According to a 2012-2013 report from the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, a record 23 percent of tenured faculty members at Harvard University are females.
The report states:
As in years past, the percentage of senior [female faculty] varies tremendously by field: it is highest in Education (50%), Divinity (38%), and FAS Humanities (33%), with FAS Social Science (27%) and Public Health (25%) close behind. The percentage of senior [female faculty] remains stubbornly low across the sciences, including the Medical School (17%), FAS Natural Sciences (14%), and Engineering (14%).
These numbers are from data collected during the 2012-2013 academic year, spanning across the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), but also Harvard’s graduate schools: the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Education, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Kennedy School of Government, the Graduate School of Design, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Divinity School.
Obviously, progress has been made since days of Alice Hamilton, M.D. (the first woman appointed to a faculty rank at Harvard in 1919), but there is still a gender gap to be bridged.
Lily Allen @ Solidays 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Brianna Suslovic ’16
After a brief hiatus from the music industry, artist Lily Allen is back on the scene with a critique of her peers in her new music video “Hard Out Here.” In the video, Allen is obviously trying to satirize the standard “Robin-Thicke-and-Miley-Cyrus” approach to Top 40. The video begins with Allen lying on a surgery table, about to undergo liposuction. Her manager is standing by, equipped with his Blackberry, informing her of the nighttime TV hosts who’ve turned her down. He looks down at her body on the operating table with disgust, muttering, “How could someone let themselves get like this?” Allen responds pragmatically, “Uh, I had two babies…”
In this scene, I’m totally on board with Allen–women’s bodies are policed in the media in ways that are unfair and irrational. When a woman like Allen has a body that has undergone pregnancy and birth twice, why is this not celebrated (and instead, criticized)?
The pop culture site Idolator claims that Allen “saves pop music” with this music video. A Yahoo article praises her for satirizing so much of the blatant body-shaming and sexism that exists in the music industry (“Go Lily!”). But the question is, does she go deep enough in her critique?
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Allen, Feminism, Hard Out Here, Lily Allen, Miley-Cyrus, misogyny, music, Music industry, Music video, objectification, pop culture, racism, Robin-Thicke, sexism, top 40
By Connie Fu, Co-Director of ECHO Peer Counseling Group
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately. Through my work with ECHO (Eating Concerns Hotline & Outreach), I have come to understand how crucial it is that peer counselors consciously nourish their own minds and bodies in order to foster good counseling experiences for others.
I’m pretty vocal about my care for self-care. When I come across an article on meditative exercises or an exposé on the latest fad diet, I send it to my blockmates. I’ve been an avid, if sporadic, journaler, and I’ve gone through weeklong phases of “prioritizing sleep.” Though the self-care strategies that I establish rarely last long, I have consistently sought to incorporate self-care into my daily existence.
Thinking and doing, however, are separate from feeling. Recently I’ve been grappling with the unsettling sense that my efforts in self-care have been pouring into a black hole. Is setting aside 5 minutes each night to hastily scrawl three things that I’m grateful for helping me stay in touch with who I am and where I’m going? How grateful can my mind and body be for my periodic indulgences in cake? How will I know if any of this is actually working? Continue reading
By Matthew Stolz ’15
I want to start with a disclaimer. I’ve been thinking a lot about the prevalent mode of sexual discourse and practice (a mode which often gets labeled as ‘hookup culture,’ though I worry that this term is more defamatory than it is descriptive, and I will offer an alternative take a bit later) since I arrived at Harvard a little over a year ago. Still, my thinking, and by extension my writing, are very much works in progress: my conclusions are unresolved, and my ideas feel a bit tentative at times. But this article spurred me to put something concrete on the table regardless of how uncommitted I am. I hope that this post can serve chiefly to clarify what I take to be the stakes of any conversation about sexual culture on elite college campuses without falling into petty condemnation or approbation of the behavior being discussed.
This article is a bit old (published in July of this year), but I think that it presents one of the more thoughtful and well-researched views of campus sexual culture I’ve encountered in popular media. To be sure, Taylor sacrifices inclusivity in order to promote a standard narrative of the sexual norms at an elite university. She pays, in my opinion, insufficient attention to issues of sexual assault and the class backgrounds of her interviewees; her choice of interviewees is unapologetically heteronormative; and she completely skips over base concerns of sexual health, including STIs, access to contraception, and pregnancy. With the partial exception of Mercedes, all of the women she interviews seem to typify the popular image of a Penn student—ambitious, privileged, straight, and well-versed in the language and practice of hookups. In some sense, the article attempts to describe a general trend that can, and should, be criticized for its limited perspective. In this post, however, I want to engage the topic of campus sexual culture on Taylor’s terms, which means that I want to look primarily from the perspective of who she includes and not who she excludes. Continue reading
If you come down to the Women’s Center, you will see that we have two bathrooms right down the hall. These are, you might note, slightly different from many other bathrooms on campus. With blank doors that just say, “Restroom” on them, they are missing the typical markings of, on one, a person wearing a skirt, and, on the other, a person wearing pants. If you continue to walk down the hall to the Women’s Center (from which you will probably hear a loud and somewhat-cackling laugh if I am working), you will see a sign that says, “All Genders and Perspectives Welcome.”
At that point, you may start thinking, “All genders welcome? Why not BOTH genders welcome?” Or maybe you are pondering, “Which bathroom am I supposed to go into? WHERE IS THE FIGURE WITH THE PANTS/SKIRT????” Luckily, after you enter the Women’s Center, where you can grab some free coffee and sit down on a couch, you will probably feel a bit more relaxed. So, perhaps you turn to a WC intern and ask about the bathrooms, about the sign “All Genders Welcome.” After talking about it for a few minutes, you may realize that gender is a bit more complicated than you had previously thought…
Or maybe, you haven’t made it down under Canaday B yet. Maybe you are just running an ice breaker for the student org that you run. You put a hat in the middle of the circle, and tell everyone to write on a slip of paper the name of a celebrity they would want to go on a date with, and put it in the hat. Then, you explain, the hat will go around in a circle and each person will read off the name of a celebrity, so the group can guess who put the name into the hat. As people begin writing things down, you see that a couple of people look a little uncomfortable. Or a LOT uncomfortable. A close friend, who has recently expressed to you that they are questioning their sexuality, comes over and whispers in your ear, “I don’t want to write which celebrity I would go on a date with, because I don’t want to ‘out’ myself to the group.” Continue reading
Credit to the wonderful Hark! A Vagrant.
As you may have noticed already, this past October 15th was Ada Lovelace Day. Women represent only a third of doctoral degrees awarded in STEM fields, and “stereotype threat” – the risk of self-fulfilling a negative stereotype about one’s group – still operates heavily. And this is a self-perpetuating cycle, because “you can’t be what you can’t see.” Ada Lovelace Day is, primarily, about highlighting the historically under-recognized achievements of women in STEM fields in the past as well as the present (Lovelace is known as the first ever computer programmer, and by way of explaining the cartoon above, also happened to be the estranged daughter of wayward Romantic poet Lord Byron).
One celebration planned for the day that got a lot of well-deserved attention was the Wikipedia edit-a-thon that happened at Brown University, where contributors established new and fleshed out existing entries on women in science on the crowd-sourced and male-skewed encyclopedia.
On a similar note, the Women’s Center and Women in Science at Harvard Radcliffe is joining together next week to hold a discussion and panel on portrayals of women in STEM in popular culture. It’s at 7 in the Adams House UCR next Thursdy 24th, and we’d love to see you there!