“Maybe you shouldn’t come up for tenure”

Posted: August 4, 2013 by jennysaul in failure to take women seriously

I am a professor emerita of philosophy from a smallish university in the south. When I was preparing my tenure dossiers, my male chair, who had an (admittedly) awful mother and who treated all female faculty in his department as if they MIGHT really be his mother, did not help or encourage me in my tenure process; in fact he actively discouraged me. When I expressed some fears about submitting my dossiers, he looked at me with glee and said, “Maybe you shouldn’t come up for tenure.” Well, I did anyway and got it unanimously from my department, dean, university committee, and provost. During my years in the department he patronized and marginalized every female faculty member who joined us, going so far as to create a new master’s of philosophy that deliberately included only one course taught by the two female faculty. He and a male colleague taught 19 of the 44 courses offered in that master’s degree.

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