Typically I am in disagreement with posts about how women are discriminated against in science departments. It has been my experience that both women and men are treated equally and I regarded scientists like MsPhD and FSP as mostly bitter, unhappy people. Until now.
A friend of mine, who is also a graduate student in a physics department, just found out she was pregnant. Apparently it wasn't planned so she is very surprised and since she is relatively young, also scared. She is a fifth year, foreign student. Being a foreign student puts a lot of conditions on your status (full time student every semester, working at most 20 hrs/week for example). She is also close to, but not there yet, graduation. So she went to her advisor to inform him and see how to work out the future situation and the idiot didn't like the news. His response was that, since she uses dangerous chemicals for her experiments she wasn't going to be able to do that now that she is pregnant. Then he went on to explain (in a bad mood apparently) how his funding was going to suffer because of her pregnancy. As if the reason why he isn't so scientically profitable is because his students get pregnant. These are enough reasons to think/know he is an idiot, but what was just way too fucking much was that after laying out all the points why this pregnancy wasn't ideal he asked... so, are you going to keep it? What a fucking asshole.
The sad part is that this girl is so worried about her being pregnant, plus scared because she is foreign that she won't pursue any legal action against her advisor. I hope she does, and I hope he gets fucked big time. This shit shouldn't happen in our times, it shouldn't happen at universities where supposedly smart people work.
Anyways, I guess FSP, MsPhD and anyone else out there who has shared an experience in which they were not treated equally than their male coworkers deserve an apology from me. I am sorry this shit happens to you and I hope it gets better. I will now keep my eyes (more) open and take action if I witness any type of abuse.
5 days ago