From my bookshelf: a volume in the series The Amy Vanderbuildt Success Program for Women, "serving food attractively."
Gender expectations? Don't get me started.
Too late. Camille's Pet Peeve # 1 follows.
Does it make me lazy that I begin by referencing a magazine article from 18 years ago? Does it make it better or worse that it's my article, my first nonacademic published work? Here's a section from "A Name of His Own," Ms. Magazine, November, 1996.
Maybe it’s because we were both nearly 40 at the time of our engagement, but my husband decided to keep his own name when we got married. At first, I was a little hurt. I thought it meant he was unsure of his commitment to me, that he was embarrassed to be part of my family.
Deep down, I worried that our friends would think I was less a wife if my husband didn’t take my name. Didn’t he share in the dream of having a fancy wedding, taking the name of his beloved, and becoming forever untraceable through his high school yearbook?
And so on; the full article is here.
I've never been able to get over the fact that so often when Bob Jones and Mary Smith get married, he goes back to work two weeks later as Bob Jones, but Mary Smith never returns. Is it any wonder she's lagging a bit in salary and promotional opportunities? She's missing! And if she keeps her name, usually the offspring all get his, thus providing family unity for everyone but her.
However, if you insist, I refer you to many Change-Your-Name kits, one of which advertises, "From Miss to Mrs. in Minutes."
Pet Peeve #2. Women in science. "Underrepresented," we call it these days. But I'm not complaining. In the sixties, only two of us—a woman I'll call BR and I‑—shared the women's room in the physics building of a large university. For once, it would be guys waiting in a line that ran out the door of the men's room when classes broke.
And there's more good news: A 2010 survey reported with a headline "Representation of Women in Physics Continues to Grow." The table of data showed an increase in the number of female Full Professors of Physics from 3% in 1998 to a whopping 8% in 2010. Wow. Stop the train! And wave the flag for an esteemed Massachusetts school that showed a humungous 7% increase in the number of female grad students in physics since 1968. That means that right after I got my degree, women nearly broke down the doors getting accepted.
What does this all have to do with gender expectations? The best summary comes from a literary scholar and mystery writer, Carolyn Heilbrun (1926-2003), aka Amanda Cross: “Unfortunately, power is something that women abjure once they perceive the great difference between the lives possible to men and to women...” ― Heilbrun, Writing a Woman's Life
** You may be happy to know that the next topic in my LadyKillers rotation, 4/28, is "breaking out of a rut" and I have no pet peeves associated with the subject!