Is This Sexism?

Bad: “She gave up tenure to follow her husband, and she should be rewarded for this.” Better: “She gave up tenure to follow her husband, and it is our gain.”

Lagniappe: name that -ism, or that logical fallacy. “If this candidate is local, her supporters cannot be objective. The only possible basis for support any local candidate could have other than cronyism is fear of the unknown on the part of the hiring committee.”

Disclaimer: I am not at the MLA, I am hanging out with friends elsewhere. These are some of their stories.



Filed under Theories, What Is A Scholar?

10 responses to “Is This Sexism?

  1. profbwoman

    wow. just when I think my own experiences on and with hiring committees have shown me all . . . I still say the fist fight at AHA mentioned in the Chronicle is the most public sign we all need help, but your examples speak to a profound insecurity and disregard that really can be much worse.

  2. Even better: She moved.

  3. Z

    Profbw: “profound insecurity and disregard”

    Yes, this is what gets to me. It is inconceivable that we could be objective, or that we could have sound professional judgment.

    Case – yes. J – genetic fallacy, thanks. I need to look that up.

  4. profbwoman

    I am confused Z, which “we” are you referring to here? The spouses who give up good jobs for spousal hires or the hiring committees? (sorry, I guess my confusion stems from the fact that I am the “we” of the latter if we use those two categories.)

  5. We the hiring committees.

  6. profbwoman

    thanks for the clarity. I wish we conceivable. I try and I know I am not alone in that, but then I see other things happen . . . and I think I am the anomaly. the AHA has “guidelines for the treatment of candidates” up that cover a lot of the basics and make the really strong (and *obvious*) point that when transparency of communication, clarity on scheduling, breaks before presentations and before dinners, and common courtesy are used in the process everybody can do/evaluate their/the best work. It does not factor in the spousal hire piece or identity issues but it does cover everything else. I’ve been toying with reposting them on my blog with some horror stories from my grad students on the market to illustrate.

  7. The best advice about on campus interviews I ever got was to take granola bars or other portable sustenance of choice. For when planes are late, or they forget to feed you, or they have you talk so much during meals you cannot really eat.

    I myself came up with Excedrin PM and Visine. For sleeping in weird circumstances with jet lag, and looking chipper on no sleep.

    Also: try to do more than one interview in a trip, to knock them all out faster. Also, it tends to get me on a roll. If I go on two interviews at once I always get an offer from the second place. It is especially true flying east … I get jet lag going east, even if it is only a two hour time change, and I am noticeably better the second day than the first.

  8. profbwoman

    those are great suggestions. I would add carry water &/or coffee, non-drowsy medication for if you get sick, and have some kind of touch stone (a friend, family member, good luck charm, etc.) for when or if something heinous gets said to you so it doesn’t wreck you for the rest of it. Oh and repeat “the committee is human, they’ve had to do this three weeks in a row, while teaching, going to meetings, & possibly sitting on other searches as well. They are just as tired and stressed as me.”

  9. Yes.

    Horror stories: having candidates pay for on campus interviews. I have heard of English departments doing this. I always say don’t do it but the students do it anyway.

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