Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Blog Begins

I, srastro, am a woman working in the physical sciences. I'm headed into my final year of grad school, so in 365 days, I'll be Dr. Srastro. I have amassed enough work to get a decent postdoc, so my first-job prospects are good. Plus, I chose my own thesis project and am very interested in the results, whenever they may come. On paper, my career and life seem fine. So why do I not feel fine?

Here's an excerpt from my handwritten journal that illuminates why I'm burning out in the home stretch of my Ph.D., and how I hope writing this blog may help me get through:

Maybe I'll start a blog. I have been reading I Blame The Patriarchy a lot, and I find it really inspiring. Could blogging, and getting comments, help me process some of my frustrations with the intense manifestation of patriarchy that is academia, especially science? I have come to realize how truly, truly thankful I am for the safe spaces that exist for expressing feminist ideas. Thanks to Twisty Faster for being absolutely unbending in her criticism of patriarchy.

In fact, I have spent a lot of my work time on IBTP this week. Why? I searched and searched for the answer, and today I decided the obvious conclusion was the correct one. I spend my work time on IBTP because I'm TIRED. Tired of work, of having it pointed out that I'm a woman every other day, physically tired by an academic calendar that has, after months of languor, jumped by orders of magnitude. Easier on the tired old brain, and more fun, to read feminist persiflage than write supercomputer code.

So here is the blog. I don't expect it to solve all my problems, nor do I expect it to set the scientific and feminist communities on fire. But at least, when I take the foment of my thoughts out of my head and cast it into the internet void, I may find the relative peace that comes from identifying and articulating one's thoughts and feelings.

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