FSP has an awesome post up today about micro-inequities. Honestly, I didn’t know that what she describes had a name- and I’m frankly relieved, because I’m happy I have something to call it now. I sure KNOW where she is coming from on this one:
Micro-inequities are ways in which people are ignored, disrespected, undermined, or somehow treated in a different (negative) way because of their gender or race (or some other intrinsic characteristic).
A micro-inequity can be very micro. It can involve an action or words or even a tone of voice or a gesture. The inequity can be a deliberate attempt to harm someone or it can be unintentional, rooted in a person’s perceptions about others.
Go over there and read the whole post, because it is a masterpiece.
It will, perhaps, surprise no one that I think that these subtle incidents about a billion times more frequently in academia than those big, obvious nudie-calendar-in-the-workplace-locker incidents that we all instantly identify with as creating a hostile environment for women. And while it has proved somewhat manageable to root out those big, obvious incidents, or at least they are instantly identifiable- I’m not sure that these micro-inequities are even noticed or identified as a problem by the majority. Until one of the majority becomes a target themselves, which happens in my world from time to time- and honestly, it is kind of humorous (in a jaded sort of way) to see their reaction to something us girls spend quite a bit of time dealing with. (You will indulge my terrible grammar, I’m still in book chapter purgatory- and I’m so worn out from editing I can’t even edit my own blog post).
God- I can’t even write coherently about this topic, it is too close. You proud female academics out there…how frequently do you think you get hit with these micro-inequities? Guys?
My sense, in the absence of the #s, is that I’m going to end up thinking you guys have it freaking easy.