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This departmental corridor is a feminist issue: Gender and Academic Life

December 6, 2013

From kindergarten on, we as a society need to raise our children, regardless of gender, to know we have differences but no matter what they are, we all have equal intrinsic value and deserve equal intrinsic respect. No ifs. No buts. It is only a persons actions and choices which can raise or diminish that fact.


This week an interviewer at NUTS asked me why I started writing about sexism in university life – and specifically at the university where I work.  Just a handy question to kick off an interview with, but it forced me to think a bit more precisely than usual about the issue, and even consider whether there might be a conflict involved.

The most obvious answer is because I think it’s the right thing to do.  If I’m reading and writing about feminism, about sexism and misogyny in the world at large, then it makes sense to be concerned about it in my everyday life.  A university is likely to loom much larger in the lives of both staff and students than the average workplace: they might live out more of their social, cultural and intellectual lives within it than they would in a bank or a law firm.  I’d hazard a guess…

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