Saturday, August 26, 2006

Firestorm over Forbes' Sexist Comments I've been behind on reading blogs. I am nearly caught up on email after almost 10 days away, and a week back. The blog reading suffered. So, on a rainy, wet, Saturday morning when the stupid paper delivery did not double bag, and left the local rag in the puddle at the bottom of my steps, I started to read my Bloglines list (with now, over 1,000 unread posts).

What catches my eye? A topic near and dear to my heart. So....the draft post will wait. The E-Rate post will wait. We'll do Forbes Magazine incredible insensitivity post. I got to Solvitur Ambulando from my friend Michelle Boulle (Wandering Eyre) with whom I have a date in Seattle for a single malt, my treat. My fellow Nutmegger (or at least she is a student at a Connecticut School) had some words on the topic. Then my attention was dragged further by the inimitable Walt Crawford (who has my utmost respect) in his post on the topic. One of the last comments on Jennifer's blog was particularly pointed.

Here is my semi-personal experience. I am not a woman, but I am married to one. She also happens to be a librarian. We moved about 23 years ago so that I could take a position which was a promotion, and allowed us to expand our family. When we moved, we had an almost three-year old. My wife's career had been good, she was tenured in her academic institution, and, may I add, vested in her pension plan. After we moved, we made a family decision and she CHOSE to stay home. We had two children in the next three years, and three years after that, she CHOSE to take an opportunity to go back into the work force. She recently complete 15 years of work as a part-time staff member at a local institution. While she is less than full time, for many of those years, her salary was reasonably close to mine. It is still not inconsiderable. If she were to work at the same pay full-time, she would be close to my salary as the head of the largest public, municipal library in the state. We have put two children through college, and one half-way through. (Junior year looms large!) It has been a struggle, but the editor of Forbes has it all wrong.

For statistical purposes, I'll note that I have seven siblings. Two of my three brothers are married to women who have professional credentials. The one who is divorced was married to someone who graduated from high school. Of my four sisters, all graduated from college. My one divorced sister was divorced long before she earned any of her advanced degrees (she has one and is almost done with her Ed.D.). Forbes got it wrong!

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