Comments on: Faculty women are just toys for your pleasure and/or scorn History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 By: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 05:06:21 +0000 hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here.
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By: hysperia Thu, 20 Nov 2008 02:01:11 +0000 This story is years old now but, since it’s been rattling around in my head since your “rude e-mailer” post, Historiann, I’m going to tell it.

When I was teaching my first year in a law school, at end of term, a male student wandered into my office holding the paper he had written for my course in Family Law. I’d given him a B+. “Please, he said, could you give me an A? I need it to get into Grad School.”

“Yes well, my sympathies young man, but I don’t grade papers based on what marks a student wants, but rather on the grade that students earn.”

“But I won’t get into Grad School if I don’t get an A.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Would you read it again and try to find me more marks?”

There were only ten papers written in this course. I remember them all quite well, including yours. I marked them very carefully. If you have some specific problem with how I’ve marked your paper, other than the simple fact that you got a B+, I’ll consider a re-read.”

“Oh no, I just need an A.”

“I’m sorry, then. As well, Grad School might not be ready for a student who wants a grade just “because” and not because he earned it.”

“Well, it’s just Women’s Studies (the grad programme he had applied to). That’s the only reason the grade from you really matters. Because they know that you’re the feminist.”


Of course, I didn’t re-read the paper. I ran into this student later in a restaurant and acknowledged him. He walked right by me. He didn’t make it into Women’s Studies.

By: Liz Thu, 20 Nov 2008 01:20:47 +0000 I wish it was the students (although I did have a male student recently slam my door open, walk all the way into my very long office and start yammering at me) but yesterday I had a special experience. My office is next to our departmental office and one of the adjuncts locked himself out of his office after hours. I was in my office and he came in and asked me to a) find a master key b) find the phone number for security when the master key couldn’t be found (because apparently he couldn’t figure this out!) and c) wait around with him until security came so that he wouldn’t be locked out of the main office. Then he told me that I was “a real doll”. I wanted to reply “thanks babe!” He is in his 60s and I’m in my late 30s.

I was so angry still this morning that I loudly complained about it all to our secretary in front of the other older male prof in my department that refuses to acknowledge my presence. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. One of my younger male colleagues was witness to this incident was horrified.

By: Historiann Wed, 19 Nov 2008 20:48:35 +0000 What kind of tool lectures someone doing VOLUNTEER WORK about the tone of her correspondence? If he’s got so much discretionary time and energy to worry and complain about that, ask him to work as your secretary next year and make him for all of the correspondence!

Deborah, I’m sorry that you’re the incoming President of the Academic Shovelheads of America!

By: Deborah Judge Wed, 19 Nov 2008 19:01:56 +0000 I’m scheduled to be society president next year, and I’m wondering if that will make things worse or better. But it’s not as if they’d have to look very far to find out if I have a faculty appointment or degree, it’s right there in the call! Sigh.

Oh, this morning I sent out a form letter to everyone who submitted letting them know when they’ll hear back from the reviewers, and got a response (already) from some guy that my form letter was rude. Sigh. Yes, I really should keep a file on this. But, gah, these older male faculty are *way* worse than my undergrads in making sexist assumptions about who I am and how I spend my time.

By: Historiann Wed, 19 Nov 2008 16:11:48 +0000 Deborah–perhaps as a parting gesture when your term as VP is nearing its end, you can send out a tart e-mail to the membership of this society documenting these incidents and asking people to think twice before assuming that someone with a woman’s name is merely secretarial. You know, just for fun, see if she’s got a faculty appointment and a terminal degree before writing?

I have to say, having recently served as the co-Chair of the Program Committee for a major conference, our membership and other interested people were almost to a woman unfailingly polite and appreciative of our work. Then again, it was a women’s history conference, so most of our correspondents were women (but not all)!

By: Deborah Judge Wed, 19 Nov 2008 16:07:07 +0000 Oh, and on the ongoing saga of Professor and Scholarly Society VP + female = your secretary…the deadline for proposals was Friday, and I’ve already received four e-mails asking why they didn’t get a response and when they’re going to hear from me. Most of them addressed to Ms. Judge. One of them even e-mailed a man who is on the regional board (and less senior than me) to complain that I hadn’t responded to his proposal. And these dudes don’t even have the excuse of being undergrads.

By: prof bw Wed, 19 Nov 2008 09:29:41 +0000 your story about the email exchange was painful/frustrating. I like the fee idea. I definitely had the “next time you pay a fee” sound in my voice with the male student in my story.

I wonder if the female professor (ATM – love that) + public service focus = ratcheted up male privilege

Poe – I agree with Historiann, put the stapler in a drawer and shut your door! It took putting my phone in a corner of the office out of sight of the hall to stop students from coming into my office, and while picking up my phone, ask “Can I use your phone? There’s no reception in here.” It happened randomly for 2.5 years & was always male students. (the only poc in the hall were female and admin so they assumed the title on the door was a mistake. gender + race + conservative public service focused institution . . .)

By: historymaven Wed, 19 Nov 2008 04:05:56 +0000 Related to this issue are those students finding you working in your office after business hours. If your door isn’t open but the light is burning (we’ve inner windows) students will take the opportunity to see whether you’ve graded their papers or ask about other faculty members. After all we’re ATM’s: Automated Teaching Machines.

I have never heard an “excuse me” or “I’m sorry,” either when I’m interrupted or after I tell those students that the office is closed and that I am busy with meeting a deadline or undertaking work that requires focus and resources in my office.

And I’ve experienced countless instances of students knocking interminably on a locked department door if they think a faculty member is available after 5 pm (and not teaching an evening course).

One evening a student strolled into our departmental office (open due to evening courses and office hours) and used the telephone to make a long-distance call. When I told him to cease, he at first ignored me, then called me names, and then finally left. Then he walked into another open department office on the same floor and continued his call. (I put him in the same class of students who use the campus emergency phones to arrange meetings and catch up with friends between classes.)

By: Professor Zero Wed, 19 Nov 2008 01:52:12 +0000 Sigh. I was discussing this general topic with a male friend younger than myself just last night. He was incredulous that this kind of thing actually happens (“it never happens to me”) and that further, one has to be very politick, especially if female, in a school that takes the notion of public service as seriously as mine does.