When I entered my grad program, they had just tenured their second woman ever, in the history of the department. A few years later, their first-ever tenured woman volunteered to serve next as chair of the department. What happened next was puzzling as can be to me; men who had groaned aloud in seminars about not wanting to be chair, and expressed a longing for ANYONE else to do it, suddenly took a keen interest in opposing the chairship of the only long-standing female member. It became a competitive election in which at least one man stood for chair against her, and another man ended up being sort of thrown in, I guess.
She lost the vote for chair, of course. To this day, that department has not (yet, ever) had a female chair.
Good side-effects resulted, including some unlooked-for consciousness-raising among women who had previously felt isolated or unwelcome. They thought they were individually lacking. After that, the women in the department started talking to each other. A lot! They are dear to me to this day.
Archive for the ‘women can’t be trusted’ Category
A few years ago I completed my Masters in a British university where there was a female professor who had done excellent work in a number of fields, including history of philosophy. One of the guys in my class wrote a paper for her on history, the field he envisioned himself specializing in. Anyway, he failed to get the distinction he was so certain he deserved. His explanation was that she gave him a bad mark because he ‘didn’t wear a skirt’.
Now, in 2010, our female graduate students report that if they have a female supervisor, their choice is challenged by male graduate students, and they are asked to explain why they would ever choose to work with a woman when they could work with a man.
I work mainly on contemporary philosophy but with a speciality in the history of philosophy (including publications on a figure in that period). I joined a philosophy department in which a senior colleague had been for some years the only person in the department working in that period; he had not taught a graduate seminar on the author I specialize on for at least five years. Some graduate students came to me and asked me to do an independent study with them on a particular issue in the work of the figure I work on, and I agreed. Not long after the chair of the department came to me and said that I could teach the independent study, but it would have to be pass/fail rather than graded. When I asked why, the chair said that the senior male colleague didn’t want me to be allowed to teach the independent study at all and the chair had negotiated this compromise. I objected, calling attention to the fact that I was more up to date on the relevant literature than my colleague.
However, the chair strongly advised me to go along with it or there would be bad consequences, especially for my promotion. The students had to re-register for the pass/fail option.