Please tell me I’m not sexist

Posted: September 15, 2010 by Jender in Failed efforts to not be sexist

I went to graduate school in the 1990s during a period when a female student had lodged a complaint of sex discrimination against the department.  As it was a large department, most of us scarcely knew the student with the complaint, but the experience of every woman in the department took the following pattern. We were eagerly asked for at least one of two things by assorted male faculty and grad students in the department: agreement that the complaint was baseless for reasons X, Y and Z, and/or agreement that the man asking for the agreement was not at all, himself, sexist.

Words cannot express the wearisomeness of being asked to assure male interlocutors that it isn’t at all sexist of them to pressure me to agree that another woman’s complaint is baseless.

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