Micro-inequities a la FSP

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.

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38 thoughts on “Micro-inequities a la FSP

  1. At least three times a week, more if students or certain colleagues are around. But then again, I tend to wear my gender lenses a lot, so I could just be an angry feminazi.

  2. Yeah, I’d say with undergrad classes in session it’s at least 3 times a week for me as well. As far as colleagues go I have it pretty darn good, my experiences with them all so far have been very kind, respectful and supportive even with becoming pregnant less than a year into the job. Who knows, maybe they’re grimacing about it behind my back but to my face they have been congratulatory and positive.

  3. From the linked post,
    “You don’t have to believe that every such incident is an example of a micro-inequity, but in the case of FSPs who experience such things routinely, the alternative is to label us all as oversensitive man-haters who feel victimized by the slightest hint of disrespect (which we are probably misinterpreting because we are actively looking for sexism).”

    Ah, that old chestnut. It’s striking how effective it is. Here’s some <a href="historical perspective on how we men tend to deal with feelings of injustice and inequality. The term “oversensitive” has certainly applied. As it should. If you can allow yourself to be intimidated into thinking that it is even conceivable to be “oversensitive” about discrimination, then you’ve lost the war before the battle’s begun.

    I wasn’t entirely joking in my last post on this blog. I think the time for ladylike restraint has long passed. I think even the time for the shouting of the 60’s is long passed. I think now is the time to throw some knees and elbows into the scrum. Especially now that the gender makeup of the labourforce in the US is shifting profoundly now, what with the majority of layoff occurring in sectors disproportionately peopled my men.

    A good start would be, apparently, expressing one’s “oversensitivity” about the problem at least three times a week. I hope that’s happening, because if it isn’t then all this talk of anger is a load of hot air.

  4. DSKS- I heart you today. Esp for this:

    I think the time for ladylike restraint has long passed. I think even the time for the shouting of the 60’s is long passed. I think now is the time to throw some knees and elbows into the scrum. Especially now that the gender makeup of the labourforce in the US is shifting profoundly now, what with the majority of layoff occurring in sectors disproportionately peopled my men.

    I make a loud mouth of myself >3x/per week over something that concerns me. I’ve largely given up caring whether I’m considered the nicest girl on the block anymore. This isn’t a popularity contest- it is a job and a struggle for deserved equal treatment. The other edge of that sword though, is that I need the approval of my peers to get tenure.

  5. On the positive side, at least we’re talking about the relative frequency of micro-inequities. I actually think it’s quite remarkable how far this topic has come in a single generation.

    On the other hand, the whole concept of micro-inequities seems fairly hard wired into the human condition. It would be nice if we could all see and treat everyone entirely equitably, but I suspect it will take more than another 20 years to make significant progress toward riding the work place of such subtle offenses, particularly if we disagree when they have occurred.

  6. I actually think it’s quite remarkable how far this topic has come in a single generation.

    yes……and no. those of us that remember the lost ERA fight lament a lost opportunity. some of us wonder why this is not over yet and why those that grew up during and post-ERA are often no more enlightened…

  7. Hi,
    I read your post, and walked home with my kids I just picked up from daycare, went into the news agent (we go there frequently, and he knows I work at the university), he asks: “so you do research, he? Like, a thesis?” I say, “no, I just do research”. He: “like, a masters?” Me: “No, I already have my PhD”.

    I am and look all 33 years that I am old. I have two children. It seems more likely that I am a student than a post-doc who works full time.

    He’s a nice guy, and I guess people go by the average numbers they perceive. And it seems that more 33yr old women +kids do a masters rather than a post-doc.
    But, yes, it sucks.

  8. yeah, well, you wimmin are all being oversensitive whiny babies. Men go through shit too. It’s part of the job. We all take our licks. Stick your nose down, keep to your work, and you’ll get rewarded. Do your best. There’s logical ways to deal with micro-situations, don’t over-react. Most micro-situations are your projections anyway, don’t take them personal. It’s business, it’s not personal. No one is out to get you. Stick to the work and you’ll be fine. Be yourself. Be nice. I don’t see what all the damn fuss is about. We need to end poverty. Focus on issues that are important.

    I can haz angry nao? I’m one big fucking micro-inequity magnet. And I’m sick of the shit.

  9. Matthew- The problematic thing about micro-inequities, is that they lead… in the end… to macro-inequities… in pay, in representation of women in higher ranks of academia, … etc etc etc. This is the part that I’m so blue in the face about all the freaking time.

    And yes, I quite agree with Bikemonkey- ‘some of us wonder why this is not over yet and why those that grew up during and post-ERA are often no more enlightened…’

  10. I enjoyed FSP’s post on this, too.

    I know you only asked about women in academia- but the micro stuff happens in industry, too. At my current job, I routinely get asked by people from outside the company if I am my subordinate’s administrative assistant. I take a slightly cruel delight in correcting the vendors who make this mistake.

  11. Oh, and Matthew- while I get your point, I want to throw this out there: I have on occasion been subjected to jaw-dropping, in your face sexism. I have also, as I mentioned, been the recipient of the micro-inequalities DrDrA and FSP discuss. I find the latter to be far more harmful. The jaw-dropping, in your face things are so obviously not about me as an individual that I can let them roll off of me. The micro things pile up and can insidiously make me feel less qualified. I often wonder if this is the root of the impostor syndrome that so many women report. It is not the ones that we notice and can categorize as sexist that are the problem- I can laugh at those. It is the ones that we have internalized all our lives and don’t even recognize that can create problems.

    So really, if I had to pick one- I’d take a few people doing obnoxiously sexist things over a bunch of people making subtly sexist assumptions.

  12. Cloud, I agree with you on the roots of impostor syndrome. Women get interrogated (and mocked) over their “qualifications” all the time.

    I got this yesterday:
    Me: Yes, I have a PhD. I’m a Dr.
    Moron: Pfft.
    Me: Dude, really. I have a PhD in Blahblah.
    Moron: Yeah, where from?
    Me: [I derailed where he wanted this to go] I worked on Blahblah for 10 years, now I’m doing SoSoStuff.
    Moron: They gave you a PhD for doing that?
    Me: Yeah, they hand them out in cute little giftbags with lipsticks and thongs.
    Moron: Hahaha, you’re funny.
    Me: Dr. Funny. Thanks.

    The moron sent all his buddies over “to test me”, ya know “the smart lady” – barrels of monkeys, lemme tell ya. barrels.

    If women aren’t busy defending their credentials, they’re busy downplaying them as to not make the little morons uncomfortable. Their comfort is our priority!!! Rule #1 for Being a Woman! Everyone else comes first.

    A thousand little cuts, with a giant stab here and there. It’s never about us, Cloud… it’s about THEM. We’re collateral damage in their games.

  13. Let’s go to the scorecard shall we?

    drdrA has:
    1) her health
    2) a loving spouse
    3) adorable children
    4) a tenure track faculty position
    5) good people to work for her
    6) her work published in good journals
    7) major federal funding
    8) the support of her chair
    9) the respect of the online community

    Explain again about how all these microinequities dished out by The Man are keeping you down? From where I’m standing, where you are looks a lot like the victory circle.

    If FSP were male I’d call her a whiner. Since I’m trying not to be sexist about it, I’m going to call her a whiner. 🙂

  14. FSP a whiner? What are you, whimple? A dining room table?

    Microinequities wouldn’t bother me much at all if the macroinequities were taken care of. Nothing like finding out you’re paid 20% less than your less qualified male peers to make you all sensitive and whiny and stuff.

    And as I recall, that 20% figure is ballpark for the average pay gap for assistant profs in sciences. Then there’s the space, teaching loads, raises….

  15. whimple- Uh, you are in the love to hate category today:

    Explain again about how all these micro-inequities dished out by The Man are keeping you down? From where I’m standing, where you are looks a lot like the victory circle.

    First- just because a couple of women have what seem to you to be ideal TT existences as described on blogs- doesn’t make it so.

    Second- and this is important, just because a couple of women are seemingly successful enough to be held up as examples, doesn’t make the playing field level for all women. Full stop.

    Third, let’s review- that’s a junior TT faculty position I have, – and as I have discussed at length before- this is where the inequity tends to start … the rank when women become a MINORITY in academics. And, BTW- it took me a FREAKING long time to get here. Longer than my male counterparts? Who knows.

    What I am fortunate to have are some amazing mentors (both men and women) who have this unshakable belief in me that I’m not sure I even have in myself. They have given me confidence in myself- and that is the single most important factor in my struggle to move up in the academic ranks.

    Fourth- you did get one thing right though- my kids are quite adorable. 🙂

  16. Whimple,
    Without a firm objective reference point from which to determine whether a certain female academic has really accomplished her true potential, it’s cannot be clear whether a female academic who has attained a certain position is anywhere near the position she would have obtained had she been male.

    Watson often said of Franklin that, having her own lab and a student and whatnot, she didn’t really have any reason to be terse with her male colleagues. It’s an argument that, in and of itself, acts as a vector for micro-inequities.

    BTW, one sees a similar line of argument frequently peddled by conservatives such as George Will inre race: “Ah,” they say, “Now we have a black president we can put all this old chat about race firmly behind us!”

    These comments coming out at the same time that posters of Obama eating a banana are popping up at rallies and conventions, along with white policemen referring to black academics as “jungle monkeys”.

  17. From the topics I have been reading over the past six months (not to mention this conversation) it obvious that the woman in science are speaking out! The salary disparity needs to go away in a hurry.

  18. Dudes blither on about finding female Einsteins. How about male Curies? Until a dude pinches out a Nobel AND a daughter with a Nobel, I’m unimpressed with *their* goalposts of greatness.

    whimple: I puke on your shoes.

  19. DrDrA,
    I hear what you’re saying and I’m not defending micro-inequities. I’m not sure I believe they will lead to macro-inequities, but I still think it’s worth talking about them. More education and more awareness will only help. The macro/micro distinction strikes me as fundamentally different problems. Maybe I’m wrong though.

    “how frequently do you think you get hit with these micro-inequities? Guys?”

    I’m not sure I would classify this as an inequity, but for a time during graduate school my lab was comprised primarily of women. I don’t have any complaints about it, but there was something of a girls club mentality at times, and I was not a part of it. I don’t think there was anything sexist about it. I just attributed it the dynamics of that particular lab.

    Cloud,
    Again, I’m not defending any sort of sex based inequity. None of it should happen. You make a good point about the difficulty of recognizing micro-inequities, though I hope you don’t have to pick between the two.

  20. matthew- I know you weren’t defending inequalities. I was just throwing out a perspective that maybe you hadn’t thought of. Sometimes the little things are actually worse than the big things, because the little things make you doubt yourself.

    Sadly, I don’t get any say at all in what types of inequalities I face. All I can control is how I respond to the ones I run into. And I can try to improve things so that my daughter will have an easier time of it.

    I’ll also say that while I have run into problems at various stages of my career, there have also been some senior men (because in my field, the senior folks are almost always men) who have made conscious efforts to encourage me. So I think you are right that things are improving.

    jc- back when I was younger and single and used to actually go out on the weekends, my “go to” method for getting rid of jerks in bars was to let it drop that I have a PhD (or, when I was even younger- that I was working on one). It usually worked really well and the guy would find a reason to go away. I did have one guy who wouldn’t believe me. In that case, my method failed miserably, and I was stuck in a very surreal conversation until my friend came back from the bathroom and we could make our escape.

    Thankfully, I eventually met and married a man who is not at all bothered by my status as a PhD. (And no, I didn’t meet him in a bar.) It was enlightening to see how many man were bothered, though.

  21. Matthew, what I think you’re missing is the INSTITUTIONALIZED SYSTEMIC marginalism and discrimination against women by the men in power. It’s a damn cancer and it’s COMPOUNDING. The chances of the women in your lab getting a faculty job and tenure, holding an administrative position, getting the big-ass grants, etc., are SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER than your chance, irregardless of funding, publications, awards, etc. **Men benefit from male privilege with every breath they take.** The benefit is extended by both men AND women who are all fed from birth a pill that sustains the Men Are Important and are the Center of the Universe chorus. When women occupy any position, from having a tenure-track professorship, to Supreme Court justice, to being a CEO, the CREDENTIALS of women are questioned and dismissed constantly because the patriarchical system is set up for women to fail and for men to be successful. According to the men, something (like affirmative action or some other back door “reach-around-qualifications” program) HAD to have happened for her to gain a powerful position instead of a man, any man!, even the most incompetent of schmucks.

    Each of the micro-inequities add up to 1) how many women run Fortune 500 companies? not many. 2) how many women university presidents? not many. 3) how many women world leaders? not many. and on and on. Micro becomes macro within a system and the inequities lead to even greater acceptance that Men Are Better, SEE!!!!!!! Women can’t handle those jobs, SEE!!!!!! She’s not qualified to do the traditionally-male job in the traditionally-male way, SEE!!!! and that’s how it becomes a vicious systematic cycle where it is completely acceptable and common to treat every woman as “lesser” than every man. It also becomes easier to find more reasons to not to elect women, not to hire women, not to nominate women because men can think of ONE WOMAN who was incompetent, who couldn’t do the job well, who got pregnant how dare she, etc. If we held the same singleton standards to electing presidents, George Bush would be the best reason bar none for never electing men to President again.

    Women have just surpassed 50% for BS, MS, and PhD graduates last year. All positions of NO POWER. Men are in higher numbers at faculty and administrative levels. All positions of POWER. The transition is between student to postdoc to faculty where the greatest levels of discrimination happen because of the power gain and who is doing the hiring (men). The turbo-boost button on the PhD kicks in for males at the steps after the lackey stages of studentslavery.

    Ask the women in your lab, Matthew, what they hope to do with their PhD, and 10 years down the road, I guarantee you, most of them will not being doing it. They know the chances aren’t good for them, they can clearly see very few women professors and researchers around them. Ask the men what they want for a career. The chances are much higher for men to be doing what they aimed for. Check the Chronicle’s page for faculty disparity in pay between men and women. It’s running about 10-20% less for women doing the same job as men. Institutionalized systematic discrimination at work. That’s less money the university is contributing to retirement plans of women, less money for women in across the board % annual raises, less money to negotiate other offers with for women. Less space, more service, more teaching for women. Compounding crap.

    The power-grab used to be for professor positions in colleges and universities at all levels, then for chair and endowed positions, now for research positions at big schools with big bucks so it now involves grant-agencies and the discrimination that goes along with that viciou$ cycle. There are more ways/excuses/compounded issues to narrow out women at the higher power levels. This is why women are making gains at the professor and administrative levels at the smaller power levels (colleges, small universities). Discrimination against women has to STOP taking place at multiple places (faculty, administration, government grant agencies, journal boards, award boards) for any gains to be made, and of course, men are in charge and have to support these efforts. Not holding MY breath.

  22. jc,
    I can’t help but get the feeling you’re shouting.
    I’m not missing anything. I get it. Again, I’m not defending, excusing or diminishing mistreatment or marginalization of women in any way and I have no complaints about my own graduate lab. DrDrA asked about males who may experience micro-inequity and that’s the only thing that came to mind. As I said before, I’m not sure I would even call it inequity. But, I may have seen things differently if I were the only female in a lab of men. Actually, the tables did flip pretty soon after the senior females graduated. When that happened, we made a concerted effort to hire more females. It’s hard to imagine that conversation would have ever taken place if it were a hostile patriarchal culture.

    You seem to be painting men with a pretty broad brush there. All of the women I know in senior positions in industry and academic research (and I know and work with many of them) seem to have risen on their own merit and I’ve never heard any colleague indicate otherwise. They are brilliant scientists period.

    Lastly, we’ve discussed this topic here before, but I am largely unconvinced of the “institutionalized sexism leads to a leaky pipeline hypothesis.” That’s not to say that it’s wrong… I’m just not entirely convinced that it is still a major contributor. Most CEOs, senior faculty, world leaders, and university presidents were educated when there was a real gender discrimination problem. I have a feeling that there is a cohort effect that combines with a cultural norm of female child rearing (just to clarify, I’m stating an observation not a judgment… so don’t put words in my mouth here. I don’t care who has or raises any children) which leads to an apparent disparity in salary and positions held at senior positions.

    Check out the 2008 salary survey from the scientist, the numbers are all over the place, and I agree that a few of the categories are disturbing, but it’s certainly not overwhelmingly biased against women:
    http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/9/1/44/100/

  23. —I can’t help but get the feeling you’re shouting.—
    I’m not shouting Matthew. Using CAPS is easier for me to read and edit than the html codes for bold and italics which I screw up anyway.

    —It’s hard to imagine that conversation would have ever taken place if it were a hostile patriarchal culture.—
    There has been a good deal of pre-college work reaffirming that women can haz scienz 2! At the power levels of academia and corporations, hiring more women is just the tip of the iceberg. Were they given decent lab space, were they given prestigious awards, were the service activities piled on them, was there an unwritten rule against taking maternity leave, how did their startups stack against the men’s, are there differences in funding $$$??? Most discrimination is the 99% of the iceberg you don’t see. It’s the 1000 little cuts that reinforces women are not equal to men holding the same exact job position.

    —Most CEOs, senior faculty, world leaders, and university presidents were educated when there was a real gender discrimination problem.—
    What is a FAKE gender discrimination problem????

    —but it’s certainly not overwhelmingly biased against women—
    The Chronicle has the breakdown by every university across each level (lect, asst, assc, full) and it clearly shows INSTITUTIONALIZED acceptable discrimination. It’s not “sins of the fathers” when discrimination against women is happening at the asst prof level in 2008 across so many research universities (power grab central) but the pay disparity has nearly bottomed out at the small colleges (not power grab central) on all levels (asst/assc/full). When more power at stake, there’s more discrimination against women by the men. Less power at stake, less stuff for men to power grab over and assert their privilege over. http://chronicle.com/stats/aaup/

    From Virginia Valian’s “Why So Slow?” book: page 234 talks about what I was saying 10 years down the road for the women in the lab with you. Virginia studied NSF and NRC postdoc fellows over 30 years (1952-1986). The women with the prestigious fellowships were less successful than the men, many women were almost a full rank behind their male peers. **Also for women, the more prestigious their institution, the lower their rank**; for men there was no relation. The number of women at the asst and assc prof levels is inflated by women who should have higher ranks, so the sheer numbers and percentages are not an accurate reflection of what’s happening today with hiring (page 235). The measures of success used for tenure and promotions benefit men: quantity of publications predicts male success better than female success. However, the citation rate (quality measure) of women’s papers is much higher than men’s (who are cited 60-98% of female authored papers). (page 264) This is what I mean when I say that men are set up to succeed by the men in charge using hiring and promotion criteria that benefit men, not women.

    DSKS, I’m still trying to find the articles I read a few weeks ago about how companies with women Fortune 500 CEOs are doing better than the asshole CEO Cos. making the obscene salaries with bailout money. Women fund managers were also doing better, so I went through my 401k options to find women managers – uh, none. 30 options, all dudes. sigh.

  24. “There has been a good deal of pre-college work reaffirming that women can haz scienz 2! At the power levels of academia and corporations, hiring more women is just the tip of the iceberg.” I don’t know why you seem convinced that my lab was somehow discriminatory towards women. And, I’m not sure what “women can haz scienz 2” means, but I said nothing about the ability of females to do good science. I was just making the point that my lab consciously chose to correct a gender imbalance in the lab when there happened to be more men than women. That’s it.

    “What is a FAKE gender discrimination problem???? ”
    ‘Real’ isn’t necessarily the opposite of ‘fake.’ Maybe I should have said ‘substantial’ or “macro-inequity.”

    You make a good point with the chronicle numbers. There does seem to be a consistent disparity in salary at the associate level. I am troubled by that. Although, I’m not sure this statement is warranted, “When more power at stake, there’s more discrimination against women by the men. Less power at stake, less stuff for men to power grab over and assert their privilege over.” That might be how you see it, but that doesn’t make it so. Not all men “power grab” or “assert their privilege.”

    I’m not sure what to make of the publications vs citations thing… you’re saying that women publish less frequently, but they’re more frequently cited… I can’t figure out why that would be.

  25. … I just read your response to DSKS… you’re really choosing your mutual fund based on the manager’s gender? Just a thought experiment here, suppose for a minute that the data you read was reversed. Would screen out females if they statistically did worse than male managers? Just curious.

  26. Not all men “power grab” or “assert their privilege.”

    Yeah but lots of ’em do and whadayaknow? Those are the ones that are most successful by traditional measures and have the power to arrange the world to suit them and their type.

    you’re saying that women publish less frequently, but they’re more frequently cited… I can’t figure out why that would be.

    c’mon lab partner, try to keep up. perhaps because they publish papers that their scientific peers find to be more important to their own work and therefore cite?

  27. The measures of success used for tenure and promotions benefit men: quantity of publications predicts male success better than female success. However, the citation rate (quality measure) of women’s papers is much higher than men’s (who are cited 60-98% of female authored papers). (page 264) This is what I mean when I say that men are set up to succeed by the men in charge using hiring and promotion criteria that benefit men, not women.

    Leaving aside the manifest deficiencies of the policy, the number of papers tends to be used for promotion/tenure decisions because this is immediately scoreable, whereas number of citations takes time to accumulate (time an untenured professor does not have). The women are, of course, aware that number of papers is what counts for promotion and tenure rather than quality (citations), so why don’t they simply publish more? I ask as one of the people (non-women) who publishes less, but tries to publish better. I’m aware of the self-destructiveness of this attitude and I don’t care. I would rather do something genuinely meaningful and get fired than “study for the test” by getting on the hamster wheel of publishing lots of garbage just to stay on the wheel.

    What is the alternative? Pretend for a moment the women are setting the rules for promotion and tenure. How would these criteria be different, in practical terms?

    The number of women at the asst and assc prof levels is inflated by women who should have higher ranks
    Only true for associate professors. There can’t be a build-up of assistant professors because assistant professors are ritualistically killed rather than simply being delayed in promotion.

  28. “Yeah but lots of ‘em do and whadayaknow? Those are the ones that are most successful by traditional measures and have the power to arrange the world to suit them and their type.”

    That seems very paranoid. Maybe you’re right, but I’ll take it on a case by case basis. I’d rather not assume that successful people got to where they are based on their race and gender or that they are maligning to keep “their type” in place. I’m sure those people exist, and I’m sure I’ve met some of them, but I prefer not to lump people into groups like that.

    “c’mon lab partner, try to keep up. perhaps because they publish papers that their scientific peers find to be more important to their own work and therefore cite?”

    Thanks BM, but I made it that far on my own. I’m trying to rationalize why the presence or absence of a Y chromosome would in any way be statistically related to the frequency of publications and citations. If both numbers were low for females, then I might attribute it to the institutionalized sexism argument. And, I don’t believe there is a biological argument here, so I’m still thinking it over. Maybe just the reviewers are sexist?

  29. Why do women publish less quantity but better quality?

    I think one reason might be that we’re forced to publish better quality, so there’s less time for quantity.

    I once received an incredibly dismissive paper review that included comments just short of telling me not to worry my pretty little head about the topic I was addressing. I’ll never really know if it was sexism or an anti-industry bias that caused that reviewer to dismiss a paper he had clearly barely read, but my instinct at the time was that it was sexism.

    I revised the paper and submitted (and published) elsewhere. I still get reprint requests for that paper. I’m enough of a grown up to admit that the paper was better after the revisions, but I think it was publishable in its original form.

    The revisions took time. And by god, the next paper I submitted was vetted even more carefully before it went out. These things add up.

  30. whimple, a solution isn’t for women to be more like the men, good grief. Men in my field and others publish piddly pieces of crap for every thought in their skulls. Their CVs are what I call “THE PADDED BROs.” You stick my name on your paper in JShit, and I’ll stick your name on my paper in JShittier, mmmkay buddy old pal? Think about all the useless radio and teevee d00ds that just luvvve to hear themselves blither on and on, and they write worthless books about what they think are monumental revelations about huMAN nature. It’s a terrible idea for women to pollute the world with shit, just like the menz do! A woman can’t pretend she’s a d00d and reap the rewards for d00dliness either, it just doesn’t work that way, unless you consider Ann Coulter to be a successful d00d. Publish total shit, get filthy rich, master dickwaving (or in Dr Crazy’s case, dickslapping the d00ds), or die trying, bitchez!? This is why most men fail to be good mentors for women, even though I don’t believe most intend that. I think men attribute success for their efforts to 100% hard work (maybe a sprinkle of luck), rather than realize and admit the role of their male privilege.

    Matthew, the problem isn’t getting women into science in many fields anymore (which starts pre-college), it’s keeping them in science after graduate school. Men let women in when there’s no power games at hand, when the men can take credit for her work, and she’s not a threat to their club and status quo. The steep dropoffs for women are during postdoc, during instructor/lecturer, and during asst prof. The women don’t make it that far to go: Hmph, I don’t really like working on Cool Shit anymore, I think I’ll stomp grapes. They get fed up and worn out from fighting the same battles day in, day out. In grad school, many women are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It wears off quickly.

    Women patch up the 1000 little cuts while men bask in the 1000 little pats on the back. It’s micro-inequity in both directions. The take home story of the Why So Slow? book isn’t just that the progress for women is slow, but the progress for men is fast-tracked. Men are overrated, women are underrated. Men have lower bars, women have to clear higher bars. Fem Law Profs has a good rundown of the “where are the women?” files for law. The same patterns hold up for many fields where journals, invited speakers and authors, special meeting sessions, committees, and journal boards are composed of nearly all men. http://feministlawprofessors.com/?cat=50

    I do vote for women board members on the funds I own and with my credit union elections. I know how hard the women worked to even be on the ballot. The only women fund managers I’ve come across are Anne Sapp (TIAA), Gloria Fu (JPMorgan, loaded funds), and Melissa Reilly (Fidelity) after scanning alot of funds that aren’t available to me. It might take digging around smaller brokerages.
    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/05/03/the_female_advantage/

  31. “I’m not sure what to make of the publications vs citations thing… you’re saying that women publish less frequently, but they’re more frequently cited… I can’t figure out why that would be.”

    I could see how the stats would bear that out as a result of artificial selection by a disproportionally hostile environment towards women.

    But then, other variables could just as easily be in play, especially considering that the correlation between citations and what could be qualified as ‘good science’ is not straightforward. It may also be that in addition to selection, micro/macro-inequities might direct women into trendier areas of science in order to offset the gross effects of the gender disadvantage as much as possible.

  32. Cloud and DSKS,
    Cloud’s explanation makes most sense to me. I understand how the publication rate might be diminished, but shouldn’t the citation rate also be artificially low? I wonder if it is lower within a given journal. Do females have a harder time publishing in higher journals? Maybe reviewers do tend to be more sexist than the general scientific community.

    jc,
    “Men let women in when there’s no power games at hand, when the men can take credit for her work, and she’s not a threat to their club and status quo.”

    “Men are overrated, women are underrated. Men have lower bars, women have to clear higher bars.”

    Some men… some women. How is this any different from statements like, “she probably got to where she is through some affirmative action program.” I just don’t see this type of group thinking as helpful. The behavior is bad, not the position, not the gender. It’s not bad to be successful, it’s bad to be a chauvinist. Isn’t the goal to create a world where people are evaluated on their actions and accomplishments and not their gender and race?

    And, even though you didn’t answer, I take it you would not remove mutual funds from your portfolio that are managed by women if the stats were reversed.

    I have another question. Those females that do manage to climb their way into powerful, successful occupations, are they “power-grabbers” too? Did they stab the other females in the back on their way to the top too?

  33. Matthew,
    Absolutely women power grab, but the men can always grab the power back. Case in point, doubledoc posted about the ousted woman Texas president. The numbers of women at the power levels show you that men are still in control of the situation though a woman may sit at the top.

    There are gender studies of journal submissions/acceptance rates happening all over the place. Animal Behaviour did a double-blind setup a few years ago, and papers by more women authors were submitted and more got accepted. Keep in mind, those same reviewers of journal articles who, with female-y names attached rate lower but without names rate higher, are Professors, Grant Reviewers, etc who aren’t being called out for their biases! Double-blind takes out pedigree, who knows who, and racial influences. Don’t think for one minute the sexist reviewers only take women apart on paper but not in the hallways or seminars. While the double blind showed an increase in acceptance of women’s papers, it went down for men. OH NOES!!!DOOM!!! Group thinking is TOTALLY helpful… TO THE INGROUP! It’s got a name: Boys Club. There’s no penalty for being chauvinist on men. The penalty is ON WOMEN. Women are responsible for their own behavior and the behavior of the men behaving badly around them. When women bring up a bad behavior, the women get penalized for speaking up, how dare she. She becomes their problem, shoot the messenger. Derailing 101.

    Case in point: I walked into the lab a few months ago. Poster chick pinup ON THE WALL. Uh, NOT OK. I took it down, sent an email to my boss saying that more women would be nice in the lab, NOT ON THE WALL. He wrote back saying that I was being judgmental. DAMN STRAIGHT. I’m judging that to be sexist and it’s unacceptable, period! The d00d who hung it up judged the place to be perfect for display of his pukeworthy shit. My boss’ view is that the poster wasn’t stabbing anyone in the skull, no harm done and no harm was meant by it. WTF! Guess who’s the whiny bitch? That would be me, the feminist who finds things to get pissed about.

    There’s plenty of older women who “pull up the ladder” on younger women. It’s not a big problem in my field because there’s so few older women at the R1 schools. Most of the older women are at smaller schools or in government. There’s an older “pull the ladder up” woman at my digs, she’s not a favorite of the women faculty I talk to. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for her, but sadly, she’s doesn’t do the women in the current pipeline any favors by recreating her hell for them thinking it will toughen them up. One of those new rockstar female profs wants to stomp grapes. I might stuff myself in her suitcase!

    If I could pick funds with women, I would. Of my current 30 options, no women. NONE. I can’t statistically test female fund performance vs male because I only found THREE women of about 100 dudes for funds that aren’t available to me with TIAA and Fidelity! I don’t read business journals, but I can look around – I bet gender studies have been done.

  34. “Case in point: I walked into the lab a few months ago. Poster chick pinup ON THE WALL.”

    Nice. The only curves we’re allowed to have on our walls are the ones with an EC50.

    (I’m here all week.)

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