Female Science Professor has a great Q&A post, So They Had To Hire A Woman. Here’s a sample:
Question: So you’re going to get a Ph.D.? Couldn’t you find anyone to marry you?
Answer 1: Why would I want to get married when so many men are just like you?
Answer 2: That’s right, and I want to be a professor so that there are fewer people like you saying things like that.
I much prefer the first answer. Heh.
But really, once you start perusing the comments, it’s absolutely stunning how many women report having some variant of this question thrown in their face. Like this comment from Professor in Training:
Excellent Q&A! I thought I was the only one that got asked stupid questions like those. In fact, yesterday’s question was: “congratulations on your new tt job but when are you going to settle down and get married?” Grrrrr.
What all this tender solicitation about the state of one’s marriage prospects reflects is a desperate unease with the presence of a woman unanchored by a man. She represents several things: undoing the social order, potentially uncontrollable sexuality, but worst of all, the threat of lesbianism. And a lesbian, of course, is a woman who has no use for a man. And men have got to be the primary important actors in every woman’s life. Therefore, to maintain order and civilization as we know it, an unattached woman needs to be constantly reminded of her major goal, nay, duty, in life: to find a man.
Apparently unattached women will be presumed by all concerned inquirers to be heterosexual, and moreover, to be urgently desirous of finding a suitable mate. If you are not, no matter; all those fond questions are designed to reconcile you to your normative heterosexual role. The patriarchal borg is intent upon assimilating you. Your lavishly funded research program, your 3 papers in Science, your fancy new lab equipment – all that is mere sublimation of your deepest needs and wants, which is for Prince Charming to awaken you from this dreamscape of a career with one true kiss, so that you may happily ever after wait on him hand and foot.
This, ladies, is why I believe Answer #1 above is demonstrably the far superior response when faced with any version of this moronic question.
Or you could just ignore the question and ask the moron if he’s heard that joke about the princess and the frog.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat, contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle. The frog hopped into the princess’ lap and said: Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and set up housekeeping in your castle
with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children,
and forever feel grateful and happy doing so.
That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sautéed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and said to herself: I don’t fucking think so!