Yeah, young women have it *so* good

Posted: October 16, 2010 by Jender in objectifying women, sexual assumptions, sexual harassment, sexual innuendos, trivialising women, Why else....?

I’m a relatively recent entrant to the profession (Ph.D. within the last few years). I won’t waste time now on egregious behavior I’ve witnessed from men in the profession (ranging from salacious remarks to putting hands on me in an empty classroom), because it so obviously violates the norm. What bothers me more is that it is consistently intimated that young women owe the attention they receive to their attractiveness. This typically comes by way of the suggestion that were I not young and female, I would not have received the same treatment from older scholars (male, of course). I have also heard plenty of gratuitous remarks, from men and women, about the physical attributes of various women making their way in the profession: for instance, that a woman was offered her job (at a Leiter-top-10 department) because she was “pretty”. This kind of discounting of women’s contributions invites us to think that what we have to say is of less interest than how we look. The institution of anonymous review takes on tremendous importance in this context, as an antidote to that kind of doubt.

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