Jennifer Berdahl: The “crazy/bitch” narrative about senior academic women / STRAIGHT

“When I was a graduate student there weren’t many senior women in my department. There were narratives about them that seemed unique to each woman: One was crazy—I never really understood why, but there were hushed rumours and we were warned to stay away and not work with her. She had some impressive publications, but they were informally credited to her co-authors. Another senior woman was a “bitch”—she was well known in her “narrow” area of feminist inquiry, but only because few had researched the topic and she’d landed upon low-hanging fruit. She got her job because the department wanted to hire her husband and she didn’t deserve the position and knew it. ”

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