An Overworked Woman? *

Recently, as I’ve been dating more, I received the following comments from men: “You work way too much. Enjoy Life!”, “Wow. I really need to get you out of the house more.”, “You spend a lot of time doing schoolwork.”. I know women working outside of academia hear something similar to this, but I’ve really started noticing it since I began the doctoral program. It’s frustrating because I’m relatively certain that men aren’t getting these types of critiques from other men or women. Why do some men feel they can criticize someone they barely know (on a date no less)? The real questions these men should be asking a woman putting in long(ish) hours is “do you enjoy it?” and “what are you getting out of it?”.

I think there is a difference in working a lot and being overworked. I work quite a but, but I knew I would be. My expectations of the doctoral program when I applied have been pretty close to reality. I don’t feel “overworked”. Well… maybe I do towards the end of the semester when everything is due and public speaking is involved. Yet, I love what I’m doing. It doesn’t always even feel like work. I’m willing to put in the time and effort because my work is meaningful to me. I am enjoying life!

I’m not sure that it is sexism prompting these types of comments from some men. Maybe they aren’t happy in their own jobs and have trouble understanding why anyone would want to work a lot. Maybe it is the difference in education. As a woman, once you reach a certain level of education you realize that dating men with less education is a strong possibility. It can be difficult for some men to accept this difference. I may be encouraging these comments myself. I can a bit blunt sometimes. But I believe I need to be honest to friends, family, and dates about how much of my life the doc program takes up.

Thank you for listening to my blatherings. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and writing always helps me put things into perspective. And I just really love blogging!

* I’m really not generalizing to all men or trying to offend. I know there are plenty of men who wouldn’t think of saying this kind of stuff. My dad and other doc students chief among them! : )

The Educated Woman in book form!

The Educated Woman in book form!

3 thoughts on “An Overworked Woman? *

  1. I used to get that all the time! Now people just bathe in my nerdphoria… if you point out how much you love it, rather than how much you work, people will stop telling you to work less and start telling you that you are seriously weird. That’s what you get for being among the very few people who get to do what they love.

  2. You’re very right! I doubt I point out how much I enjoy what I do to critics. I’m already used to people telling me that I more than a bit weird. Those comments will not be a problem! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! : )

  3. I actually take being “weird” as a compliment usually. I like being considered different or unique…especially if I can use that to help others.

    I would take it as a compliment in your situation too. I say this because I think most people aren’t graduate students, but that’s because yes, it does involve alot of hard work. This hard work is something to be proud of and embrace in your case!

    I think you enjoying all the work you do is the best part, and I sincerely hope you can say this with honesty for a long time to anyone who asks. That is probably the key to answering all these questions about “why you work/study so much”.

    I do wish it wasn’t so “weird” to want to study and work hard….but that’s their fault, not yours!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s