I hope that this is just the beginning of a beautiful blog and of many beautiful friendships... This is a blog written by a desperate female scientist who tries desperately to be a mother, a wife and a housekeeper (briefly a real desperate housewife) as well. Trying to find the equilibrium between family/private life/hobbies and science in a scientific world still ruled by men. A very hard world ruled by men and by other women with different strategies to survive in science. The blog is inspired first of all by the fantastic blog of Viktor S. Poór on the homepage of Nature (http://blogs.nature.com/strippedscience/), and of course by all my colleagues, first of all by my dearest boss and by my desperate situation in science after having decided to have a baby. I also have to mention the Women in Science prize of L'ORÉAL and UNESCO which partially provided the idea for the blog title. This is a prize that really tries to encourage women in science, and first of all to get women scientists in the center of the attention, so I think that it is adequate to cite and thank them here for this effort. And of course the title of the blog ('Stripped Women in Science') refers also to scientific prostitution and to sexism in science - phenomena that are undeniably present in science and that make our lives even harder.
I did not want to make this blog official (although it was very tempting to have a blog on Nature's homepage), because I did not want to have any rules, control and obligations. All women in science with small kids must understand why a woman cannot afford in such a situation a blog with obligatory comments each two weeks. However, I will try to manage to put on comments as often as possible, and I am open to any ideas and suggestions about how to improve the blog, which situations to show in my comic strips and how to make more women laugh about their desperate situation in science. On the other hand, due to the highly personal nature of this blog, and to problems with sexism and other ideas, I preferred to make it my own blog, with my own responsability and control on the content.
Having ambitions in science but also for a real home and a family, we must manage to keep everything in hand, to have a highly organized and planned life (when possible), and at the same time we have to deal somehow with the huge stress and pression that we have from the professional side. Will I loose my positions, cooperations, perspectives or job in science if I have a baby? This is a question that has been haunting me for the last few years. Now, having my first baby I am facing the same question, trying very hard not to miss any moments of my offspring's development and of my scientific evolution at the same time... And all this without the impression to have my boss or my colleagues standing by me in this situation. Out of sight, out of mind - everybody forgets about me since I have been staying at home with the baby, everybody forgets to inform me about possibilities, news, etc. That is, I have to fight even harder than before if I do not want to give up my carreer. In spite of decreasing, the stress still increased with my maternity leave. So, finally I found out that the only remedy to this hard situation is laughter, humour and irony. Otherwise I would not survive. I would not go through it as a woman, as a scientist, a mother, a wife and a housewife.
Finally, I hope that with the laughter and irony I may help other women in science to continue their carreers and not to give up their ambitions. And if this blog would change the mind of some male scientists, or would make them think about the hard situation of women in science in their environments, that would be far more that I have ever hoped for.