09 May 2009

Shrimp and sexism from the 1950s

Bonnie EldredI was digging around Google Scholar, looking for some old article, and found this newspaper article about shrimp biologist Bonnie Eldred, whose work I'd never known until today.

One the one hand, it’s a wonderful story about someone who had to work just to get through high school who became “one of the top three or four shrimp authorities in the entire world” without a university education. On the other, it’s a time capsule that reveals much about attitudes towards women in the 1950s.

The article makes much of her being a housewife, and calls her “vivacious,” and then there’s this, which I can just hear in one of those old news reader voices from the 1950s:

For a little girl (she still looks girlish even though one son is 23) Bonnie deals in big names.

I hope that none of my female colleagues have ever had to face something that blatantly patronizing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of our women surgeons was told that she should quit because otherwise she was taking a job away from a man.