• anonymous woman

I have a true story about how endeavors aimed at offsetting the injustice and discrimination faced by women in the workplace are used to reinforce them and put women back in their subordinate place with the help of gender identity ideology.

A few years ago, a non-academic member of staff at my uni transitioned to become a "woman" (in their own words, not a transwoman, but a woman). They -- let's call them R -- were about 50 years old, heterosexual, married, male-presenting for all these years: an average straight white man by all aspects who never encountered sexism, sexual harassment, objectification, or the pay gap after child birth...

On the day they announced they were now a "woman" (dress and make up were all it took) everyone, including me, cheered and congratulated them, used preferred pronouns, new name, never deadnamed ...

Two years later, the university paid for R to participate in a "female leaders in academia" workshop. This workshop is both expensive and difficult to get into (few places, applications are judged based on merit). But R, who was not even an academic, got sent to this workshop, amongst amazing female professors and researchers in male-dominated areas.

Just picture this:

A non academic male with no particular achievement, who has NEVER been subjected to sexism and misogyny, taking the place of a female academic who had struggled all her life against a sexist culture in STEM, less promoted, less paid, less trusted, less listened to, less celebrated because she is female, maybe encouraged to work part-time after the birth of her child.... Experiences R would never know as a straight, white male for 50 years.

What on earth could R have shared, of the hardship, experience and frustration of these women? What on earth could they have contributed to in this workshop?

But it gets worse: R was sent back to this workshop the following year, as a mentor!

And as a mentor, R got to tell brilliant, intelligent, successful (but not as much as they would have been if they were born male) women what sexism in the work place looks like and how it can be overcome.

By the magic of gender, a mediocre male got to dominate a "female leaders in STEM" workshop and tell brilliant women what it is like to be a woman in a male-dominated world.


#unitedkingdom #academia #university #womeninleadership #womeninacademia #leaders