The Patriarchy Sits On Her Chest
March 01, 2017
I’ve been in and out of higher education for over seven years now.
Well, there’s your problem.
I feel more comfortable there than I do in the workforce,
And there it is again.
but there are still many issues with academia that make me uncomfortable.
But of course. The author of this piece, Everyday Feminism’s Celia Edell, a “feminist philosopher interested in social justice,” wants to reveal to us the pressures of unrelenting sexism in higher education:
I know I’m making my way into a field that is, as a whole, less than welcoming to gender minorities like women.
Women are apparently a gender minority. I’ll give you a second to chew on that one. We’ll just skip over the preferential hiring of women across much of academia, including in departments of philosophy, and the fact that women earn a majority of both Bachelors and Masters degrees.
My experience with sexism in academia has been that I am more often questioned about my knowledge and ability by male peers and, now that I am TAing [i.e., a teaching assistant], by my male students too.
If true, this may not be entirely unrelated to the fact that Ms Edell’s article contains so many statements of the bizarre - such as women constituting a “gender minority” in an environment where female students typically outnumber male students by quite some margin - along with numerous falsehoods, including the assertion that women “make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.” A claim that has been debunked repeatedly and at length.
I still feel silenced in a class of men. I feel like the boys I teach don’t take me as seriously as they would a male TA.
As ladies on the right report such difficulties much less often, perhaps the issue is not that Ms Edell is a woman being assailed by The Patriarchy and its all-pervasive sexism, even in one of the most scrupulously PC environments on Earth. Maybe it’s just the kind of woman she is. One who, in the very same article, tells us that she suffers from “imposter syndrome” and struggles to sound confident and knowledgeable when voicing her thoughts in public. And at risk of sounding shallow, I doubt that her retro-ironic Far Side glasses and randomly changing hair colour convey much in the way of gravitas. And referring to “white men” as inherently privileged or in some way problematic – no fewer than three times – probably isn’t helping on that front either.
Ms Edell’s ruminations have entertained us before.