Thursday, November 17, 2005

By Request: Why I am not a gender studies professor

Mike of Crime & Federalism asks: "Could a sex positive equal treatment feminist have a chance at having an academic career in a top-ranked gender studies department?"

The answer, of course, is no. But how did Mike know that I am a frustrated gender studies professor at heart? Ah, this might be the answer. If I had gone the BIGLAW route, I might have both the disposable income and the burnout-induced desire to escape the working world required to go back to school, but as I have chosen to pursue less remunerative employment my obsession with gender will be inflicted on blog readers instead of undergraduates.

If I did think that I could have a snowball's chance in Hades of getting a tenure-track position, these would be my options for programs. None of them look like the kind of place where a libertarian heathen feminist could thrive. If my centrist grad student buddy sometimes butts heads with the more PC characters in his much less politically charged department, and I had trouble finding a philosophical home in a law school with a huge and active Federalist Society, imagine how miserable and isolating the years of study in a gender studies program would be.

I guess I could go back to Claremont and take women's studies and theology, ethics, and culture, but studying religion's really not my cup of tea. The right-wing feminist alternatives (which are more think-tanky than conventionally academic) would welcome my economic and political positions, but they generally also promote socially and culturally conservative ideals that I can't subscribe to. See, e.g., the IWF.

I couldn't find any rankings of women's or gender studies departments. There's some obvious crack to be made about hierarchy and patriarchy, but maybe my Google-fu just failed.
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