Sunday, November 08, 2009

Men and women in academia

In my experience, universities are populated with manly women and womanly men. I won't claim that academia is a matriarchy, but it might easily reach that point. It seems to attract men who lack the masculinity to compete in other fields. Perhaps aggressive women are drawn to the power vacuum or to the leftist culture.

Many of these women are tough as nails. If they had been running the universities in the Sixties and the student protesters had been, say, neo-Nazis, there would have been a hell of a lot more than four dead at Kent State.  


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of what my stepdad once said about being a local bank manager, "It is a good job for a woman." That is a woman would have to be reasonably competent to do that job and he would have some respect for her ability, tenacity, and work ethic. However, it would be a lame job for a man. If he were in that position too long without a promotion one would start to wonder if he really had his act together or not.

Similar is nursing. I think we appreciate female nurses and are suspicious of male nurses.

Anonymous said...

One of the first comments I made upon getting a university job was that masculinity is pathologized.


Anonymous said...

The same thing is true of men in earlier education, public or private, elementary, intermediate, or secondary.

I have known a few what I'd term "masculine" men in secondary ed, and I do believe it's important for the field to attract more such men (not going to happen, though). I had a great sixth grade male teacher, a manly man I might add, one who pushed us in science, but having been in the field for years, I can tell you that most of the men are very passive sorts and very prone to political correctness and submission. However, the whole field is full of such people.

Anonymous said...

Congratualtions, you've all just proved you've never been to graduate school.

The competition for the tiny number of tenure-track positions is fierce. Everyone who gets there has put in some soul crushing hours of work, screwed rivals, and sucked off professors.

Black Sea said...

I'm not sure that sucking people off is a particularly masculine trait. (Am I allowed to say this?)

Anonymous said...


Ruminating about the sad state of things in our universities, in particular the lib, pc ideas held by profs and administrators, I started thinking back to the group of high school kids I taught during the Reagan years.

Ashamedly, I tell you that I myself was a raging lib then (hanging my head in shame). My colleagues and I were astounded at the conservative political beliefs of our students, who revered, absolutely loved Reagan. It was during this time I first heard of Rush Limbaugh, as several kids in my classes were fans. They actually listened to him in the summer. In fact, at the end of the year, I was given a gift by two girls of Rush's bio or autobio (don't remember because I never read it.)

The whole thing was very confusing to me and to most of the other teachers who were libs as well. We kept thinking that those so young would be, should be liberal. Then we realized that these kids were probably reacting against the ideas of their parents or their grandparents.

To give you an idea of the demographics, the high school was in a town in Northern CA, Bay Area. The kids came from blue collar working class families, from modest white collar families, while a few, of course, came from those who were fairly affluent professionals, the kids of the town's doctors and lawyers.

If I take the middle of the Reagan years as '85, I figure these kids (sophomores to seniors when I knew them) would now be 39-42, old enough to be frequent voters, to be established in their field of choice, but not old enough to occupy positions of real authority if they are part of the higher education system.

True, I've no way of knowing if my students were that representative of those their age across the country, (I think they were, however), and I've no way of knowing if their political instincts have remained the same as they've aged, married, had kids, etc.(but usually we grow more conservative as we build families), but it does give me hope that there may exist out there a generation of Americans who have not yet had their shot at power, but that they ARE there, awaiting their turn.

Do you think I have reason for hope?

Anonymous said...

"universities are populated with manly women and womanly men."

Try this experiment. Go to and limit your search to PhD's. Look at the disproportionate manly features on these straight women. Protruding chins, brow ridges, square jaws, and just an overrall manly look. I noticed this years ago.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at this: conflict at Columbia---black male prof punches female prof