Having been the recipient of wisdom which was also undermining, although I did not realize it at the time, having had important information withheld from me and/or not having had access to it, and having had basic principles pronounced at me as the ultimate in new wisdom when I have said things which did not actually contradict these but went beyond them (and were therefore taken for misunderstandings), I have finally noted that these were largely strategies to oppress girls in school.
It is interesting that I did not receive any of these pieces of information until graduate school, that the rain of them was stepped up when it became apparent I would finish graduate school, and that it has not stopped. We will therefore begin to make a list of these statements. This is an open thread. Please comment.
Graduate Student Z: I am not going to that event because I am studying for my Ph.D. exam.
Whiteman: Do you not realize that to take an exam you do not have to write the history of the world, all you have to do is answer questions?
Graduate Student Z (with slight frown). Yes, well this is not the History department, which is indeed more demanding. Our exam only covers 70 primary texts. Questions may speak to secondary texts or other works, but each must each focus on one of the primary texts listed. So the exam does not cover the history of the world, it only asks certain specific questions.
I am getting ready for those and I am studying 36 hours per week. I work 25 hours. This adds up to 61 hours already, and then you have to add in the classes I am auditing and the rest of life. I have discovered that in 36 hours I can really only cover five primary texts, and 70/5=14, and a semester is 15 weeks, and the examination is in finals week, so I really cannot sacrifice any of those 36 hours.
The plan I have made gives me completely flexible time only on Fridays at 5 to Saturdays at 7, and Sundays from 11 to 7. That is an entire period of more than 24 hours, and the greater part of a whole day, every single week. I am available to attend events at these times.
Whiteman: I see. You do believe you must write the history of the world. And you are very controlling. Did you not know that was a bad thing?
Other strange pieces of advice and lore I have received include, but are not limited to:
You are so good at administration, you should manage this project of mine for me, it will be good for our department.
You are not in graduate school any more, so you should give up your dreams of research. You are here to teach.
Teaching is not valued, so you should do as poor a job of it as possible.
If you did a good job teaching, it is because you wasted inordinate amounts of time on it.
You will never write.
You will never get anything published.
It is selfish of you not to be married.
Because you have a career, it is selfish of you to imagine having anything else.
You will never try.
Because you go swimming every day, you do not suffer enough to be an academic.
You will not finish your degree on time.
Because you are blond, you cannot be intelligent.