Archive for the ‘women get all the jobs’ Category

When I was in graduate school one semester we noticed some odd classes taught by an unfamiliar prof, so we asked who this new person was. After doing a little investigating, the two professors we asked determined that he was a prof from another department who had been accused, and was found guilty by the university, of sexual harassing a student. Apparently one of the terms of his punishment was that he couldn’t teach in his home department for some set period of time while the victim was finishing her degree. So upper administration shipped him off to Philosophy and our (male) Chair accepted him knowing his history and allowed him to teach. Needless to say, all the female grads students were very unhappy to know we were in a department that would willingly accept a known harasser.

I should add that the professors who did the investigating were not happy he was allowed to teach in Philosophy and were very annoyed that as senior-level members of the department they didn’t know what was going on until they started to ask questions. Of course, there may have been pressure from upper administration to accept him, but there’s a huge difference between accepting it under pressure (and letting people know what’s going on) and willing accepting it.

But, to add a little more context, this was also a department where male grad students casually slammed the female faculty as “psychotic feminists” or “of riding their husband’s coattails” in front of everyone and blasted their fellow female grad students who received more APA interviews than them as “just getting Affirmative Action interviews, but there won’t be an offer because she’s not good enough”. And the real kicker, this happed in a department that was typically classified as feminist-friendly. Sigh.

What I’m angry about today

I’ve seen a number of posts on this blog and elsewhere from women worrying that some of their advancement has come “because they are women.” And I get that. Especially when so many of our experiences already seem designed to make us wonder whether we belong here.

But for god’s sake, given the overwhelming evidence that women (among others) are systematically: dissuaded from pursuing philosophy; excluded from the kinds of (often informal) discussions where much serious training occurs; dismissed or ignored when they formulate arguments without bombast, and derided or censured when they formulate arguments sharply… given all this, why on Earth aren’t male philosophers worrying that some of their own professional advancement has come because they are male?

If the women’s concern is any legitimate reason for worrying about having affirmative action, it seems to me that the state of the discipline is a much stronger reason for worrying about *not* having affirmative action. And “affirmative action” here has to mean far more than a token effort to consider women in hiring before dismissing them. It has to mean really engaging, at all levels of training and hiring, with the full set of forces that push women out of philosophy, and thinking hard about the role our “meritocratic” judgments play in that process. Personally, I care much more about the thoughtfulness and openness with which people approach those questions than about whether I agree with the particular institutional solution they settle on.

Affirmative Action?

Posted: October 19, 2010 by Jender in women get all the jobs, women have it easy

This happened after the turn of the century. When I was applying for jobs at the Eastern APA, I was told over and over again that department x, y, and z want to hire a woman in my area and that therefore my chances were very high in getting a job in those departments. Departments x, y, and z all ended up hiring only men. There were several women on the market that year who have since had higher professional recognition (publications in peer-reviewed journals etc.) than the men that were hired at department x, y, and z. The relevant women work in areas in which the departments were hoping to hire.

“Women get all the jobs”

Posted: October 16, 2010 by Jender in women get all the jobs

I’m a graduate student who will be going onto the job market in the next year or so. Every time there is an event involving the entire department, I hear remarks about how men have a particularly tough time on the job market because all the jobs go to women…obviously due to discrimination against men. I hear it in the official department job market meeting. I hear it at the department picnic. I hear it after our conference. I hear it from grad students. I hear it from senior male faculty. One time, the wife of a grad student asked me about it. I’m so sick of hearing it, because it’s totally unsupported bullshit. It needs to stop. I’m a male graduate student, by the way. Given that I attend a Leiter-unranked institution, I’ll probably have difficulty on the job market. But I’m not going to let this sort of nonsense go unchallenged when I hear it.

This happened after the turn of the century. When I was on the job market, my placement director told me that I would get a job since I am a woman. He gave me no help whatsoever in preparing my dossier, while giving my male peers substantial help. The problem was not that I did not ask for help: I sent him all my dossier material to look at and asked for specific advice on various issues. At the Eastern APA meeting, the situation was similar. We all got jobs. I’m quite sure that I did not get my job since I am a woman: several years have past and my research productivity is vastly higher than the most productive of my male peers in graduate school. I hasten to add that I publish in the very best journals.