“I wanted no part in a field based on intellectual sadism”

Posted: July 27, 2012 by Jender in bullying

After a job interview talk at my philosophy department, ca. late 80s, a the female candidate was barraged with aggressive questions from the mostly male faculty. The aggressive macho adrenaline-fueled pack mentality was notably different than anything I’d seen by the same professors in other circumstances. It was as if they had planned to humiliate her. The candidate was visibly shaken by the tone; my memory recalls her almost in tears.  Of course this was taken as a sign of poor philosophical ability on her part by the profs, and she was not hired. (This woman was already well-known and respected in the field.) I later heard one professor boast how they had “reduced her argument to shit!” with a shit-eaten grin on his face. This comment and his glee made a lasting impression on me, and was one of the key factors for me, as a male, opting out of philosophy and academia. He was prominent in the field. I wanted no part in a field based on intellectual sadism.

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