Stop feeling - think 1

July 7, 2006

I was fascinated by your front page story "Female lecturers more likely to freeze" (June 23). This is an issue of considerable cultural importance. A female academic described how male colleagues had aggressively asked questions "that she felt aimed to destroy her argument. She felt personally undermined."

Might I suggest that given this was a conference paper delivered to her peers, there is far too much "feeling" going on here and not enough thinking? Her male colleagues were almost certainly not aggressive; this is an interpolation on her part. Moreover, being men, they took for granted that the speaker was capable of separating herself from the views she had expressed. There is more to all of us than our opinions.

I work as a lecturer in higher education and as a stand-up comedian and over two decades I have noticed that female students and female comedians find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accept that criticism of an intellectual or comedic presentation is not a personal attack - it's a commentary on the work, not on the person.

Kevin McCarron


You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns