Sexism in the history department at West Point allegedHistorians in the News
tags: West Point, sexism
... The sexism that I saw and experienced in my year of teaching history at West Point was at turns quiet and glaring, insidious and overt, exhausting and breathtaking. There were, of course, the momentary jabs any professional woman in a male-dominated field has learned to shrug off. I was talked over so repeatedly and egregiously by a male colleague in front of a distinguished guest that even the guest was made uncomfortable, and he intervened several times. I was corrected in front of my class by a junior male colleague.
Then there were interactions that were harder to shrug off. When a senior faculty member apologized to me for coarse language used in a meeting, he told me, "I wouldn’t want my wife to hear that language." Another professor regularly commented on my choice of clothing and manner of walking, sometimes calling those observations down the hallway at a 100-foot distance. There was the baby ceremony, which made it clear that the department would more readily celebrate women for their uteruses than for their brains. Monthly social events were held for the female professors to socialize with the wives of the male professors — events designed, it seemed, to remind us who our true peers should be.
Past events provided context for more concern. In 2013, a former history-department chair resigned after an investigation into allegations that he had sexually harassed female subordinates in the department, as well as subordinate officers’ wives. We discussed this case during new faculty orientation as a surprise, a one-off, a bad apple. Who would have suspected? There was no connection made between casual sexism and more threatening, even dangerous, behavior; between a culture of machismo and an actually hostile working environment.
Sexism in higher education, of course, is not unique to West Point. Less than a third of tenure or tenure-track positions in the hard and social sciences are women; women make up less than a quarter of the full professors in those disciplines. The Survey of Doctoral Recipients’ national data show that married mothers of young children are 33 percent less likely to get tenure-track jobs than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, women are vastly more likely to serve in adjunct positions. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Human Evolution: Walking Upright Evolved at Least 3.6 Million Years Ago—Long Before Modern Humans Appeared
- Why a primary challenge to Trump is likely to fail
- Smog and Disasters Spurred the Laws Trump Wants to Undo
- After Sylvester Stallone Call, Trump Considers ‘Full Pardon’ of Long-Dead Black Boxer
- Disclosed: Journalist helped defuse a budding conflict between the US and Cuba in 1964
- Dartmouth historian Matthew J. Garcia says conservative partisans in Arizona have taken over a civics school he once ran
- Berkeley’s Carolyn Merchant explains what ecofeminism is
- University of Southern California's David Kang says Korea is the only place on earth where the Cold War continues
- W.R. Smyser, U.S. diplomat turned historian of postwar Germany, dies at 86
- Max Boot: North Korea is conning Donald Trump yet again