I’ve been struggling really hard to get writing done lately. That is at least in part because I have too many projects to think about and I’m having a hard time with focus. It’s also because some of the projects I’m working on matter so much to me that it’s hard to think clearly. I’m returning to Get a Life, PhD, which was a space that helped me a lot when I was a graduate student and pre-tenure. I especially like the ground rules post. I’m beginning with some time off to re-set, and then I’ll see about setting some of my own ground rules.
… means caring for animals. H/T to the DAR Facebook page of sharing this; I’d never heard this history before. Here’s an excerpt, with the link at the bottom.
These Extraordinary Women Spoke Up For Animals When No One Else Would
In the late 1800s, the treatment of animals was not a topic of concern or conversation. Animals were considered utilitarian, and consequently, inhumane treatment was commonplace. But a small group of extraordinary women, led by Caroline Earle White, raised their voices to fight animal cruelty in the most profound ways. The historic impact they made continues to this day through the work of the Women’s Humane Society.
Initially, it was the mistreatment of carriage horses in Philadelphia (e.g. drivers beating their exhausted and malnourished charges) that spurred Caroline, a devoted humanitarian and highly educated woman from a prominent family of abolitionists and suffragists, to go on a passionate crusade to improve conditions for all animals. …
This idea is not new, but this article is a pretty good explanation of–and gives a name to–this phenomenon where women dare to exist in public spaces: Patriarchy Chicken. The idea is that women don’t leap out of men’s way when moving around in public.
The first time I read about this practice, I will admit that I snickered. I was pretty sure that I had not, in fact, spent my life privileging men’s space in public. Then I went to work: parked my car and walked the half mile across campus to my office. I consciously did not alter my pace or trajectory for those around me, and I counted 0 women, 0 non-binary folks, and 7 men who were explicitly taken aback by this. And, for my part, it was hard not to move out of the way. So now, I play Patriarchy Chicken.
This semester I decided to try to hold Thursdays and Fridays sacred and let them be writing days. Today was the first Thursday of the semester and here is what I did:
- Provided feedback on Master’s capstone projects
- Provided feedback on a PhD candidate’s job talk
- Provided feedback to a student applying to the PhD program on their materials
- Reviewed 3 PhD applications
- Responded to half a dozen email queries from undergraduate students
- Arranged to give a talk on campus
- Completed training for online teaching
- Wrote two reference letters
- Reviewed and discussed course scheduling for the fall
I did not do ANY of my own writing, and my inbox is still full. I feel like I could scream and I don’t know how I’m supposed to do all the things. This weekend’s mission: Search for new time-management strategies. Brutal ones.
From Amanda Phillips, one of the editors:
A special issue of Game Studies, “Queerness and Video Games,”
is now out! This has been many years in the making. It is the largest issue in the history of Game Studies, and is a particularly meaningful accomplishment in the context of a journal that founded itself partly in opposition to the “colonizing attempts” of disciplines like film studies and English (and, if you read a bit more widely, the unmentioned specter of feminist studies) invading the territory of video games with their own political agendas.
This is just a short rant. The midterm elections are over, but those last few days leading up to the election were filled with editorial content encouraging people to vote for women candidates based on the following logic: “She’s not perfect, but the person running against her is awful” or “She’s not perfect, but no one is.” The following is one example, from a profanity-laced River Front Times column that I’m not linking:
“Maybe you don’t really like Claire McCaskill. That’s fine. Is she perfect? Nope, she isn’t. And sometimes she’s downright infuriating, too.”
This rhetorical move is annoying and sexist. I haven’t seen a single story about how we should vote for a man even thought he “isn’t perfect.” Perfection is an impossible standard. We have historically held women to impossible standards, but it’s time to stop making the standards different for men and women. So, I’m committing to never ever describing a woman candidate for any political office as “not perfect.” “Not perfect” is too often code for, “I know you’d rather she were in the kitchen, but … .” No. I’m not making these sorts of concessions. If I’ve got something to say, I’ll voice my specific concern. Beyond that, no empty commentary on the perfection or lack thereof of female candidates. Starting now.