We got a nifty link from reader Hill Rat yesterday (thanks, brah) that’s right in my wheelhouse: its about a research project focusing on gender bias, particularly as it relates to the academy.
First, check out this Gender Bias Bingo Card. Not funny, like the original Anti-Feminist Bingo Card, but worth a gander. The card sums up the four major patterns of bias that this Center for Work-Life Law at the University of California at Hastings has identified: Prove it Again, Gender Wars, Double Binds, and the Maternal Wall, which are all blurbed here.
We’ve certainly talked about all of these things here–Double Binds seem evergreen, but Gender Wars seem to have come up quite a bit in our most recent topics. They also tip their hat toward intersectionality with their “Double Jeopardy” category, but they limit it to race, rather than include sexuality, ability, age, weight, and all those other minefields.
If you wander around the site, you can see concepts explained, watch role-plays, take a quiz, and watch short clips of women offering “strategies” of varying helpfulness. My unfavorite? Mary Ann Mason (Esq.)’s advice to “soften” your message by smiling. She also suggests women play by the boy’s rules by regulating your tone of voice. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah. It’s that old “cope or change?” thing. Even though I know we have to pick our battles, I want a revolution. I don’t want to fucking smile.
It seems a leetle 101 to me (especially for what appear to be women a generation older than I), but I suppose that’s still necessary, even at the university, which I like to think of as something of a haven from the wall-to-wall sexism you might find in a less (generally speaking) liberal working environment. One of the contributors made a good point that the university tenure system actually works against women, because sexist dinosaurs will stick around until they’re forced to leave,and their attitudes can set the tone for an entire department. At another link, though, I found that more than half of tenured faculty are already over 55, so eventually, they will leave, even if it’s feet first.
I know we have some dorkidemics amongst our readers, and more than a few lawyers. How do those terms feel to you? Helpful? Reductive? One big DURRRRR? What about for our corporate sisters?