“Walt" by Pam Munter

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.