Thursday, October 25, 2012

Taking the Reigns

The last month has been a roller coaster in terms of rejections, rejections, and an acceptance. My 1+ million dollar proposal was rejected, my manuscript in a super-high-IF journal was rejected after being in review for 2 months, and another manuscript is to be accepted after minor revisions.

After these two stinging rejections, I spent a week feeling very low and anxious. The stress affected my body in that the joints in the left side of my body began to ache, and walking became difficult. I began to think: Is this all worth it? I spend all this time at night and on the weekend working on proposals and manuscripts that ultimately get rejected. I forgo quality time with my family all in the name of work. What am I getting out of this job? My kids are growing up and I am present but not there. The stress is impacting me physically, too.

Taking control of my life and my job doesn't necessarily mean working longer hours or staying up later to get it all done. I've decided that I need to come back to "mindfulness" as I once did after reading Full Catastrophe Living. In 2009, I struggled with similar feelings and followed the meditation practices described in the book. I accepted that my life is "as is". Since then, I've lost that acceptance, and I need to be at peace again. I'm rebooting myself today.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Not Reporting

I think I should explain that this institution has a constant stream of low-level offensive statements and actions towards women, and that is why I was quick to be offended by this fellow's comments. That was, by far, the most benign I've gotten, and I'm sure he wasn't trying to put me in my place. But after hearing low-level offensive crap all the time, it is easy to get offended at the small things. 

Just last week, I had a senior white male tell me, "Your body has recovered nicely from the pregnancy." As it is written in this post, it could sound like a complement, but if I could convey the tone and the facial expression that went along with it, you'd be sickened.

I told my department head about this incident and the one from the last post. I requested that these people's teaching evaluations be looked at carefully for any student comments on bias. And that was it - no written reports filed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Report or Not to Report Offensive Comments

Several weeks ago I was a function where I was sitting next to a senior man, who was retired from industry but teaching at our university. We were eating lunch to celebrate somebody's promotion or retirement, and he and I were idly chit-chatting about nothing of importance. At some point in the conversation he said, "I'm sorry I'm having trouble hearing you. Some study came out that said older men can't hear women's voices because they are too high pitched." I was stunned. Noticing that he lacked a wedding band, I said, "That must be difficult for your wife." I turned my back and refused to talk to him the rest of the function.

Comments like this are offensive because they make me feel uncomfortable. I found no humor in the comment, and it deeply bothered me because it seemed to say that whatever I had to say couldn't (and wouldn't) be heard. This fellow is of no consequence to my career and has a year-to-year contract.

Upon telling someone higher up the food chain about the comment, they were horrified and told me that I needed to report it. Part of me thinks that reporting is the right thing to do, but another part of me doesn't want to be accusatory. I just want to go on pretending this didn't happen, even though it still bothers me. It could result in the termination of this guy's contract. I wonder if he is saying things like this to his female students? If so, then I don't have a problem reporting him.

So many times in this career have things been said that cross my line of my idea of gender bias. And time and time again, I don't report it. I just complain. I suppose if I reported all the biased things said and done, then the upper administration would get so tired of it that they wouldn't take me seriously anymore.