Super late! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been in serious NGM…(navel gazing mode)…okay, now I’m back to stargazing…thus, I’m combining a few Q’s I orbited out there…
For this post, I’ve reached out to a constellation of friends and have solicited responses to the following:
On being a woman in the academy…have we “come a long way, baby”? or do we have miles to go? I askem to offer some advice, some Kleenex, some humor. And away we go.
My superfriend wrote about her current stasis and proffered:
Knowing our gender doesn’t have a monopoly on sympathy, empathy and other versions of “being a sensitive and competent person working in an environment”, superfriend ponders: why does our academy have to be a place “where a gal is not necessarily treated like the latter [competent] and the former [being a gal!] can [at times] get in our way. Does it have to? Is there a way to work it to our advantage?” Preach it, sistah! And she goes on: “Can I focus on the good things and not get so caught up in the frustrations? And why the hell can’t I be treated like a frigging professional? It’s a gender thing, a sensitivity and temperament thing, etc.”
So, I wonder (and agree with superfriend), does my friendly, collaborative spirit seem to eclipse my skills, expertise, and keen vision? What say the collective?
Professor Posie chimes in her thoughts from another perspective and blends in some awesome advice:
“Ugh. I hate nylons. I hate shaving my legs. I refuse to leave the house without mascara. My hair always looks like I just woke up. When I see younger women at conferences and they are wearing suits with short skirts and high heels that are deforming the shape of their feet and layers of makeup…. I can’t decide if I envy them or want to pull them aside and give them some condescending advice. Sometimes I think that I am the one who is still in high school! We judge each other. We all do it. The important thing is recognizing that you’re doing it and then shutting the hell up. Fast. Because if we judge each other on our appearances, then we open the door for others to do it, too. You wonder why your male colleague is making disparaging remarks about another female to you? Because he thinks it’s cool with you. Ask yourself, Why is that? You can’t protest sexism and then engage in it yourself. Also, when sexism is laid down at your feet, kick it. Don’t let it go just to be nice or to avoid a confrontation. I think we have to call it every time we see it or it’s never going to go away. Wait. This wasn’t supposed to turn into an advice column answer… Hmm…”
So much thought-worthy comments from Professor Posie, have I told you how much I love this friend?
I love the wise words and questions posed by these fantastic women of letters. I’m so grateful for their unique perspectives and feeling generous to share…so speak up! preach up!
Apologies again for being the White Rabbit viz. my tardiness, but hey, follow me through the looking glass; there are some seriously cool women here.