The “Dr. Jill” (Biden) controversy swept social media like wildfire in early 2021, bringing yet another double standard for men and women to public attention . But to a female academic like me, “untitling” and “mistitling” has always been par for the course. For years, I would grit my teeth as I open an email from a new contact starting with “Hey Olga” or worse yet “Dear Mrs. Shurchkov.” If the email came from a student or advisee, I would try to awkwardly explain why addressing someone with a PhD this way is inappropriate. But it would not be as easy if the addresser were a professional colleague, especially if senior. My male colleagues never seemed to have to deal with this or to even care. (See Endnote 1 for a caveat about titles in Taekwon-Do.) Before I go any further, let me first explain “untitling.” Linguistically, the prefix “un” implies the act of taking away, which in this case refers to a removal of an earned title that diminishes perceived authority and credibilit
I stand at my kitchen counter and scarf down an egg bite I just microwaved. This has been lunch since the start of the pandemic. One minute to microwave, one minute to eat, back to work. And, much of my work life has been like this. If Evan is home, I stand at the kitchen counter, typing at my computer. If Evan is at school, I sit in my makeshift office which is also my TKD room, zoom-ready at all times. When I’m in there, I almost never get up. Home "office": View of wall and Taekwon-Do trophies. According to a survey I conducted with Tatyana Deryugina and Jenna Stearns last summer, since the start of the pandemic researchers lost about 50 min of research time per typical workday, and much of the time lost can be attributed to childcare disruptions due to the lockdowns, school closures, and lacking care infrastructure to pick up the slack. And while fathers worked about 75 minutes less per workday due to Covid-19 disruptions, mothers worked almost two hours less.