Admitting You Haven’t the First Clue…

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September 29, 2014 by jeliwobble

I have a wonderful friend who is a philosophy professor in a local University/college. I follow her on Facebook because she’s an intensely interesting person, as is her eldest daughter, and her Middlie is my Middlie’s best friend, so it’s nice to keep up to date with them as a family, if we don’t get to catch up as often as we’d like while out and about.

Some of her feed is, indeed, family orientated cool stuff, the kind that makes my heart happy when I see it, family photos, snippets of what babies have said, proud mama moments.

Some of her feed is about her favourite thing to do, which is climbing very tall mountains. I am in awe of this. All of it! I have read her book as well and remain truly in awe.

However, quite a bit of her feed is devoted to something that is pretty close to her heart, something which I am constantly befuddled by. Apparently, as a female in the world of philosophy, unless you submit to the ‘casting couch’ of your senior male professors, you are unlikely to make it.

I am gob-smacked by almost all of what I read on her feed on the subject, but most of all I freely admit I haven’t got a clue. It is so far from my experience in the scientific world, the idea that I would have to sleep with my project supervisor in order for him to look on me favourably and give me a good grade, or be marked down for not being a ‘good girl’ and doing as I was instructed. Yet in philosophy circles this has been an endemic practice that has been swept under the carpet. Science has its fair share of misogynists and misogynistic practices, don’t get me wrong, but we don’t *have* to sleep with professors for good grades.

When I factor in that the US collegiate system is currently having to deal with rooting out the also endemic practice of not investigating sexual assault on campus, is it any wonder I really don’t want Eldest going to a US college?

I don’t want her to actually have the first clue on what my friend is talking about.


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