I am a young, female graduate student who was raised in a community where politeness, tact and formality were the norm. One’s elders and superiors (bosses, teachers, etc.) were always to be addressed as “Dr.” or “Ms.” and disagreements were to be minimized and handled with as much politeness as possible. The standards applied across the board to young people of any gender. As a result, my general inclination is to address everyone with respect and formality unless explicitly instructed to do otherwise and to avoid open disagreement in all but the most casual of conversations. I am entering the job market for the first time this year (with a dissertation defense scheduled for the early spring) and am worried about navigating the tricky territory of transitioning from student to colleague (or, in the case of interviews, potential colleague). Should I forgo deference for fear of being seen as “weak” and “feminine”? Will professors take offense at being addressed as an equal by someone who is still a student? Is there a substantial difference in position between “graduate student near completion” and “jobless PhD holder”? Should there be a difference between the way someone in my position addresses junior and senior faculty? This last issue is particularly confusing as I have experienced some junior faculty who insist on formality with graduate students and others who seem irritated by it. Help in this very practical matter is appreciated.
Read More »
There are very few things that leave me temporarily at a loss for words these days. But last Friday’s pathetic and manic Twitter meltdown of “feminist” pornography professor and frequent Jezebel contributor Hugo Schwyzer did just that. Among other things, Schwyzer admitted to rampant infidelity, sexting (“of course”), ignoring his own maxim that men should sleep with women their own age, and sleeping with students — “two dozen female students, somewhere in there,” he says in a Daily Beast interview, “it’s a ballpark thing.”
There are just so many problems with this story that I hardly know where to start.
First, why did Pasadena City College allow him to “make amends” by “swearing off sleeping with women” — and why was he permitted to continue teaching pornography and gender studies courses, rather than the history courses he was trained to teach?
How was Schwyzer able to get tenure as a medievalist and British historian, when his primary “publications,” per his own admission, were blog posts for Jezebel and an article for The Atlantic?
Why does Schwyzer seem to think that, once out of the hospital, he’ll be able to either continue teaching or be placed on permanent disability? Are all forms of debauchery excusable as a mental illness, and thereby grounds for graceful separation from the university?
And why, oh why, is it that the voices of male feminists carry more weight than their female counterparts? (As Slate blogger Noah Berlatsky points out, New York magazine practically came running to interview him last month when he announced that he was going to quit for a while. Would they have done the same if a female feminist decided to throw in the towel?)
Read about how the hashtag got started here.
“The hashtag was originally coined by blogger Mikki Kendall during a Twitter debate about Hugo Schwyzer, an American academic and self-described “male feminist”. Schwyzer has been accused of harassing non-white female bloggers and recently wrote that his critics drove him offline.”
You can also read tweets with the hashtag here.
And you can see a Jezebel article here where many people in the comments call out the blog for praising the hashtag but erasing the WoC who created it.