section 1, chapter 4&5
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In his early description of Nancy, Preston refers to the longstanding issue of sexism against women in the sciences. Nancy faces discrimination at the Institute not because of the quality of her work, but because she is a “married female.” None of the male scientists at the Institute face skepticism because of their own marriages, yet Nancy is perceived to be out of place and unsuited for such dangerous work. This viewpoint relates to the Victorian expectation of the ideal wife and mother as the “Angel of the House”, whose sole purpose is to maintain the domestic realm. Male scientists claim her inexperience with biohazards make her a liability.