Editor’s Note: This is a brief excerpt from Pam Munter’s full story, which you can read here. Her story covers her teaching career as the only full-time, tenure-track female in the entire psychology department at Portland State University in the 1970s, the misogyny she faced at the hands of her male colleagues, and how she and a male friend in the department fought for her recognition and promotion.
Looking back on it now, I realize I was set up. I had been hired by a man with a long-term grievance against his colleagues and he used me to satisfy his unfinished business.
In the middle of my postdoctoral internship in Madison, Wisconsin, I had flown to Anaheim, California to an employment fair sponsored by the American Psychological Association. I was a freshly minted Ph.D. and I needed a job. I had set up several interviews with universities, one of which was with representatives from Portland State University in Oregon. I didn’t have much hope of being hired, though, as I was obviously five months pregnant. This was 1973, still in the nascence of the Women’s Movement. Prevailing social sentiment dictated that a woman belonged at home, especially if she had children. We were minorities in nearly every profession, including academic psychology. A pregnant woman in a job interview sent up red flags to many employers. To complicate matters, the morning sickness that had plagued me even before I knew I was pregnant had followed me to Anaheim. Looking both animated and interested was occasionally challenging when I was willing myself not to throw up.
Pam Munter has authored several books and a couple dozen articles, mostly about dead movie stars. She’s a retired clinical psychologist and former performer. Pam is working on a deconstructed memoir and short stories based on old Hollywood. Her essays have appeared in Manifest-Station, The Coachella Review, Lady Literary Review, NoiseMedium, The Creative Truth, Adelaide and Angels Flight—Literary West. Her play, “Life Without,” opened the staged reading season at Script2Stage2Screen in Rancho Mirage, California and was a semi-finalist in the Ebell of Los Angeles Playwriting Competition. Pam will finish her MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts this June at the University of California at Riverside/Palm Desert. Website: www.pammunter.com