Pandemic Diary #34 – 17 Feb

Although overall my mood is okay, compared to the bottoms of 2016, as the 1 year anniversary of moving out comes up, with no end in sight still, I’ve definitely felt a little mopey. I want my parents to get the vaccine, and I want to be paid.

It weighs on my mind that I sit in a room of presumably well paid corporate people, while being unpaid, and because i was the one who brought up oh maybe there are some ethical considerations here, now I am the one who is tasked with writing about it. I guess I have been paid with (access to) data. But the irony is the data is about Asian massage parlors* . So here I am, unpaid while the men in the room are paid, being asked to spend my time writing about the ethics of studying a topic that ultimately involves the power imbalance between men and women.

* which let me tell you, the amount of entitlement in that dataset really makes you feel as you are treading through the muck of civilization

Am I being paid enough for this? Somehow I have both had the privilege to choose my position of continuing my PhD, without being paid, yet also I feel the situation is unjust in some way that’s hard to put my finger on. There is no funding on this topic in academia, compared to e.g. supporting entire labs studying haptics in robotic touch. I don’t ask for industry levels of pay. I would just like to be paid enough to feel comfortable renting a room in Boston.

I don’t know, life is absurd sometimes. It’s no use being too mad about it all the time. Too close scrutiny about power imbalances may just ingrain those power imbalances. Best to just make sure I can rapidly exit this situation in less than 1.5 years.

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