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Glass Ceiling

Ruth Simmons says she once wrote the best essay in her literature class only to have one of her professors shun her because she was black, or a woman, or both.

Damn, who knew women of color once faced those types of indignities over at Harvard University?

There's more:

Women still are not proportionately represented in the ranks of tenured faculty at the world's major research universities, panelists said.

Hmm.

I can't help but wonder what Lawrence Summers thinks about . . . oh, right, never mind.

On a serious note, reading that article caused me to think back to my halcyon days over at U.C. Ber-zerk-eley. A woman, Herma Hill Kay, was the dean of the school I attended. But I can't recall a single one of my professor-bots being female.

Not one. Zilch. Nada.

Granted, that was a long time ago, and perhaps things have changed a bit for the better since then, but still you have to wonder about that 'old boy's club' in liberal academia, don't you?

Is it supply and demand or merely chauvinism?


Comments (14)

Ruth Simmons says ... (Below threshold)
Ruth Simmons says she once wrote the best essay in her literature class only to have one of her professors shun her because she was black, or a woman, or both.

What a self-indulgent schmuck! I'm with you, Jayson: once you've had the good fortune to be admitted to Harvard your racism/sexism/lookism/ etc. victim privileges should be revoked.

As someone that has graded ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

As someone that has graded many lit papers, I have to wonder about the statement "best essay in the class". Unless she read every one of the competitors (and remained objective) or the professor said "your's is best, but I am giving you a B anyway", I think she's likely blowing smoke.
It's not a course like engineering or math where there is no subjectivism (or much, much less) and peer review is the norm.

Poor liberals. Once you ha... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Poor liberals. Once you have that "victim status" crutch you've used your whole life to get where you are, it's hard to let it go.

Back in the 1970s, I took s... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Back in the 1970s, I took sociology (required course), and the professor was a woman. I had a 95%+ average going into the final, and aced the final.

I got a "B." I asked her why, and she told me it was because I was male, and she was "evening things out," and that she didn't give "A" grades to men.


Cirby,Sound... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

Cirby,


Sounds like this professor was one of the "womyn" that didn't receive a lot of "A" grades from men in her personal life, thus rejecting the "patriarchy" and taking it out on you.

That sound right?

yep cirby another example(i... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

yep cirby another example(if true) of the oppression white males in our society have faced for decades...

Jayson..thank you for your observation..it is changing..but it is still the good old boys club..
for years the efforts of Condi to bring diplomacy to this administration were chopped off by Cheney/Rummy..

I had a female professor ba... (Below threshold)

I had a female professor back in 1974, for a linguistics course. There were *no* problems with the men in the class automatically getting lower grades than the women.

Then again, at the time, the Naval Academy didn't admit women. :-)

yep cirby another exampl... (Below threshold)
cirby:

yep cirby another example(if true) of the oppression white males in our society have faced for decades...

Pretty much. Ever since I was a kid, anyway. I've been screwed many, many times just because I was a Plain Old White Guy, and everything I've received that's been any good was because I worked my ass off and tried to be really, really good at the things I do.

I don't discriminate, and whining that "everyone else does it" (which is the end result of your little attempt at sarcasm) won't cut it.

cirby:Back in t... (Below threshold)
ryan the filthy centrist:

cirby:

Back in the 1970s, I took sociology (required course), and the professor was a woman. I had a 95%+ average going into the final, and aced the final.

I got a "B." I asked her why, and she told me it was because I was male, and she was "evening things out," and that she didn't give "A" grades to men.

Wow, now there's a blatant case of abuse of power. Did you take your case to your department chair, or anyone else in the admin?

It may have been the best e... (Below threshold)

It may have been the best essay ever. I know that the times I knew that I'd performed exceptionally well and *didn't* get the recognition I expected hurt extra bad. (Not necessarily my subjective judgment either... like the time a guy named Jason and I were the only ones who placed at State and we got no recognition at all, just a picture with everyone else who'd placed Regionals, as we had also placed in order to make it to State... and then at parent/teacher conferences my choir teacher tells my folks "she needs more confidence." Yes dangit! I'm still sore about that.)

I have no idea why those things happened or what the motivation of the people in charge might have been. I do know it wasn't because I was a minority.

Wow, now there's a blata... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Wow, now there's a blatant case of abuse of power. Did you take your case to your department chair, or anyone else in the admin?

Yeah, but it didn't do any good. In a liberal-arts college in the late 1970s? Versus a female full professor?

The head of the department listened to my complaint, smiled, and said that since it was just my word against hers, nothing could be done.

The head of the departme... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The head of the department listened to my complaint, smiled, and said that since it was just my word against hers, nothing could be done.

Wanna bet? Expunging the grade and course from the transcript would have been a minimum at least. Considering that it affects your GPA, and potentially future earnings potential, one could have considered a suit (yes, the evil lawyers again, but towards a greater good here, at least).

Back in the 1970s, I too... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Back in the 1970s, I took sociology (required course), and the professor was a woman. I had a 95%+ average going into the final, and aced the final.

And you had documentation to prove your grade. You would have had a chance. At the very least, get your money back for the cost of the course/books.

Letter writing campaigns to doners/trustees who contribute money, etc.

Ah, well...water under the bridge now.

"..because she was black, o... (Below threshold)

"..because she was black, or a woman, or both."

Which was it, black, or woman? Don't know? How does she know it was either? Maybe she was egotistical and uninformed.




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