Posted by: Rose | March 31, 2009


I came across this whilst looking for information on Mary Anning (1799 – 1847), a Lyme Regis fossil hunter who is, apparently, the cause of the infamous lines “she sells sea shells by the sea shore.”

The article discusses survey geologists Eileen Guppy and Eileen Hendriks. I was left quite stunned when I read this:

both were unmarried as, officially, female survey officers had to resign on marriage up until 1975.”

In my world, 1975 doesn’t seem all that long ago. Being female and apparently finding pleasure in areas that society deem to be ‘male’ (science, geology, kayaking…get the picture?), I was horrified to discover that my life could have been very different if I had been born a few decades earlier. Or maybe I’m just naive.

Thankfully my world hasn’t been adversely affected by inequality. Well apart from my gripe about the lack of support for female academics who wish to have children. But this isn’t the place to go into that one!

These links made for further interesting reading…



  1. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, pet.

    Anyway, air hostesses had it worse – until ’75, they had to quit at 32 as they were then considered to be too rough a sight to subject male passengers to. No, really.

  2. Sad to think that much of the world is still playing catch-up…

  3. Wow- that’s the year I was born! I share your frustration…

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