There is a positive correlation between a man's academic success, and being a parent, but for women, the correlation is negative. Dare to have a family, and you are much more likely to be on the non-tenure track, or hover as an associate professor for your entire career. Try finding space for pumping breast milk at a major conference, for example.
Part of the problem is an attitude of some young women that they aren't going to engage in a deeply flawed system to try to change it. "Fix it first," one told me once. "THEN I'll come back."
Well, honey, sorry but if you don't engage, you don't get to play. Thing is, it's a big, very competitive field. If you go stand off by yourself, and expect us to come to you hat in hand to beg you to join, that's not going to happen. Because there are other women, equally talented, who will roll up their sleeves and dive in, not waiting. They are willing to effect change from the inside, which is the only way change will happen. And each one of us who makes it to the top of that tenure ladder, fingernails bleeding, makes it a little bit easier for the one coming up behind.
They are not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
I feel the same way about the people (and there are many) who are angry about the Episcopal church's liturgy for blessing of a same sex union. It's not the BCP liturgy for a marriage. It should be, i agree. (It's quite lovely). But it's not there yet.
Still, if you don't engage it, take the opportunity granted, you will not be able to make change happen. Because if you don't participate, why should they make any changes to it? "There's no demand."
This is one of the reasons we married prior to Prop8, knowing that with DOMA it was all very very imperfect. Yet marrying BP was the greatest thing I have done in my life, despite the imperfections. And look what has happened since....Prop8 fell, DOMA clause 3 is done. In part, because of the witness of people who married even though it wasn't perfect.
And it's one of the reasons we jumped at the chance to get our marriage blessed, as soon as it was approved by our Bishop (prior to the current liturgy). In San Diego, same sex couples have to write a letter to the Bishop explaining why they want to be blessed (or now, why they want to marry). Some of our friends are very upset by that, because straight people don't have to do it. So what? I did not mind being asked to articulate why it mattered to us. If it educates people, if it gives the Bishop ammo to educate people who might be opposed, why should I object?
So, many LGBT couples will not engage TEC because it's not BCP-marriage and it's not uniform across the church. I think that's a sad thing. Because being part of the process gives you a voice that standing alone in the hayfield never will.
Eventually, I hope the liturgy will be available to both same- and opposite-sex couples (I mean, have you read the BCP marriage liturgy? Talk about archaic views of women! ;-) Eventually TEC will welcome everyone, everywhere. It takes time. We can help it along by working from the inside and educating people on what it means. We can show them what a married lesbian or gay couple looks like, and why it matters that we can marry. Our witness is our greatest weapon.
And we can't do that, if we don't engage.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.