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Alice in Genderland II

Sent off this email to colleagues. God knows with what consequence. But I am close to retirement age, and if I don’t resist I would be a complicit enabler.

From:fletcherfaculty-request@elist.tufts.edu <fletcherfaculty-request@elist.tufts.edu> on behalf of Amar Bhide <amar@bhide.net>
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:38:24 AM

To: fletcherfaculty@elist. edu <fletcherfaculty@elist.tufts.edu>
Subject: [Faculty] Re The Gender Politics of (Office) Space: A Fetcher Tale  

From the emails below:

Kimberly:
But as I watch male colleagues complain about the additional 20 minutes of instructional time …-I still marvel at the ways in which entitlement works.


Then Karen:
Further on the matter of gendered entitlement, I too was struck at the recent exchange about the additional 20 mins of class time, and who was complaining and who wasn’t. Quite illustrative.


There were just two who “complained:”  Sulmaan raised the issue of the governance of the process and of student fatigue. I sent a one line email saying that I found the extended time suboptimal; then after polling my class, I reported that my students, male and female, unanimously concurred.

That both of us happen to be male (and coincidentally racial minorities) is surely not evidence of gender entitlement, unless your priors (stereotypical prejudices?) are extremely strong in that direction.

I see no connection *whatsoever* between views about optimal class length and gender entitlement. I also see practical reasons for class lengths that might be suboptimal for learning — I taught three hour classes at the U of C to executive MBAs

What bothers me deeply about Kimberly’s and Karen’s assertion is the implication that faculty who happen to be male, should have no voice in anything because everything they say reflects their gender entitlement.

This would be just as horrifying as claiming that two privileged white women (one South African) cannot countenance the uppityness of colored faculty. 

I cannot imagine my cancer-researching mother (and co-founder and former president of the Indian Women Scientists Association) claiming any such thing.  And god knows she encountered considerable gender prejudice (and racial prejudice when she worked in places like middle America in the 1960s and Germany in the 1970s).  But then she actually had responsibility for a large department in an institute with roughly equal proportions of male and female researchers and several female directors. Casually tossing off accusations of gender entitlement would have been unthinkable. 

That should be verboten at Fletcher as well.

Amar

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