I need a clue stick!

In one of the blogs I occasionally read there was a joking discussion about needing "clue sticks" to beat some sense into some colleagues who still don't "get it" when it comes to professional women.

I want one. Now. But there are none on eBay...

During a staff meeting this week we were instituting a new search committee. Nasty woman that I am, I requested that the guy in charge of the search committee make an active effort to recruit women (they currenty have no women out of about 16) and to make a special effort to see the achievements of the few women who do apply. I was actually rather nice about it, the colleague is relatively new and has not made any kind of nasty, public comments since he joined us.

His colleague from the same sub-field sure made up for that by sniggering "Oh, I have no trouble seeing women, I really like looking for them! Har har har." At least none of the other guys dared laugh. I looked daggers at the colleague, but he does not understand this (and he always calls me by the wrong last name because it is "too difficult" to remember my full last name, which is a double one. He always just calls me "Wise", and I always reply that Ms. Wise is another colleague, I am Dr. WiseWoman. Boring.).

Is there no way to get these Neanderthals into the 21st century? To just lay off the harharhar jokes?


Jim Horning said...

My wife has a favorite quotation, from a former mayor of Ottawa (whose name I forget): "For a woman to succeed in politics, she must be twice as smart and work twice as hard as a man. Fortunately, this is not difficult."

WiseWman said...

SeeJaneCompute links to a lovely guide: How not to be an A**hole (for men). She considers sending this anonymously to a colleague (it is about the terrible threats surrounding the blogger Kathy Sierra that has gone completely unnoticed this side of the Atlantic).

I realize that not all men need this, but there actually are quite a number, unfortunately.

Another quote from diverse politicians: Women will not truely be equal until women who are just as incompetent as men can get elected to public office without problem

Jim Horning said...

If your purpose is to annoy your benighted colleague, Chris Clarke's rant is a great Clue Stick. However, if it is to inform or to persuade him, I fear that it is the wrong tool.

The problem is not the message, but the rhetoric. Those who responded rhapsodically to Chris's post already agreed with him. Did he change any minds? Not bloody likely!

I don't know anyone, man or woman, who is receptive to attempted instruction or persuasion that starts with STFU. As my rhetoric professor taught us, "It is almost impossible to change someone's mind in an argument unless he [1] believes that he has had a fair chance to change yours."

[1] This was 45 years ago, when "he" was generally accepted as being sometimes genderless. Also note that Chris's post was explicitly intended to inform and/or persuade men.