31 May 2006

21

"Slam the Door Gently: The Making and Unmaking of a Female Scientist" by Ruth Ann Bobrov Glater, Ph. D. (4/5)

The title of this one caught my eye as I was browsing biographies at the library. It's not what I expected, but what it is I found rather compelling (and only took me two days to read). Atypically, this autobiography is not a success story; it's a story of obstacles faced by a woman born in 1919, growing up during the Depression in a Jewish ghetto in the Bronx to immigrant parents, joining the Navy to help fight in WWII, who has a dream of performing botanical research as a university professor.

The sexism she encountered is familiar to me- not as pervasively, but enough to suck the joy out of work I once aspired to. I admire her tenacity.

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3 comments :

  1. I recently read a book called (ummm???) The Creative Process: [Something about] Flow and the art of Creativity. Anyway: The author interviewed a zillion Nobel Prize winners of all fields about creativity and their backgrounds, etc., and there were MANY women in the sciences who, in their day, only had a shot at pursuing a career in science because WWII took so many men away and created more openings for women to get an education and get funding in fields they'd never really been allowed in before. Interesting how such a negative event could spin off a positive movement for the advancement of women. Anyway--your post made me think of it. Good book.

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  2. Cavu: Sounds like a cool book. I'll keep it in mind.

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  3. In the post WW 2 era, many women did in fact advance in academia, even in the sciences. Having known Dr. Robrov-Glater for many years, I observed that she was highly accomplished in her field, but was a very cold, totally self obsessed, deceptive, manipulative person, with little in the way of constructive interpersonal skills. This was probably the overwhelming reason why she never got a professorship when so many other women did. She should have spent more of her life looking at her own shortcomings rather than blaming others for her career.

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