June
13th 2010
Weekend round-up: splinters in our skirts edition

Posted under: American history, bad language, Gender, jobs, students, unhappy endings, wankers, women's history

I go away for a few weeks, slacken off on my bloggy reading and production values, and come home to find many of my favorite feminist blogs up in arms!  Talk about some splinters in your skirts–but at least they’re funny!  Here for your enjoyment are some high quality feminist rants you may have missed aimed at the d00dz and the d-bags who don’t get how the femblogs work and/or refuse to learn.  I loves me some P.O.W.s (Pissed Off Women), so if you love a good smackdown, read on, friends:

  • Zuska sez:  “However, I’m sick to puking of seeing so much shit go down for so long and seeing so little change and seeing progress for women in engineering shudder and stall and hearing over and over and over and over again “we just have to wait for the old guard to die off and for spots to open up and for women to work their way up through the ranks and the younger guys will not behave in these stupid ways the older d00ds do and things are getting better and you can’t make women go into engineering if they don’t want to and men and women just prefer different career choices and it’s a fact of life that women have babies and there’s nothing you can do about it and we’d love to have on campus daycare for everyone but in these tight fiscal times we have to make tough choices. . . ”  And she’s just warming up!  Read on, read on!  It’s all about what we on this humble history blog call the Whig of Illusory Progress.
  • Twisty Faster, the Queen of Savage Death Island, designates the clueless d00dz who chap her a$$ “hanging chads.”  “These hanging chads, they really never get it. Because women generally, and radical Internet Feminists in particular, are to them some mystical, unfathomable alien species, they think we don’t understand them! It is hilarious, the predictability with which they all, without exception, every single time, enduringly and persistently, are compelled to lecture the ignorant Savage Death Islanders on the finer points of the superior dude civilization back on the mainland. Because if we just understood them, we would see how wrongwe are to experience Chadly privilege as oppression.”  Riiiight.  She continues:  “What all chads fail to grasp is that, as members of an oppressed class, we have always considered it a matter of survival and our No. 1 priority to grok the fullness of the oppressor. In fact, we’ve been grokking the oppressor’s fullness since the cradle, mostly without even realizing it. It hasn’t been too difficult, since we were all raised in the smelly nutsack of Dude Nation, and continue to be engulfed by and to marinate in dudelionormative swampwater all day, every day. If there is ever some little dudecentric point here or there that eludes us, not to worry; dudelionormative socialization protocols are in place to take us back to school and whip us into shape.”  Just read the whole thing.  It will put a smile on your face.  (See especially the line about her “prophylactic acquiescence to Dude Culture gavage.”)
  • Female Science Professorwrites about the fascinating and totally scientific equation that 1 female scientist jerk = all female scientists are jerks.  “Some of these complaints are from men who note that if women want to be respected, we had all better start behaving better (because of course every single woman is a representative of all other women).  Is there really any mystery here? Some women are jerks. Men do not have a monopoly on jerk behavior. The existence of male jerks has not stopped men from succeeding.”  But, some of her readers just don’t get it, now, do they?  Being remote, blunt, inscrutible, and/or jerky is totally acceptable in male scientists and intellectuals, but women are supposed to be all nurturing, mentoring, and muffin-baking and breakfast-catering for their whole labs, aren’t they?  And if one woman fails to be completely nurturing, mentoring, baking, and catering for absolutely everyone she works with all of the time, then that’s evidence in some people’s minds that feminism is a fraud and there shouldn’t be more women in science because they don’t make a difference.  (And where the hell are the muffins and the Xeroxed Far Side cartoons!  This lab sucks.)
  • The muffin-baking jokes?  I’m actually totes serious.  I have a friend in academic medicine who was advised to bring more muffin baskets to meetings to demonstrate how “nurturing” and “accessible” she is.  Seriously.  Nearly all of the women she works with actually do this–and she refuses, so she’s the bad daughter, forever.  This is why I have a no-baking rule for my colleagues or students, ever.  It just raises the Mom-like expectations and helps people put you into a slot in which I know I would not be comfortable.

Here’s hoping it’s an easier week for the rest of you!  By the way, I’ll post photos of the Herb Garden/Historiann Doll Cemetery as soon as it warms up and gets sunny again here on the High Plains Desert.

14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Weekend round-up: splinters in our skirts edition”

  1. widgeon on 13 Jun 2010 at 8:52 am #

    In my first (horrible) job my department chair suggested I bring home-made baked goods to meetings. I was floored by the comment–was he joking? Of course he was not, and the next few years were a constant struggle. So I agree absolutely with the no-baking rule. Thanks for the outrage!

  2. Historiann on 13 Jun 2010 at 8:55 am #

    BWAhahahahaha! (Sob.)

    Sorry to bring on a muffin-induced flashback, Widgeon. What a jackass. But your experience begs the question: is the demand for a muffin basket simply an omen of things to come? (I’m afraid it is.)

  3. Anon on 13 Jun 2010 at 9:43 am #

    My department is STEM maled-dominated with a resident hostile zombie (secretary who refuses to work for those unfamiliar with the bloggy lingo).

    I don’t mind getting a few baked goods to sweeten things up. Means to an end.

    What else can I do to manipulate them? Any suggestions. Goal is tenure.

  4. Historiann on 13 Jun 2010 at 10:27 am #

    You can do what you think you need to do, Anon, but your best case scenario is trolling the internet for the rest of your life post-tenure looking for new and intriguing muffin recipes, since they’ll expect you to bring the muffins from now until kingdom come. (Otherwise, you’re a non-nurturing bitch. See?)

    My only suggestion comes down to this: focus on your scholarship/grant-getting, because that more than any muffins in the world will determine your tenure future. And, that more than anything in the world will give you other options beyond your current department. Don’t let them distract you into worries about your teaching or service or breakfast-catering. Those are just ploys to get you away from your research.

  5. Mamie on 13 Jun 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Thanks for pointing the way to twisty. Loved it!

  6. wini on 13 Jun 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    I love baking, but sugar hates me. I’m glad I read this post, because I had started thinking about baking for faculty meetings next year. Screw that! I will continue my practice of baking for my son’s daycare teachers and student assistants.

  7. Comrade PhysioProf on 13 Jun 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Twisty is a fucking brilliant writer, and funny as fuck.

  8. Susan on 13 Jun 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    My first committee assignment in my first job was the “hospitality committee”, a college wide committee that put on parties for the faculty, to build community. Sigh. The wine tasting was good, and I didn’t have to do any work for that one.

  9. Janice on 13 Jun 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    And don’t forget Tierney’s NYT rehashing of the “women can’t do math and science” calumny, even though it’s more than ably countered by many bloggers (and these scientists at Boing Boing: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/06/11/women-scientists-on.html )

  10. Notorious Ph.D. on 13 Jun 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    I got yer muffin basket right here, Mister. And it’s all. mine.

    (sorry — I appear to be copping a bit of attitude lately.)

  11. Emma on 13 Jun 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Obviously, women in academia don’t work, what with the muffin baking expectations. /snark

    Luckily, women lawyers have billable hours and anything that cuts into that — like muffin baking — is highly suspect. Unluckily, women lawyers have billable hours and anything that cuts into that — like having children — is highly suspect.

  12. Helen Huntingdon on 14 Jun 2010 at 6:58 am #

    Anon, “Seducing the Boys Club” has the sort of advice you’re looking for. She gets a bit goofy in attributing characteristics to maleness that are characteristics of her profession, but her tactics are fairly sensible if that’s the route you want to go.

  13. Homostorian Americanist on 14 Jun 2010 at 7:33 am #

    Muffins. Really? I’m kind of astounded. I would think — as you note — that that would just tend to make people take the women less seriously as the colleagues and intellectuals that they are.

  14. Historiann on 14 Jun 2010 at 8:18 am #

    HomoAmericanist wrote: “I would think — as you note — that that would just tend to make people take the women less seriously as the colleagues and intellectuals that they are.”

    Ding ding ding! They already don’t take them seriously, so putting them in the mommy/caretaker box isn’t a bug, it’s a FEATURE!

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