You must be a spousal hire

Posted: October 10, 2010 by Jender in Maleness of philosophy, trivialising women, Why else....?

When I was offered my job four years ago, I negotiated a spousal hire for my husband. I was the only one of us who applied for a job at that institution, the job opening was in my area, not his, and the department was resourceful and enthusiastic enough that they managed to create a brand new position for my husband.

Near the end of my first year, in a coffee shop (that was, incidentally, nowhere near the women’s studies department), I ran into a philosophy grad student that I had seen around the department but hadn’t formally met. He said to me that he had seen me around and wondered if I was a new grad student. (I was/am a middle-aged full professor.) I told him no, I was a professor. He said: “In what, women’s studies?” I said no, in philosophy. He looked confused and said he didn’t know who I was. Just to make small talk (even though I was royally annoyed by now) I told him that I knew who he was because he was taking my husband’s seminar that term. He said, “Oh, you’re xxx’s wife? So THAT’S why you’re here!”

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