Jender’s discussion of Rachel McKinney’s wonderful post on “grey rape” led me to McKinney’s site and a great discussion, with informative links, about underrepresentation in philosophy and engineering. And through those links to important information about women’s publishing in ‘top’ philosophy journals. And then back to Jender.
There’s a surely related phenomenon, and it’s mentioned interestingly enough in Female Science Professor’s Friday post, Training Wheels and Oracles.
One of my more oppressed female colleagues … had some new ideas for the course, but all of her ideas were ignored or dismissed except when one senior [male] faculty member stepped in to support her. Then her ideas were taken more seriously.
I have a young friend who has had a similar experience, except no one has stepped in to support her and, since she’s complained to one of the senior men, she now has a blot on her record which appeared in a report about her. She had not been asked for her side of the situation.
And it continues. I recounted a similar experience in a comment here.
I have often wondered why no one notices that the women are missing, as I did recently when one of my closest colleagues told me about a center director’s meeting. I should have been asked to the meeting, wasn’t, and apparently even a close male friend didn’t notice. Why is no one asking, Where are the women?
Let me invite hypotheses. They should also account for the following sort of exchange I had many times when discussing hiring minorities: August Male Academic Person: We’d hire more minorities but the good ones all get much better offers from top universities. JJ: Actually, that is not really true. Of all the African American PhD chemists graduated over X years from the top fifty departments, only 1 was hired by a top fifty department. (See here for the research on diversity and much more precise statistics.) August Person: O, so there aren’t any good ones.
Obviously, the August Person was not himself thoroughly involved in discriminatory practices.
Women have talked about the rampant discrimination for decades. Why has it been ignored?
Female Science Professor again:
In fact, I do ‘see’ sexism quite frequently; that is true. When you have been told directly and/or indirectly nearly every day for more than 20 years of a career as a female science professor that you are not as serious, intelligent, mature, interesting, technically skilled, quantitative, creative, or professional as men with equal or lesser talents, you do start to get the impression that sexism is pervasive.