Gender inequality

I was relieved to at least see that one man was quoted in Amy Novotney's article "Weddings in the Ivory Tower" in the March gradPSYCH. Nonetheless, each of the other eight or nine grad students interviewed were women. Of course, most psychology graduate students are women, and the author was probably hard–pressed to find male students enthusiastic about planning their weddings. But I'm disheartened that what is generally a progressive publication did not bother to question the assumption that planning weddings is women's work. "Get your partner involved!" the article advises, and an interviewee tells of how helpful it was to have her fiancé pick out the DJ and the food processors—a contribution that sounds minimal compared to what is left over. This article left me to the depressing conclusion that, in weddings as in childrearing, the harried "CEO" must always be the woman of a heterosexual pair, who at best can hope to delegate a few small tasks to her partner. Will we ever move past these old-fashioned ways of unfairly dividing the labor.

Michelle Wirth, PhD
University of Wisconsin

Health-care concerns

I appreciated the spirit of "Sing for your stipend," (January gradPSYCH) but am concerned about the ethos it conveys about standards for graduate student support. Having funded my graduate experience through several unorthodox means, including moonlighting in a square dance band, birthing a nonprofit and serving as a human rights fellow, I fully endorse creative approaches to buttressing graduate work. However, by casting a whimsical spin on student funding opportunities, the article obscures the most vital feature of sustaining graduate student work: university support for quality health care.

Developing serious health issues in graduate school has the potential to undermine the entire endeavor of study. Moreover, substandard health-care plans, normative within many psychology programs, create a filter that favors the healthy and the privileged.

Benjamin Graham

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