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should i say something

(5 Posts)
anoldcharterorsomething Tue 31-Oct-17 11:18:08

Hello all, I'm after some reasoned perspective on an issue at work that I'm 90% certain i'm going to respond to although I feel like others feel i'm making a mountain out of a molehill and I'd like views from others...

I work in academia and until recently (he has just retired) under a well respected professor, I am one of 4 post doc researchers (all female) who would frequently attended a European network of other researchers and present work, collaborate on papers etc.

Anyway, to the issue - this network has just circulated a celebratory overview of this professor and many of the people in the network are commenting on how great he was blah, blah, blah. One response to this email has really pissed me off, a male colleague has said something along the lines of how it brings back fond memories of this professor and his "girls" - I'm fuming and want to reply saying don't you mean Drs X Y Z etc, but the response i'm getting from the other post docs (i.e. the girls) is not to upset people in the network and not make an issue of it etc etc. My line is no, its this idea of not upsetting males and that "oh they probably didn't mean any offence by it" crap that just perpetuates this blatant misogyny - but wise MNetters, what say you??

Am i over-reacting or should i pull him up on this? angry

FurryGiraffe Tue 31-Oct-17 11:55:45

Also an academic. Personally I’d pull him up on it. As you say, we’ll never stamp out this misogynistic nonsense if we worry about offending men by politely pointing out they’re being misogynistic.

hingedspeculum Tue 31-Oct-17 11:58:52

It is a sexist, stereotypical trope; the professor and his harem of younger, impressionable girls looking to him for wisdom and guidance. I'm sure it was made with harmless intentions, in a casual and jovial way, but that doesn't mean that condescending as fuck comments that prop up a sexist hierarchy should be present in the workplace.

You can still challenge it whilst being mindful of the concerns of your fellow post docs.

deydododatdodontdeydo Tue 31-Oct-17 12:06:16

I would also say something, but I'm a little non-confrontational so it would be an effort for me to do it.
Chances are other people are thinking along the same lines and it only takes one brave person to speak up.

anoldcharterorsomething Tue 31-Oct-17 12:21:13

Thank you, it really is condescending as fuck as you so rightly put it and something that I face far too frequently as a younger female academic...

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