U.S. Academic Circles Call for Equal Rights for Women

May 14, 2018  Editor: Su Yilin

U.S.-based publication The Chronicle of Higher Education recently invited over a dozen women academicians to express their opinions on issues related to women and power, publishing their views in the form of a special column.

The invitees all work in academic fields and pay special attention to marriage, childbirth and sexual harassment.

Nowadays, the status of women in American academia has improved, several commented, with a larger proportion of female members conducting research.

However, during the process of getting married and having children early in their careers, some face difficulties in getting enough maternity leave or feel deprived of equal academic opportunities.

In addition, sexual harassment is a rampant problem. Many said they experienced sexual harassment when they were young, both physical and verbal.

Meanwhile, gender issues can cause intersectional subordination together with race discrimination for women of minority groups.

Many scholars found that traditional academic culture shows the traits of male power, which is nowadays being challenged.

One professor mentioned that she had to attend various activities launched by committees and administrative organizations, only because they needed a token female member.

The #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment is also closely watched by female scholars for its development in the academic circle.

Many say #MeToo needs to be continued and spread.

On the one hand, officials should establish institutionalized channels, letting victims voice their experiences. On the other hand, female scholars hoped people would come forward and stop making anonymous reports.

One part-time professor said she was treated especially unfairly because of her part-time position, and lacked formal channels to protest the treatment.

"The academic market itself is changing, and the situation of women in American academia has also become more complicated. Women's struggle for power in academic fields is bound to go on," said one invitee.

(Source: wsic.ac.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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