Thank you, Daddy.

I once delivered an address to a group of colleagues in which I presented complex and novel ideas with the hope that I could use audience questions, comments, and critiques to revise my argument and analysis, and publish it in one of my discipline’s top journals. I’ve been lucky enough to place articles in a few of these journals, and (as you know) I have a new book out, by an esteemed academic publisher. I’m not famous or important, but I am certainly standing tall on my own two feet.

Imagine my chagrin when one of those colleagues, after seeing that address, chose to say only the following in response: “That was a good talk. You seemed very composed and mature; you answered everyone’s questions very confidently. You should be proud.”

Thus begins a new series at WITW called “Thank you, Daddy” in which you share your own stories of paternalism and sexism. Add yours in the comments, and keep in mind that they can be anonymous.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Thank you, Daddy.

  1. cindy louwho

    Yo, is this paternalistic? Hmm, two alternative explanations. One, colleague didn’t find talk that complex and novel, just “fine.” Two, the talk was so complex and novel that colleague didn’t have anything else to to say. On fourth thought, yea, straight-up paternalistic, however it went down.

  2. Anonymous

    Liberals often find (indeed, seek out) sexism and paternalism in slights that most others realize are simple hiccups of the human condition.

  3. Jenn Lena

    We’re in this together, Anonymous. I wish the best for you.

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