This should come as news to no one, but academe has a gender problem. Despite the fact that half or even more than half of doctoral degrees are awarded to women in the US, and even fewer awarded to women of color, female PhDs are still underrepresented in many fields. Additionally, women hold fewer (though more than in the past) leadership positions. The resulting pay gap for women persists and is widened for women of color in academe.
Scholars, mostly female, but not exclusively, have been calling out overt signs of gender bias all over the academy. For instance, feminist philosophers have focused on the harms associated with an all-male conference, while female scholars of color demonstrate how the intersection of race and class affect women in particular in the academy. This @TheTable series focuses on how gender bias leads to the exclusion of women from scholarly conversation. Male-only conversations do not happen at random, and effort is necessary to correct them.
As this campaign by feminist philosophers points out, all-male scholarship tends to perpetuate the stereotyping of academe as an all-male environment. This in turn contributes to implicit bias against women, stereotype threat which can result in women and people of color not performing as well, women being passed over for jobs or grants, and even women receiving more critical teaching evaluations. Scholars of color, transgender scholars, and many others suffer from the intersectional discrimination of multiple marginal identities.
Catchy hashtags and nicknames help to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of this problem. Some use the term “manel” to refer to an all-male panel. Eva Mroczek, a Hebrew Bible scholar, coined the term “festicle” to refer to a festschrift with only male contributors. There are many other egregious examples of women’s exclusion from academic discourse, such as journal issues with contributions only from male scholars, that have yet to develop their own hashtag. This @TheTable series focuses on “manthologies,” a term coined by Mara Benjamin in our first blog this week, and which we hope will catch on as #manthology. A manthology is an anthology with mostly (or only) male contributors.
This FSR Blog’s @TheTable series and partnered open call explore many facets of women and non-cis men being left out of scholarly conversations within Religious Studies. The five blogs in the initial series examine how this phenomenon continues to shape Jewish Studies. We recognize that these initial blogs do not represent gender or racial diversity, and we do not intend to contribute to the invisibility of experiences belonging to women of color. We welcome contributors to add their own perspectives from within the study of different religious traditions and diverse racial, class, and gendered experiences. We especially invite blogs that engage with this issue of inclusion and exclusion through the lenses of other marginalized groups in academe. The open call for blogs invites readers to reflect and respond to the conversation generated by the panel.
Submissions Guidelines: http://www.fsrinc.org/blog-submissions/.
Contact: [email protected].
Our Manthologies @theTable authors (in order of publication):
Responses: Kecia Ali, No Manthology is An Island
Check out previous FSR Blog @theTables!