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October 13, 2007

this is a good essay.

Posted by dogpossum on October 13, 2007 8:00 PM in the category academia

This is a very great article. It reminds me of many of my own experiences in universities. Though I tend not to be the object of sexual harassment - I tend to kick heads and take names (which is probably why I'm finding it so difficult to get a full time job now). But I have had a couple of male academics try it on with me. Once was a fellow postgrad who couldn't seem to raise his eyes from my breasts when we were 'talking' (I use scare quotes because I'm not sure it's communication when one is having trouble thinking of the other as anything other than sexualised). Another was a male academic who told a particularly offensive anecdote at a staff/postgrad party. I responded with some verbal arse kicking. And never could get a leg up in the department after that.

But recently, I haven't had any of these experiences. In fact, it's been about six years. I think it's because I don't spend so much time on campus any more. And because I'm not 21 and I've pretty much given up giving a fuck what pants size I wear. And because I really do kick arse and take names now, and most male academics who'd pull that sort of stunt are afraid of me. And I like that. Even if it means no one ever gives me a proper job, I like the thought of having frightened those bastards so much they avoid me and won't make eye contact with me in the hall. And I have been known to strut upon occasion.

But I also think it has something to do with the fact that most of the academics I deal with now are women. They're the ones running the overcrowded, underfunded, understaffed subjects I teach. They're the ones who drop my name to people looking for tutors or lecturers or research assistants. They're the ones who pass my name along and then introduce me and make sure people know I'm Good Enough. I think that's half the thing - we female academics spend so much time second guessing ourselves and downplaying our abilities we forget to tell other people just how good we are. Just how skilled we are. And we hardly ever remind ourselves of our own achievements. So it's a good thing we have each other's backs. For the most part.
But that is a good essay. Read it, if you haven't.

fyi, it was written by our pav.

Posted by dogpossum on October 13, 2007 8:00 PM in the category academia