i would pay money to see selectively edited bits of professor’s lives as long as they showed what one commenter called the ‘pit of vipers’ nature of the beast.
coming to a tv near you soon: Alternate Academic Reality
another interesting article from Inside Higher Ed, this time linda hirshman stirring the pot: Is Your Husband a Worse Problem Than Larry Summers? larry summers is the politically incorrect former head of harvard. it’s hirshman’s argument that because of the drag most men are to women, who have to plan and run the household around them, men basically get a boost so they can focus solely on their careers whereas women’s attentions (and energies) are always divided. thus sapped, women have a hard time making their rightful mark in their careers.
this is totally true in hollywood, where women are supposed to look good and work behind the scenes. witness the glut of female producers, who are all too happy to enter into platonic “marriages” with the brilliant young men whose work they always seem to produce. (as opposed to producing the work of equally talented women.) work life and home life are unbelievably vexed in hollywood.
yet women can’t seem to demand that their husbands step up to the plate to share the housework, or so hirshman alleges. i think what’s missing is that most men don’t do the emotional heavy lifting. what woman hasn’t had the disturbing feeling that if she didn’t tend to the relationship, it wouldn’t exist?
and academic women, especially self-describied feminists? are they any better? i think a lot of so-called academic feminists have a very elitist and frankly annoying idea of what feminism is. i remember i went to a party at a friend’s and she had invited her colleagues from work. now, she teaches at a major research university in the english and women’s studies departments. i recall her women’s studies/english colleagues were talking about what schools they send their kids to. one professor said she sent her kid to a wonderful charter school that a bunch of enterprising “stay at home mommies” had put together. i forget exactly what her words were but i know she spoke of them disparagingly, managing to denigrate the “free time” on their non-outside the home working hands and praising the school the same women had built FROM FUCKING SCRATCH so her kid could attend and not have to do the politically embarraassing thing of going to a private school she couldn’t afford.
i remember feeling so much rage at her dismissiveness. apparently the work of setting up a charter school was not work, but vaguely hobbyistic.
what a fucking hypocrite, i remember thinking. later i let this woman know that i straddle the Stay At Home/Work at Home divide because i’m an indie filmmaker and writer. so i know full well that my worth is not what can be measured in dolllars but at the same time i’m not interested in being known for my needlepoint. she seemed chastened and backed down from what a lot of what she’d said earlier when she thought i was an academic too.
so. my impression of academic feminists isn’t the most pleasant one. and i don’t think their kids are the most well-brought up either–in fact, a lot of them are total disasters…academically, socially, careerwise, etc.
obviously as a faculty brat myself, i think we tend to get more than our share of neuroses. and i think we can turn out brilliantly as well.