November
19th 2008
Sisters in Arms roundup: P.O.W.s unite, yee-haw!

Posted under: Gender, happy endings, jobs, students

Wow, there sure are a lot of P.O.W.’s in my readership these days–Pissed Off Women, that is.  (I think I’m learning why right-wing talk radio is so popular:  conflict, conflict, conflict!  You P.O.W.’s are energized by conflict!)  Well, as a charter member of the P.O.W.’s, I thought as a public service I would provide you with a roundup of all of the links I’ve been getting over the past few days from bloggers who are sisters in outrage (just in case you haven’t seen them, check out “Ummm, you e-mailed *me* for advice, remember?“ and, ”Faculty women are just toys for your pleasure and/or scorn,” in case you missed them.)  So, before we slip into our turkey-induced and wine-and-pie exacerbated Thanksgiving comas, let’s mainline some rage and consider the many things we’re not so thankful for in this academic lifetime:

  • Dr. Crazy at Reassigned Time is probably the queen of the P.O.W.’s right now–go read.  It’s rantalicious!  Here’s a free sample:  “I no longer fret so much when a student finds me rude, for example. I’m not sure that’s actually a good thing: I think it just gives me license to actually be rude to students. But even though the frequency has lessened, it’s not like I no longer face these things. And learning to deal with them has been an extra part of learning this job, one I wasn’t trained to learn and one that has taken time that might better have been spent elsewhere.”  Yes–like reading and writing books, for example?  Just one of those things that takes us longer to do because of the inequitable demands placed on women faculty.  Yes, my darlings:  Embrace the rude.  Be the rude!  Live the rude.
  • Ann Bartow from Feminist Law Profs chimes in to inform us that because she’s got mad skillz with actual value in the marketplace, she gets requests for assistance from random strangers weekly, not just occasionally like us science and humanities types.  Says Ann, “[a] couple of times each week I get calls and e-mails and in person visits from people asking for free legal advice or representation, and when I refuse to provide same, a tirade. Most are random strangers, but others are part of the University committee. Many angrily claim that they were given my name by someone who promised I would help them- isn’t “public service” my job? And of course it is, at least partly, but I get to choose the kind of public service I want to do, and helping nasty jerks with legal problems isn’t too high up on the list.”  You don’t say!  (And, who the hell is promising your assistance to these lovelies?)
  • Many thanks to the Global Sociology Blog, which has picked up the discussion here and here, as has Anglachel.

Hum along with me now, after Nancy Sinatra, “this door was made for shuttin’, and that’s just what it’ll do.  One of these days this door is gonna shut all over you.”  (Or, substitute, “this phone was made for ringin’,” as in, ringing off the hook and not being answered by a P.O.W.)

Feel free to send me photos of your closed office doors and phones merrily ringing away!

 

4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Sisters in Arms roundup: P.O.W.s unite, yee-haw!”

  1. SocProf on 19 Nov 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    I think we need a photowall of closed office doors as protest movement! :-)

  2. Indyanna on 19 Nov 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    I just had an opportunity to give a student who needs to make an academic inquiry of a faculty member at another institution a *very* careful lesson about the protocols surrounding this practice and what can go wrong. This would have slipped right by me as little as a week ago, with perhaps negative consequences for the student.

  3. Notorious Ph.D. on 19 Nov 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m proud to say that yesterday, I did what I could to strike a blow against disrespect for female colleagues. I came out of one colleague’s office to notice a student lingering nearby. I had seen him lingering near my closed office door a minute or so ago, which happens to be right next door to the office of a colleague who is herself female, petite, and looks about 28 years old.

    ME (cheerfully): “Were you waiting for me?”

    STUDENT: “No, actually I was looking for Ms… uh, [consults paper] Ms. College?

    ME (continuing off in the direction I had been heading): “It’s Colleague, actually, not College. [two more steps, then a thought occurs, and I call over my shoulder:] Professor Colleague.”

  4. Historiann on 19 Nov 2008 at 2:32 pm #

    SocProf–send me your closed-door photo! I’ve already got one from Indyanna, and Notorious said she would send me one too…(I took the posted photo of my door with my cell phone camera, which is why it’s a little blurry. Don’t worry about getting your digital camera out–if you’ve got a phone with you, you can snap a photo before you leave work this afternoon.

    Indyanna and Notorious: good work! Related to Notorious’s story, this is not necessarily a gender-based phenomenon, but I’m always amazed at the number of students who don’t know they’re teachers’ names. It just blows my mind, and says something I don’t really want to know about how our students think about faculty (when they bother to think at all about us.)

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