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Robert Stern believes that the responsibilities of motherhood is the primary reason equally talented women are not as active in the industry as men. BigThink.com
Argh, so now this video shows up on Archinect, which means I have to call Stern a goatblowing assclown again?!
To save my blood pressure, I'll just repost what I posted on Susan's FB page re: this video:So when a woman becomes a parent, she can't manage a career, but when a man becomes a parent, he somehow magically can? Could that "magic" have anything to do with A WOMAN GIVING UP HER CAREER so the penis-owning parent can maintain his?!?
Thankfully, Stern's generation is the last that in the majority thinks this way, with this unconsidered knee-jerk sexism. My only fear is that a woman in her 30s right now might be passed over for promotion and responsibility because an old-school principal thinks she might "have to take time off to have a baby" and therefore isn't worth the investment.
An oversimplification and poor choice of words for sure. He does follow with this: "certainly in terms of their talents and their professional skills, there’s no difference between men and women."
Wow... the reason why there aren't more women in the profession is because of the attitudes of people like Stern. The fact is that professions like medicine and the law are just as demanding if not more and the representation of women in those fields, while not perfect, is far better.
What's so crazy is that architects tend to see themselves as socially progressive- "into that feminist thing," to quote the movie Anchorman- yet if you walk into any firm and the only women you see will likely be sitting behind the reception desk or in the interiors studio. One or two interns, maybe a junior designer but no partners, no project managers.
Stern's answer is the classic old saw that has been used for ages to explain the second-class status of women in the workplace. What's so deplorable is that it still sounds reasonable to many in our profession.
this is supposed to be a series about someone's 'big think'? sounds like stern is not thinking but spouting borrowed assumptions which allow him to stop thinking. there is more to the dearth of women in the profession than either mommyhood or chauvinism - and it's actually interesting and worth thinking about further:
why is it that so many more women see that there are other - potentially better - uses of their architecture degrees? men around me seem more likely to stay in and take the conventional architecture path while a LOT of women in architecture whom i have known over the past decade have kept their options open and made lateral moves into client-side or marketing or product/graphic/other design or just more business-management-oriented roles.
and they seem to thrive in these jobs which are no less demanding.
a reason you see so few women in arch offices in MY city is that they've job-shifted. i expect that is true in other places as well.
stern should be paying more attention to this for two reasons, bad news/good news:
1 architecture has lost these women.
2 women have been better at figuring out how to leverage their arch education toward other ends.
Sounds like this could be his Larry Summers at Harvard moment.
i would have been a good Mr. Mom.
LOL @ LB!
Stern may be right that the reason many women leave the profession is because, at its core, architecture is anachronistically unfriendly to such traditionally "feminine" pursuits as raising a family. But that doesn't excuse him -- or any other leaders of the profession -- for accepting, unquestioningly, the underlying conditions within the profession that make it so unfriendly to women. It's high time architects joined the 21st century (hell, it's high time they joined the 20th century), got together, and did something about the abhorrent working conditions that put basic human entitlements like family out of reach for so many of us. Stern's a buffoon, and when push comes to shove, he's perfectly happy with the way things are -- after all, the system as it stands allows no-talent has-beens like himself to rise to the top, while half our schools' graduates drop out of the work force and waste their time on children.
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