Re: this seemed appropos!

Subject: Re: this seemed appropos!
From: Linda A Seltzer (lseltzer@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Sun Jan 16 2005 - 21:25:17 EST

1. What bothers me at Princeton, as well as one other school, is that so many female undergraduate students come to classes or attend campus events wearing cut out camisoles without a shirt on top, whereas the men are wearing oversized T-shirts that cover their chests and shoulders, as well as their arms down to the elbow. Also, many of the women are wearing these camisole tops or tanks with short skirts, while the men are covered. There seems to be a social pressure at Princeton that an undergraduate woman is not going to get dates unless she tows the line in this way. I don't like the way so many undergraduate women think they have to present themselves as "cheap thrills."

    At a school where I taught, the female students were wearing these camisoles and their faces were covered with make-up.

    So far I have never said anything about this to my students, but I feel very removed from these students, and I don't know how to influence them except to dress very professionally myself. It is interesting that the problem is worse at the better colleges, whereas at the community colleges the women are more sensible. So perhaps the more educated younger women are experiencing what Maureen Dowd has written about.

2. Re Maureen Dowd's column:

I am sure there are some men who fit this description, but I don't see very much of it. I see more men choosing women who have a lot of money, as opposed to men choosing their subordinates. Also, there are some prejudicies in favor of blond hair, light skin, and blue eyes - the classic preppy types.

At most companies, dating a subordinate could be grounds for getting fired. It doesn't matter whether the superviser is male or female. I have taught part time at several colleges and at every orientation meeting the word from the deans has been the same: if you date any of your students you are immediately fired. The rule is the same for both male and female teachers. There is a tendency of people to avoid dating within the same company or academic department. Years ago two professors at Berkeley got fired for dating female graduate students. Most people tend to date outside of their own workplaces. It is better to keep one's personal life completely separate from the workplace.

When I think of the companies where I have worked or consulted, I can remember only one case of an executive dating his secretary. That was a good thing; he was such a nerd that at least she would give him some basic social skills.

In the Asian American communities Dowd's argument doesn't hold. The men marry very intelligent Asian women, because they want to have bright children.

Linda Seltzer

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