Reassigned Time

Last month Reassigned Time was called “selfish” for planning to go on the market for a job she may like better than the one she has. I find it is very strange how often professors are told they are selfish, arrogant, or childish to want other jobs and/or other careers. But it is true. The reasons I have been given why I should stay in academia, or in particular academic jobs I have had, include the following:

+ I should be grateful to have a career and no children, and I should therefore suck up whatever my current job dishes out;

+ I have an academic job and not everyone who wants one does, therefore I should keep mine whether I want it or not;

+ I am good at this, so I am probably not good at anything else.

I also note that the words selfish, childish, and arrogant are typically those used to shame women into relinquishing independence.


4 thoughts on “Reassigned Time

  1. I don’t find that many people dare to call me selfish, childish, or arrogant these days. It is obviously a sexist strategy used to shame women. But what women have to realise is that no matter they do — whether they give in to the emotional blackmail or not — they will still be viewed in the same ways. I think it is easy to label women “selfish” because they have the power over their own sexuality that many men would like to appropriate for themselves. I can’t confess to understanding why the term “childish” would be applied to women per se, although it often and generally is. I just don’t know. “Arrogance” is the quality of those who step beyond their bounds. It is easy for women to be thought of as arrogant when the psychological space that is allocated to them as human beings is so limited. To call a woman “arrogant” for speaking her mind or seeking her advantage is in fact a tacit acknowledgement that her allocated space as a female human being is very limited indeed.

  2. I think “selfish” often also translates to “not suffering as much as I am / as I feel women ought to do” or “not so committed to suffering as I am / or as I feel it is women’s lot to be” or also “able to put her own interests first, as I am not / as I do not think women ought to do.”

  3. Yeah, I think you’re right there.

    It’s the old ideal of purification through suffering, along with the additional idea that nobody needs purifying as much as women do.

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