Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Does it Take?

Our headmaster speaks to university groups fairly often, and in my committee roles and such, I hear him. He seems like an intelligent, thoughtful person. And then he makes some sexist side comment. He talks about students as "girls" or explains how the most important thing a wife can do is being a "[fill in your favorite sport] mom." (He never talks about male students as "boys" or about parenting as being the most important thing a husband can do.)

I don't get it. The man's a professional academic. Surely he realizes that academic discourse uses "women" for adult females? And that the female academics he's speaking to aren't there because they're [sport] moms?

Is he deep down a sexist [bleeep] (and unaware that his sexism is a problem)?

Or is he deep down a stupid [bleeeep] (and doesn't care that his sexism is a problem)?

Are there other options?

I was at a meeting the other day where he tossed off some sexism. One of the women I was sitting near mocked his sexism as the meeting ended. I think he's lost the respect of the women who've heard him much, including me.

Of course, with the male domination around here, he could be both a sexist and uncaring about his sexism, and the men at the top wouldn't notice the sexism, or think there was anything wrong with it. And losing women's respect couldn't mean less to those men.

4 comments:

  1. Is he deep down a sexist [bleeep] (and unaware that his sexism is a problem)?

    Maybe. although maybe then he'd be calling them "coeds"

    Or is he deep down a stupid [bleeeep] (and doesn't care that his sexism is a problem)?

    Seems more likely

    Are there other options?

    I can't think of any.

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  2. He's headmaster at your university or he's teaching younger children?

    B/c if this guy is in charge of those teaching kids, you might consider doing something about the issue -- talking to parents who have girls at the school, for instance. Young girls don't need the main power at their school putting out the belief that they exist mainly to become tools for the patriarchy. (And the boys under his control wouldn't need to be hearing that either, of course.)

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  3. He's the head of my campus. "Headmaster" is jut me playing with the old term for a school master and avoiding the current term for what different campuses call their "head."

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  4. "Are there other options?"


    Bardiac, sounds like a classic both/and kind of situation. He is a stupid, sexist bleep who neither comprehends the problem that is his sexism, nor cares enough to generate a thought about it. Male adults such as this one make an effort to denigrate women (particularly successful women) because it makes them feel like the big old manly men they haven't a hope in hell of becoming, evah. Or, at least that's what I used to tell my horse's ass of a German professor. (I lack social skills.)

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