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weekend, orkut, "productive" fields - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2004-02-10 09:02
weekend, orkut, "productive" fields
I had a nice weekend up the Mendocino coast, celebrating David's birthday. We stayed in a small, slightly-run-down cabin that had a hot tub mere feet from the ocean cliffs. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in the hot tub. We also put David's new bike rack to good use, played an overly-competitive Scrabble game, nursed a spluttering fire in the cabin's fireplace, and ate two lovely meals in nearby Gualala.

Last night we both bit the bullet and signed up on Orkut. I avoided it for a while because I didn't want to "commoditize my friends," as David said, but I was interested in poking around the web of friends and friends' friends, so I did it after all. I was surprised how many have already signed up.

Today I was supposed to have my annual, but I arrived 10 minutes late because of traffic and the persnickety secretary made me reschedule. I could see a male clinician in a few weeks or a female clinician in one and a half months. Well, I went with the female clinician, because last year I had a male - an actual gynecologist, not just an nurse-practitioner - and he was so jumpy and nervous that I became nervous and the whole experience was more painful than it should have been. Besides, he didn't even warm the lube, even after I asked him to. Anyway, I'm sure not all male clinicians are like that, but I didn't want to risk getting him again, so when they asked, "Would you mind a male clinician?" I said yes.

This reminds me of a discussion last semester in my political and economic development class about "feminized" fields. Some (Marxists and Marxist feminists especially) theorize that predominantly-male fields (e.g. engineering, law, medicine) are perceived as "productive" fields, and are viewed as more important than other fields. Those who are in "productive" fields are paid more because of this perceived importance. Female-dominated "reproductive" fields (e.g. teaching, bookkeeping, psychology), in contrast, are seen as less important, and those who practice them are paid less.

Occasionally, a field shifts from being "productive," or male-dominated, to being "reproductive," or female-dominated. Interestingly, a field has never shifted in the opposite direction. (Aside - this is also true with names: male or gender-neutral names can become feminized, but female names don't become masculinized.) When this happens, wages drop and the field starts to generally be thought of as "softer," "less scientific," or "less productive" than productive fields.

Psychology is one field that has made the shift; biology has partly done so. Medicine is one that my teacher posited is currently making the shift: the hegemony of HMOs has made doctor's wages drop so low that many are having a lot of trouble paying off their med-school debts, and last fall, 64% of the students admitted to medical school in the U.S. were women, up from somewhere around one-third fifteen years ago. Certain medical professions - such as gynecology - have become particularly feminized (in part due to demands like mine), while others - such as surgery - remain "productive" and still earn high wages.
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2004-02-10 19:23 (UTC)
(no subject)
The one experience I had with a male NP at Tang center was definitely better than the average of my experiences with female clinicians, for what it's worth.

How did law get to be considered a "Productive" enterprise? That's seems pretty strange to me. I would think of agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and engineering as the productive enterprises. I think there's a lot of gender-bias in status of people who work in the same fields - for example top chefs are mostly male, whereas cooking is thought of as "women's work" and school principals are usually male, even though most teachers are female.
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Fata Morgana
2004-02-10 22:36 (UTC)
The one experience I had with a male NP at Tang center was definitely better than the average of my experiences with female clinicians, for what it's worth.

Thanks - good to know. I always try to get appointments with Vicki Sommers (sp?), and if she's booked, Amy Newbie, because I've had good experiences with them both and bad experiences with most others.

I think there's a lot of gender-bias in status of people who work in the same fields ...

Indeed - college professors and school teachers, too ...

I'm not sure how law is "productive" in the sense that it produces something, but the argument in class was that people practicing law have to be "ruthless" and "logical," which are stereotypically male traits.
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2004-02-10 23:52 (UTC)
Orkut is evil. Sooner or later the definition of "friend" is going to turn into something like "someone n hops away from you on an artificial social network." Takes something away from the word, IMHO.

Pretty soon these damned gated communities are going to have users that won't bother to check their email unless it's via the ASN messenging service. So much for the new frontier.

I'll drop ya this card, incase you might need it later.

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2004-02-22 22:43 (UTC)
(no subject)
I guess I missed this the first time around.

One book I liked was "Kidding Ourselves" by this woman at Stanford. What she argues is that because women expect to have childcare responsibility, they choose less lucrative and prestigious careers. And, surprisingly, when the have children, they tend to be the ones making less money with greater ability to take time off, and so they are the ones doing the child care.

But even in the ideal society, it might still be true that women tend to be in the less prestigious and lucrative careers because they are optimizing for greater child and family time, while men tend to place more weight on prestige and money. (Evolutionarily speaking, that would be what one would expect.)
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