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Subject:

Gender and flogging

From:

jenny moran <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

jenny moran <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 3 Aug 2000 19:02:22 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (39 lines)

Is this a private flogging or can anyone join in?

Debbie, what have you started? If we can get back to The Point instead of
trading quips (most entertaining day for ages by the way) my perception is
that the public see the job as male (my female colleagues agree with this). I
have been asked many times "when will the archivist be back?" however, for the
purposes of your study this should perhaps be qualified as there could be
other reasons for this eg. they might expect archivists to be, ahem, older. On
one memorable occasion last year a lady came in and said she wanted help
reading an old document and "I don't want to see anyone young." So there may
be more ageism than sexism (any jokes on this, Richard?). Also, without being
paranoid, I am half Indian and I have wondered if people assume archivists will
be white. I use a cartoon that I have drawn of "a typical archivist" who is
male, wearing a big jumper and, yes, a beard as an ice-breaker for visiting
groups. It has always been greeted with a laugh of recognition, however, my
husband (a scientist and, er, bearded) has just said that this can't be taken
as serious evidence as I haven't drawn a tweedy female "typical archivist" who
might also be recognised. I'll happily send you the cartoon, (or anyone else)
despite potential damage to career prospects.
However, I have never (knowingly) experienced sexism from within the profession
and I have worked in predominantly male and female offices as well as two which
are more evenly balanced. All the men I know in the profession seem to regard
women as equal in every respect and there are many women in senior posts. I
don't know if many male archivists feel threatened by this, but all the guys I
know don't seem to be too bothered and the ones on my course (Liverpool
1993-4) didn't seem too upset by being outnumbered 11-4. 
Finally, I'm disappointed that us cardigan wearing feisty babes can't think of
any male archivist jokes if retaliation is needed. It's not as if they're known
for their sartorial elegance or chiselled good looks although they can be
useful for getting boxes down from high shelves...
We all laughed like drains in unreconstructed Nottinghamshire.

Pass the Immac

Jenny Moran    


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