Protecting abusive academic men because of their ‘genius’ must stop

feminist academic collective

Jemima Repo

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In the last two weeks, we have seen gender, higher education and celebrity revolving around one issue our news feeds. No, I am not referring to Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s appointment as Visiting Professor at the LSE, but rather the series of revelations relating to violence against women in academia and the celebrity-verse. First, on 20th May, Buzzfeed broke the story about two allegations against renowned Yale professor Thomas Pogge for sexual misconduct. Then, on 28th May, global news outlets reported that the Los Angeles Superior Court had issued Johnny Depp with a restraining order in response to his wife Amber Heard’s evidence of a history of domestic violence during their relationship. Finally, on 30th May, one of the world’s best-known feminist scholars, Sara Ahmed, resigned from her professorship at Goldsmiths University due to the institution’s failure to tackle sexual harassment. Brought side by side, three…

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Equality Credentials

“Equality is not a credential.”
“…to work toward an inclusive institution is to listen to those for whom the institution is not inclusive.”
-Sarah Ahmed, formerly of Goldsmith’s University

Standing in solidarity.

feministkilljoys

I resigned from my post at Goldsmiths when I got to a point that I felt I could do more by leaving than by staying. I thought leaving as an action would speak louder than words, and I had been using a lot of words.  A diversity practitioner I once interviewed talked about how we have to use words more, the more we don’t get through. Words become tired; bodies too. She spoke of “equity fatigue.” The more you say the “equity,” the less the word can do. I keep sending out emails, talking to people about sexual harassment. I could sense tiredness around me, eyes rolling again.

As I noted in my previous post, for over three years I have been working with a dedicated team of students and staff on how to get the problem of sexual harassment taken more seriously. The more I worked on the problem, the more…

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Mother-friendly conference organising: an experiment

Feminist Philosophers

To see how far we could get with small fixes — improving the aspects of academic conferences that are pretty easy to change — I organized an experimental conference along with June Gruber, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder (and a fellow academic mom). The conference, held at the University of California Berkeley earlier this month, brought together an outstanding group of speakers using the latest psychological work to challenge misconceptions about the mind — from the idea that pursuing happiness is a good way to achieve it, to the idea that babies are born racist. We called the conference the Misconceptions of the Mind Conference: MoMiCon 2016. And we didn’t just invite the mommies: We invited the babies.

For more, go here.

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The Identification of the Project

After mulling about aimlessly for what seems a lifetime, I embark on this project with no shortage of trepidation.  After all, some blogs I have read bleed more narcissism than I can bear.  I pray this won’t simply be another useless addition to the prevailing displays of self-importance in cyberspace.

Rather, I’d like to discover whether or not there are any other disabled mothers in academia who have struggled as I have, learn from them and share what I have learned.

This blog is my feeble attempt to connect with the world of thinker-mothers and disabled academics.  I hope we can help one another.