Re.: Excuse me

lause at att.net lause at att.net
Sun Aug 4 07:40:17 MDT 2002


In concrete terms, the professional feminists of academe
wage an ongoing (and admittedly uphill and inequitable
struggle) to establish some equity with men, but only
within the framework of an ultimately inequitable and
hierarchic system.  Family and class connections...who
one knows and where one went to school...establish a
structure of patronage (not matronage) in these
professions.

It's not a simple system.  To be one of the
biggies, you have to have a lot more going for you than
the old school tie, etc.  At the other end of the
spectrum, these considerations are the most important
for who gets an entry level position.

Matters have gotten much worse over time, but about 15
years ago, universities were announcing about 50 real
jobs in American history in the same year that they were
graduating ten times as many PhDs...which means that you
have a massive and deepening reservoir of unemployed or
semiemployed backing up every year. In such
circumstances, half a dozen departments filled over half
of all the positions, which has tended to extend every
hierachic and elitist tendency in academic life rather
than liberalize them.

In this context, a rather official feminism in academe
had fought for greater equity within the system, but its
goals fully embrace the patriarchalism of the system.
It is a kind of "feminism" preoccupied with access to
the patronage and characterized to establish female
patrons without disrupting anything about the
patriarchalism of the structure.

The same trends exist in all the major professions.

The danger is that these kinds of preoccupations tend
to subsume the energies that should be going into a much
broader social movement.

Solidarity!
Mark L.


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