Misogynist Politics Take Down Strong and Competent Female Leaders
There are a lot of stories to tell on this subject. The recent public issues with misogynism in the video-gaming industry are just the tip of the iceberg. In my career two or three administrations at colleges or universities where I taught, set about destroying female influence and female careers on campus. I used to think that the guys at the top were homosexuals. After all they always preferred the company of males. They just did not know they were homosexuals. They pretended to be heterosexuals.
Now, after years of anti-female activity, I have come to the conclusion that they are misogynists. They used a variety of strategies to destroy female administrators or directors on campus.
Strategies to Bring Down Female Administrators on Campus
- They would re-organize and place the female under a younger male or a vicious male who was known for his attacks on females.
- They would totally ignore the administrator, as if she did not exist.
- They would never invite her to the “real” meetings where decisions were made that affected her area of responsibility.
- They would give her so much work that she would break under the load.
- They would demote her and give her job to a younger female who has no experience.
- They would give a female a high level job where her hands were tied. She was a token and the real power was in the hands of her male assistant.
- They would never increase her salary. She never had access to the perks that the males did.
- They would never invite her to the parties at the lake or the President’s house where all the males were invited.
- They would discard competent and dedicated females for male friends or acquaintances that they would hire without an advertisement or a search committee.
Let’s consider a few stories about females who were deposed.
The most vivid memory I have is a female of color who was Vice President of Finance. She had done an excellent job and connected the campus to the White House on a number of issues. When the President assumed his duties, she was a member of the cabinet. He talked to her once, and then never talked with her or looked at her again in meetings. She had a male assistant and the President preferred to talk with him. She got the message. It took her a while to find a suitable position. She was lucky, because many females do not find comparable jobs after a hit like this one.
This same President had a female who was “Assistant to the President.” She worked at that position for at least ten years and with several administrations. She was dedicated. But the Pres did not want her around. He sidelined her, and sent her off to another position on campus where all she does now is crossword puzzles. He took her out of the action. Unfortunately, many females cannot leave their employment because jobs are so hard to find. And, they may have a family to take care of and cannot leave the area. So this woman is stuck!
Another President did not chastise a Dean who had locked a faculty member out of her office. That Dean also would not allow her to teach. There was a personality conflict. This person had served the university for decades and found herself with nothing to do. She never returned to the classroom and was given non-teaching positions until she left. Eventually she left after a long time in court.
I can’t count the number of females who have left or were forced to quit or retire from their jobs because of the misogyny at the top. As an aside here, males of color are often treated in the same manner as females. One day there would be an office with a male of color assuming duties, and the next thing you know, they are out of the picture. They are shoved aside and relegated to a lesser position.
Reasons for the Misogyny
Religious beliefs and values top the list. Many males at the top believe that their God has created them superior and that all women should bow to them. Females should not be in positions of leadership. That is the God-ordained hierarchy of the universe.
Didn’t Joshua and gang in the Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament receive instructions just before the battle? “Don’t go near a woman!”
These types of Presidents are generally not very intelligent. I often wondered if one of the Presidents I have experienced could pass one of my classes. Do they have the reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills? Probably not! So when they detect a superior female, they must eliminate her so that their own lights can shine before the world.
Many males believe that females should not teach males. Again, this is a belief that comes out of a “fundamentalist” mindset. And in my most recent appointment, students regularly verbally assaulted and manipulated female professors. No one ever discussed issues with males being assaulted. This abusive behavior is tolerated in a misogynist environment.
Little Female, “Go Home!”
The other side of this argument is that males want the jobs that females possess. They might not be qualified, have the creative skills, or be as dedicated to the task, but they get hired anyway. I have mentioned this in a previous blog. One of my Jesuit professors said to me quite often, “You are taking away a job from a male. That male might have a wife and children to support. Why don’t you just go home.”
The problem with his misogynist attitude was that he assumed that I had a home and he assumed that someone would take care of me. Don’t females have a right and responsibility to take care of themselves? Shouldn’t females have a career and success in their lives? Are we just supposed to hang around the kitchen sink? Females and children top the list, when looking at “poverty” statistics. More often than not, males force them into poverty.
I really don’t know how to stop this misogynism. The trend in higher education these days is to hire empty-headed business people or people who spend their empty-headed days thinking about athletics. Both of these academic areas have very few courses in critical thinking, law and higher education, social concerns, and more.
Maybe the Federal Government should cut off funds to schools that practice such atrocities, misogynism. That would send shock waves through all the Presidential lounges. “Oh, My!” And–Hey!!!–maybe more females should try to start the climb?
As always this post is copyrighted in the name of Marla J. Selvidge