Posted by: Steph | March 30, 2007

The boy’s club

I’ve been having a lot of conversations about gender at Schulich recently. It isn’t something that is often discussed in the open. I come from fairly hardcore feminist roots, and even I am afraid of sounding like an alarmist or a complainer when I’m talking about any equalities that I have stumbled across. One of the stereotypes is that women that complain about things like that are uptight and prudish… and trust me… I am neither. But inequality infuriates me. One of the things that many women have told me is that when they have encountered sexism it is usually subtle, and something that wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny in a stand-alone situation. Women will also often agree that often when there is a gender issue “they just know” and it is a level of awareness that the men may not have since they have not had to deal with this.

I am a failed lesbian, and after spending a number of years a bit outside of the heterosexual culture, I really notice how gender roles are played out in various settings, and when people are being treated in accordance with a perceived notion of what gender is. I’ll stop before I really get into it, but I want to share my serious aggravation of the week

In class I want to be challenged and entertained. I currently have a professor (not on Wednesdays, in case Wednesday evening class professor is reading) who runs the classroom like a boys club. He has a chummy rapport with “the guys” and changes his tone when dealing with women. In fact, his whole manner changes depending on whether he is addressing a man or a woman (I was studying this carefully in class this week and becoming more and more furious… I hope he didn’t notice the smoke coming out of my ears). As a woman in this class I definitely feel as though I have less value. And that pisses me off. I will confess that I was a teeny bit argumentative about one thing in class after I really began noticing his treatment, but that is my (somewhat silly I guess) response to his treatment since I don’t have any “real” way of dealing with it. I don’t think this professor “hates” me or anything – but for some reason I get the feeling that I don’t fit into his models of how his students should be and this is a problem.

Some other women in the class have noticed the same thing, and even the guys will acknowledge it (although they don’t exactly feel it the way the women do) – it was only funny the first 4 times something I said was attributed to Setti.

Back to the fun stuff…

1. I gave Setti the exploding chocolate easter eggs and had a small giggle fit – but even better was when I gave some to Vassilis and he didn’t even know that there was anything funny about them… and he had the best look on his face.

2. Why does Roma now carry around stuffed animals to class? Is she regressing?

3. I have a new haircut for the Formal (and interviewing). I like to think of it as Rockstar-ish. But it probably isn’t really.

4. I’m still craving vegetables. Weird.

5. Good luck to Richard Bloom MC’ing the formal! Not enough people have been petting him though.

6. MBA talk – Go comment on gender issues. Or comment here if you wish.

7. Quick… who can tell me one thing they learned from any OMIS (mandatory) course?

Back to the joy that is my paper.

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Responses

  1. Firstly, it was no stuffed animal – that was Tigger. Secondly, it was Jeff’s. I was just taking care of him for a while.

    Also, I tried to pet Bloom once, but he tried to bite my hand.


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