Goosey, Goosey, Gender
Louise Bimpson, our thrusting Corporate Director of Human Resources, has gone out of her way to praise a PhD thesis recently submitted by Emily Yarrow at Queen Mary University of London’s School of Business and Management.
This thesis, explained Ms Bimpson, found that the “formal processes for recruitment, promotion and selection of readers for REF submissions were heavily influenced by informal male networks”. Such practices, claimed Dr Yarrow, “legitimise and further entrench existing inequalities”.
Ms Bimpson told our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that although she had been generally impressed by the manner in which Dr Yarrow had demonstrated the connection between the existence of these informal networks and the maintenance of gender inequalities, she had taken particular note of Dr Yarrow’s explicit account of the favoured site for such male bonding. In Dr Yarrow’s own words: “Basically, the men all go to the toilet together, agree on who they’re going to select and that’s what happens. There’s a real disparity between what’s happening on paper – all above board – and what’s happening in practice.”
All in all, said Ms Bimpson, she had been sufficiently impressed by this argument to consider the manner in which gender inequality in general might be affected by men going to the toilet together.
She was, therefore, now proposing that Poppleton immediately display its own commitment to gender equality by appointing a number of part-time lavatory attendants who would ensure, whenever such matters as REF appointments were under consideration, that there were never at any time more than two men admitted to any on-site convenience.
Did Ms Bimpson feel that her proposals enjoyed the backing of the rest of the university? asked Ponting.
“I believe the tide of opinion is on our side. In my own office, MGTT – Men Going to the Toilet Together – is now well on its way to being superseded by SMTU – Single Male Toilet Usage.”
Was this also true of what one might call the upper echelons of the university?
“There are”, admitted Ms Bimpson, “still some residual concerns in that area. I recently approached our very own vice-chancellor for support in this matter, but he preferred to refrain from public comment as his own appointment had been finally secured only by ‘rather a lot of men going to the toilet together’.”
Right-wing lecturer in physical chemistry
The Poppleton Department of Chemistry invites applications for a lectureship in physical chemistry. Candidates with research interests in the areas of single-molecule fluorescence or super-resolution microscopy are particularly encouraged to apply.
In line with current concerns about the lack of political pluralism within the academic community, preference will be given to physical chemists who subscribe to the progressive diminution of the welfare state, the gradual reintroduction of grammar schools, the accelerated development of the private for-profit university sector, the creeping privatisation of the NHS, and the systematic lowering of tax rates for higher earners.
Applications should include a CV, contact details for three referees, and a signed photograph of David Willetts.