When I left the program and NC State and came to Radford I was much more shielded from the differences. Radford University is more cognizant of the differences and I entered into the more female dominated fields of nursing and biology (in undergraduate at least). Now, as I am approaching graduation and life decisions, I am running into some of those difficulties again.
Do I follow my partner to where ever he goes post-graduation? Do I wait on him so to get a graduate degree before me? It's much more socially acceptable for me to wait for him than him I. How can I have children if I want to go to graduate school for research? How can I have a child and a new career after graduate school? Maternity leave is typically something negative in the job world. Will I have to work part time after having a child? When speaking to my male classmates, this isn't something on their minds; it isn't something they worry about when choosing a PhD program like I do. Should I wish my partner had lessor ambitions? Or a different career choice in mind?
After all that, I have inequality in the workforce to look forward to. Already I've experienced commentation on being a "pretty" woman scientist. I would love to see a man get called "pretty" when first meeting someone in their field. I want to pretend that being it's all the same and doesn't make a difference. I have no desire to be a woman scientist, but an awesome scientist. I used to think it didn't matter because it shouldn't matter, but that's not the same thing.