill, and the more grants you get, the more you're likely to get later. And one can always turn them down -- someone good will get the money, and you get the line on the CV.

Bardiac said...

Here's wishing you a successful sabbatical app and a GRETA sabbatical!

Comrade Physioprof said...

Nicole and Maggie of Grumpy Rumblings have a good saying that is apropos: "My choices are not judging yours."

The point here is that many people take other people's life choices as a negative referendum on their own, and that this is fucken ridiculous. And then when these people get defensive, then they feel the need to denigrate other people's choices to make themselves feel better about their own.

Janice said...

I'm glad that you're getting to take a full year and spend it with your partner. That's fabulous!

I do six-months sabbaticals both because I'm effectively the sole breadwinner (I outearn my underemployed spouse by more than ten to one) and because Autistic Youngest place-limits us. It's really tough to parent her alone for more than a few days and she can't be integrated into a new program somewhere else quickly or easily.

I still know that I enjoy so much privilege. I have a full-time faculty position. I get to teach subjects that I love as well as research and write about topics that interest me. I live full-time with my partner and our kids in a lovely home.

If my particular situation means that I can't have a full-year sabbatical but someone else can, I'm okay with that. I'm not surprised that a lot of other academics aren't - a lot of us tend towards extreme cluelessness or selfishness.

Doctor Cleveland said...

The other appalling variant of the behavior Flavia talks about is the senior colleague cavalierly suggesting a radical life choice.

For example, suggesting casually that one partner give up academia to be with the other, or that the non-academic partner quit his/her job to join the academic, or even that the partners split up and find other people. People do volunteer all of these suggestions, quite unsolicited; I've heard someone make one of them during the last week. (The unsolicited advice was not being given to me, but about a third party.)

It's pretty breathtaking to feel that you have the authority to rule on acquaintances' difficult personal decisions, but all too many academics seem under the impression that they do. The nature of the unwanted advice, as Dr. Crazy suggests, tends to be heavily gendered, and geared toward women giving things up, either for a man or for a job.

But I also think the cavalier tone of the advice betrays the clueless advice-givers' defense mechanisms. It is a refusal to take the junior colleague's difficult situation seriously. Taking it seriously would force the senior person to recognize just how much is being asked, and that (oh noes!) would make them uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against this post but comments like this (from i): "but I also have a suspicion that some people who would not really be flexible anyway use children as an excuse to continue staying in one place, following a certain route, etc." piss me the hell off. Why would you even write something like that?

i said...

Anastasia: because I have the suspicion. But tell me why it pisses you off, and I'll happily either defend my position or acknowledge the rightness of yours.

But maybe it would be helpful to underscore my use of the word "some"?

Flavia said...

CPP: Love that quote. Very much to the point.

Dr. Cleve: Your last observation gets at an important related issue: in the same way that most TT folk really don't want to look too closely or think too hard about the lives of the adjuncts in their departments, most don't want to do the same with colleagues who have real, long-term domestic burdens related to or made worse by the nature of our profession (whether that's a long-distance relationship, being a single parent far from family or support networks, or whatever). Most of us don't really want to know how bad others have it, even or especially those who are notionally our peers--because then we become complicit or something hard is asked of us. Better to not let oneself know how fucked up the system can be and how all-but-unsustainable it makes some people's lives.

EngLitProf said...

This is a very interesting issue. First things first: the big problems are sexism and heteronormativity. Even genuinely progressive people sometimes can—no, I’ll skip the speech. Once I get started, I won’t stop.

However, a few small reservations. I’m not sure that “Must be nice!” or “Someone’s gotta pay the bills” are obviously objectionable. Someone said something similar to me the other day when I mentioned that I planned to take a full-year sabbatical next year. Would I have been annoyed if I had a two-income, no-children household and the person was taking this fact into account? I don’t think so: we can talk about my advantages today, leaving other peoples’ advantages until tomorrow. Would I have been annoyed if I were a woman (with such a household) and I had reason to believe that normative gender considerations played a role? Yes, but only because of the gender considerations.

I also think people often give too much weight to individual direct experience, or the lack of it. True, you don’t know directly what it’s like “to juggle parenthood and a career,” but you surely have a pretty good sense of what is involved. I am not in a long-distance relationship, but I have friends who are or have been (and in any case I am a devoted reader of blogs, which lay all human experience bare). The other thing is that some of the commentators write as though people’s burdens are similarly onerous (however different their nature), except when the burdens are “unsustainable.” That is, unless the problems a person faces are really, really bad, then we can simply conclude, as your title says, “Life’s hard all over.” I disagree: your broken leg is worse than my twisted ankle, even though neither of us has cancer.

Dr. Virago said...

We also have a sabbatical system like this and I also got the "Must be nice" comments, and often from the men with the SAHM wives. You know what my response was, "Yes, it is!" OK, maybe only sotte voce. But seriously, saying it must be "nice" to be a professional woman in a LD relationship who has to take a salary cut to be with her spouse for a year is like Romney saying things would be easier for him if he were Latino. *headdesK*

Anyway, amen to everything you, Flavia, and also Dr. Crazy say. Because yes, I'm pretty sure the reactions I get to spending months in England in the summer or taking a full-year sabbatical is entirely gendered. I have three heads because I'm a woman making these choices.

But any rate, here's what pisses me off about these comments/attitudes: the benefit -- the choice to do one semester at full pay or two at half pay -- is offered equally to everyone. So, in terms of the workplace benefit itself, we've got an equal playing field. I haven't gotten some special favor that you haven't been given, dudes. Yeah, I know we're not brains on a a stick and life doesn't compartmentalize like that, and the rest of life does impinge on professional choices, but to act like I have some benefit you don't -- and really, that's the kind of attitude I've gotten -- pisses me off. Yeah, your choices and actions in making it happen or not are going to be different than mine, but that's you, not me, and it's not really the system, either.

In my case, I was cohabitating with a fully employed co-bread-winner at the time, but nothing he made was covering my expenses (though I realize two can live cheaper than one). But I would have done the year had I been single, too -- I was planning on it. I knew sabbatical was coming, so I *saved and planned* for it (grants would have just been a bonus). The thing is, sabbaticals come every seven years, so at least the possibility of planning and saving is there for just about everyone, I think. Or at least, you can think about it and weigh the costs and consequences against the benefits, and measure its viability both short and long term, and do what's right for you, but don't begrudge me the same choices. But my colleagues just seem to write off the possibility of taking the full year option. (I'm not assuming -- I've heard them dismiss the option out of hand in ways that show they haven't really crunched the numbers. For one thing, they don't realize that for most of them, 50% gross turns out to be about 70% take-home. More than one was gob-smacked when I told them this.) But then my colleagues seem to be incapable of saving for summer (seriously, one called me a finacial genius because I can), so, I may be dealing with a particularly financially-challenged set of folks. They need to read nicoleandmaggie, clearly.

Dr. Virago said...

Er, sotto voce.

profgrrrrl said...

I wonder if these folks truly know how they sound when they say these things. I suspect not.

I mean, I understand feeling jealous of the thought that someone else will have a whole year off. I do. I'm thinking about queueing up for sabbatical (after 10 years), and I'm thinking that given our life (and in particular the 1K/month paid for child care, some recent major home repairs that have hit the savings account hard, and the upcoming need for a new car) it would be the better choice to do one semester at full pay (although I would love the full year). But that's my choice and it relates to a lot of other choices that I have made along the way. I don't feel like it would be a good financial choice for my family right now for me to go down to 1/2 pay for a year (or, if I did that I'd probably find consulting to make up the difference and that would take away from writing time and put me back at square one). I could put sabbatical off for a few years so I could swing a full year at half pay, but I think I need that time off sooner rather than later (and it should be the final push toward full for me, which then = more pay, but if I wait until I get full to take a sabbatical it could take me a few years longer to get there, or so I fear).

I suppose you could even say that in my case someone (or two someones) have to pay the bills (and we haven't saved up for it). Oh, and we would LOVE to have a stay at home wife, too. Sigh. ;-)
But I don't for a moment begrudge anyone who has saved for a full year off or who otherwise has means to make it happen. Good for them! Good for you!

FWIW, I got a somewhat similar reaction when I took maternity leave (umm, anyone at my university is allowed to take their 12 weeks of FMLA and pay themselves via accrued sick leave if they have a new child). I chose to take leave. The choice had advantages and disadvantages. It was definitely NOT a paid vacation.

Flavia said...


Regarding your first objection: I see how it could read that way. But I've heard enough from these individuals in the past to presume there's at least some mild underlying displeasure/sense of injustice.

Dr. V:

[I]n terms of the workplace benefit itself, we've got an equal playing field. I haven't gotten some special favor that you haven't been given, dudes....Yeah, your choices and actions in making it happen or not are going to be different than mine, but that's you, not me, and it's not really the system, either.

YES to this. A million times yes.

(Also, regarding 50% gross = ~70% take-home: you mean because your tax rate is lower? This would be an incredibly welcome surprise. I am, in fact, applying for grants, and I'll teach at least one summer class, but every little helps.)


Oh, don't get me started on maternity "leave": we have the same situ as you, though I believe only 6 weeks of FMLA can be covered with sick pay; it's so paltry that most women in my department have--either intentionally or accidentally-- managed to time their pregnancies to coincide with summer, winter, or paid research/sabbatical leaves. That makes things easier...except that then a) they don't have full access to the research benefit of those leaves, as all the men/non-recently-delivered women in the department do, and b) RU is allowed to ignore the fact that, as taxing as child care (or the care of a sick partner or parent) is for everyone, in pregnancy it's WOMEN'S BODIES that are doing the bearing and birthing, and they have specific needs that must be accommodated if the playing field is to be kept level. Nothing a non-birthing parent needs or requires is analogous.

i said...

Some quick reactions, with nothing substantive to add:

Dr. Virago:

The reaction you got was unacceptable. I must admit to the following -- I have sometimes had that thought about colleagues who took the full year at half pay with no fellowship, the "must be nice to have a spouse with money" thought. But I would never have said it, not in a million years, because I am -- sometimes at least -- a grownup. Also, because I don't know their business. In the end, I wound up applying for a million fellowships, but had decided I would make the year off work even if I didn't get one. So things worked out.


Anyone who thinks the first twelve weeks after having a child are a vacation for anyone involved deserves a punch in the face.


THANK YOU (shouting intended) for noting that actually bearing and giving birth to a child is not really comparable to just caring for another human being. As in, you still have to care for another person, often also breastfeeding, but you are also physically exhausted and often emotionally depressed, and never really get a chance to catch up.

I'm a huge believer in the importance of paternity leave for women, since I think men need to become as "inconvenient" to employers as women are seen to be. And when dad (or the non-birthing partner, I imagine) is hands-on, the whole process can also take a toll on him or her. But there's something about actually giving birth that can be unbelievably intense.

Somewhere up the thread someone pointed out that even if you're not a parent, you can imagine what's involved. I think in terms of the child care, that's mostly true -- I read and heard enough parents complaining about the relentlessness of childcare before having one that I was able to imagine, if not fully comprehend, what a full time job it could be. What I never imagined before going through it was what a toll the physical labour of carrying and birthing would be, nor what the hormones do to your brain for a good long time afterwards. Of course, this is also variable -- I've met women who had easy labours and were walking around and doing housework the day after. But for some of us, it takes a long time to recover. A scholar couple told us not to expect to get anything done for the first six months after birth, and hubby and I a bit smugly imagined that wouldn't be the case for us. My son turns six months tomorrow, and I am getting my first full day at the library today.

I've taken a look at the mat leave policies RU has, and I think they are nothing short of inhumane. Just shameful.

EngLitProf said...

Dr. Virago is certainly right when she says that the system of institutional rewards applies to everyone equally; after all, the universities and colleges where we teach presumably treat us more consistently and justly than life in general does. You, Flavia, benefit from having a partner with a full faculty income, but Cosimo is not a prize you were awarded for being the most impressive assistant professor (who happened to be a straight woman), nor, if your achievements were weaker, would you have gotten a slacker who wanted to sit all day playing video games and raiding your’fridge. The problem is that this profession has never quite figured out how to square our nonprofessional advantages with our professional ones. By “nonprofessional advantages” I mean the continuing ones: having a trust fund, or having a partner who pays bills and does dishes.

Parenthetically, we should remember the primary purpose of a sabbatical. I am glad you will get to spend a full year with your partner, but I am also thinking of all the scholarship you will be able to get done!

scr said...

Having 50% income would not just result in lower marginal and effective tax rates, it might open up whole new worlds of credits and deductions from which you were previously exempted for "too high an income" (eg, they phase out student loan interest deduction over a certain income level). Also, mortgage interest and the like is suddenly a much greater percentage of your income than it was before. It seems conceivable that you could end up with a very low tax bill indeed. The treatment would, of course, be different depending on whether you filed separately or jointly, so both avenues would be worth exploring.

As for the original topic, I largely chalk it up to the fact that people like to whine and complain and play victim, more than any specific ill feeling towards you, or women, or whatever. But, as you've noted, you know the players involved, and I do not. I hear it plenty, though, from married coworkers, coworkers with kids, whatever. "must be nice to be able to sleep in whenever you want!" yeah, it is!

PS: does blogger choose the difficulty level for the captchas? Because, lately, they've been somewhere above "genius" level. I think I might get this one on my third try!

Flavia said...

ELP: Oh, absolutely! Indeed, the first reason I started considering applying for the full year was my desire to get a big chunk of work done on my second book project. However, I'll note that outside stressors, like being in an LDR, aren't necessarily unrelated to the desire/felt need to get more work done. (Both because stress/distraction sometimes reduces the work one can get done, and because, at least in my case, I'd like to make sure my profile is as competitive as possible, should a job opportunity arise in the next few years that might allow us to be together full-time.)

And bro: FOR REAL. Google's gotta step off.

life_of_a_fool said...

Yes, Dr. Virago is totally right about the benefit being exactly the same for everyone. And also: I really want that tax lesson explained to me. I need to pay greater attention to paying my taxes this year and thinking things through.

Flavia, also great point about the added pressure/desire someone in a LDR would have to make sure you're competitive on the job market.

And, scr, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels much too stupid to prove I'm not a robot.

Dr. Virago said...

Re: the 50% gross = 70% take-home thing...Oops, I forgot our full year sabbatical pay is 66% of our salary, so the jump isn't as high as I said, *but*, depending on where your salary falls in the tax bracket, your sabbatical take-home *may* be higher than 50% of your pre-sabbatical take-home. My sabbatical take-home was equal to about 75% of my regular pay take-home, even though my sabbatical gross was 66% of regular gross. As always, YMMV. (And yeah, I think it has to do with tax brackets, but that's where my knowledge gets fuzzy.)

But sorry to get you excited about a 20% difference! Mea culpa!

(Also, now, I think I get less credit for saving for sabbatical.)

To "i" -- I think my first paragraph above conflated *my* experience with Flavia's. I meant to express that I got the "Must be nice" comments, too, and I bristled at them (righteously, I think), but it's even stupider for Flavia to get them, given that her "nice" situation is even more complicated and, I imagine, stressful, than mine.

But yeah, as everyone clearly got, my main point, surrounded by the rantiness about my financially challenged senior colleagues, is that the institutional reward/benefit/opportunity is offered equally to all. (ELP, I literally laughed out loud at "Cosimo is not a prize you were awarded for being the most impressive assistant professor"!)

And here's to Flavia having a wonderfully productive sabbatical! Thanks to ELP for reminding us of the point of sabbatical -- like maternity leave, it's not a paid vacation. That said, it is a "sabbath," too, a chance to recharge that deep-thinking brain, so Flavia (and all), let your brain rest and rejuvenate sometimes, too!

And SCR, I'm facing down a mean and unfocused captcha right now, so I'm with you! Apparently we are all actually robots.

i said...

Just to argue the other side a bit... it is probably worth pointing out that, depending on how crass salary compression is at a given institution, the "same deal" may be a radically different deal. And the newly-hired person might be making way more than hir tenured colleagues. That could be some of the resentment playing the background of "it must be nice."

Dr. Crazy said...

For what it's worth, re: compression: In my experience, the compression issue doesn't come into the "it must be nice" comments, not really. If that were the case, then all of those "stalled at associate" women proffies (which are the norm at my institution) would be the ones making them.

Although I didn't take a year-long sabbatical, the people who have resented and denigrated the resources that I've been able to get are not the people who've been around 20 years and who haven't made full and who are the greatest victims of compression. Rather, it's been people at my rank who believe that they deserve more than I do, in spite of not applying for more (in terms of institutional awards) or earning more (in terms of applying for outside support or whatever), and, in fact, some (though surely not all) full professor colleagues in my department (all male) who haven't done anything since they earned full, but they begrudge my accomplishments because they outrank me. (Note: their problem is not compression: their problem is acquiescing to becoming dead wood.) Compression would be a legitimate complaint, if that really were the issue. But, at least in my experience, that's not the complaint. The complaint is more along the lines of "how DARE you" than it is along the lines of "I wasn't comparably rewarded for equal accomplishments."

Historiann said...

Boy, am I sorry I missed this conversation! Flavia, I'm utterly and completely with you on this one, and I appreciate all of the conversation here on this issue.

And, bonus points to everyone for utterly ignoring Anastasia's comment. (She only shows up to police conversations about motherhood of which she disapproves.)

Flavia said...

i: regarding your last comment: not applicable in my case, though the point is well-taken.